10 things we forget to clean

two children peering out of a recycle bin in a backyard

Phoebe Craw

Posted July 30, 2021

Dishes. Countertops. Bed sheets. Remembering to clean the things that we use every day is easy. But what about the places and things that we often (and, truth be told, sometimes deliberately) forget to clean? 

We’re talking about all the things outside of our eyeline (or out of your mind) that can be quietly building up grime and keeping our homes from looking and smelling bright and beautiful. So, on your next Sunday afternoon cleaning session, make sure this cleaning list isn’t swept under the rug. 

10 things around the home we forget to clean


Dishwasher filters

It’s one of those items you might not realise exists until you’re told that it needs cleaning. Or, perhaps until you start to get a bit of a 'pong' from your dishwasher and discover that your dishes aren’t quite sparkling after a cycle.

You'll find the filter under the bottom spray arm (you'll need to take out the bottom dish tray to get to it). To wash, simply unlock, remove, and give it a good rinse under hot water. You might also want to use a soft toothbrush on the mesh screen and plastic frame to get rid of stubborn grease. Pop back in, run an empty cycle, and the sparkle of your dishware will be back on track.

Wheelie bins

This one definitely falls under the banner of things we purposefully ‘forget’ to clean. Thankfully, your wheelie bin might only need a spray down with a hose. But if that smell hangs around, try adding ¼ cup of dishwashing liquid to 15cm of water and let it stand for 30 minutes. You can also scrub the sides with an outdoor broom.

Finally, empty the water, spray again with the hose, and turn the bin upside down to drain and dry. And look, if the idea of cleaning what could be years of bin gunk out, you can always hire a professional bin cleaner to ease the pain.

Washing machine

Is there anything that vinegar can’t do? In a spray bottle of water, add some white vinegar and spray and wipe down the inside of the drum. While you’re at it, wipe down the rubber gaskets. Then, pour two cups of vinegar into the detergent dispenser and run a long, hot wash. Do the same wash again with half a cup of baking soda instead of the vinegar. Once finished, spray and wipe the door and front of the machine. Finally, leave to dry out with the door open. 

dishwasher drawer open with blue mug and plates inside

There are plenty of places around the home that we put on the 'I'll do it another day' clean list.


Coffee maker and tea kettle

Don't put that vinegar away just yet, as it's great for cleaning hot water appliances. For coffee makers, add four cups of white vinegar to the reservoir and let it stand for half an hour before running it through a brewing cycle. Finally, run two or three cycles only with water.

Kettles are essentially the same: boil one or two cups vinegar, with the rest water, and then a couple of cycles just using water. 


Your sheets receive regular attention, but your mattress needs some too - at least twice a year, and it’s easier than you might think. Lightly cover the mattress in a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of essential oils, leave to soak for a few minutes, then vacuum up. If possible, it’s also a good idea to flip the mattress once every six months. 

Ceiling fans

Flying dust, be gone! To stop these astronautical particles, all you need is vinegar, water, and a pillowcase. Spray a solution of water and distilled white vinegar (two tablespoons of vinegar for every 750ml of water) inside the pillowcase. Simply finish by slipping over each blade and wiping down.

The inside of drawers

Drawers are full of stuff anyway, so why would we think to clean them? But take out the items you actually want, and you’d be surprised at the quantity of dirt, crumbs, and old receipts that can accumulate. Again, a wipe down with a damp microfibre cloth is really all these forgotten areas need. 

inside of a clothes dryer with dirty clothes and tea towels

Hands up who has cleaned their clothes-dryer filter. Anyone?


Skirting boards and window tracks

This is a little thing that can make a big difference to the visual cleanliness of your home. Sometimes, just a dust with a dusting wand will do the trick. Otherwise, a good going-over with a damp microfibre cloth will remove the remaining grime.

The underside (and tops of) of furniture

This could include shelves, couches, fridges, picture frames, bed frames and benchtops. These places don't need much love; a once-over with a vacuum, dusting wand or damp microfibre cloth will remove most of the dirt every now and then.

Indoor plants

Indoor plants – real or fake – can be the secret dust collectors of your home. Live plants can be cleaned by running them under the shower or by using a microfibre cloth to wipe down the leaves. Plastic and silk plants can also be wiped down with a damp microfibre cloth.

Overall, this list may feel arduous at first, but imagine the satisfaction you'll feel in your seriously clean home when you tick them all off.