PSA: Don't Forget To Clean These Places At Home

Photographed by Ruby Yeh.
Even if you already know how often to wash common household items, the best approach to cleaning the rest of your digs may still be a mystery. Sure, you clean your floors and shower on a regular basis (um, right?). But what about other parts of your living space that you may not think about?

Cleaning the common areas of your home is a great start — but there still may be spots you're missing. Doorknobs, toilet handles, and light switches are often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. But they really shouldn't be, since you use them every day.

To learn more about commonly neglected areas and to pick up some good cleaning habits, we asked Becca Napelbaum, Handy's in-house cleaning expert, for advice.

"The common theme here is that the more often you clean, the healthier your household will be," Napelbaum says. "A good rule of thumb is to do a deep clean of your home at the end of each week and tackle larger items like machines once a month."

Click through to learn some spots you may have missed. Better late than never.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Oven
Napelbaum cites ovens as one of the most often overlooked areas. She recommends cleaning the inside of the oven once a month.

"The longer that you go without cleaning your oven, the harder it will be to restore it to good condition," She says. It's a good habit to clean the top of your stove regularly, too.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Microwave
Like the oven, the inside of the microwave is often neglected — but it shouldn't be.

"The microwave should be cleaned once a week, but if there's a spill, you should clean it up right away," Napelbaum says. "A simple way to keep your microwave clean and fresh is to put a bowl of water and lemons in the microwave and turn it on for a few minutes. Let the steam sit for a few minutes, then wipe down with a clean cloth."
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Remote Control
Things you touch every day, including the remote, can get dirty fast. Napelbaum recommends cleaning everyday surfaces once a week — but for remotes, which you might not want to get wet, she recommends using a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton ball (squeeze out the extra liquid first!).
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Keys
You touch them multiple times a day, so you'll want to clean your keys at least once a week, according to Napelbaum. Your favorite cleaner of choice, whether homemade or store-bought, should do the trick.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Keyboard
Again, once a week is ideal for this everyday surface, Napelbaum notes. Rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball works here, too, as long as you're careful — as with the remote, you'll want to squeeze the liquid out before using the cotton ball to clean your electronics. (You can also buy a keyboard cleaning kit if that assuages any fears about damaging your laptop.)
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Doorknob
Spritz doorknobs once a week with your favorite cleaning spray — and while you're at it, it's not a bad idea to clean your cabinet handles, too.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Light Switch
You know the drill — clean them once a week. As with electronics, you can use a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton ball to clean light switches, Napelbaum says.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Toilet handle
Once a week is enough for cleaning the toilet handle, too. And while you're at it, Napelbaum notes that the area behind toilets tends to be neglected, so be sure to get back there, too.
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Refrigerator
It's a good idea to include the refrigerator handles when doing your weekly deep-clean.

As for the inside of the fridge, a seasonal deep-clean should be enough, Napelbaum says. She recommends taking the shelves and drawers out of the fridge quarterly to clean them — but if there are spills or crumbs, you'll want to clean them up more often.

"The key to maintaining a clean refrigerator is to stay ahead of the mess," Napelbaum says. "To ensure a clean refrigerator and avoid sticky situations, you should clean up a spill right when it happens, and always make sure that whatever you put back in is sealed properly."
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Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
Pet Bowls & Toys
How often you clean your furry friend's stuff depends on the type of food they eat, Napelbaum says. If your dog eats wet food, you might want to wash his bowl every meal. For dry foods, Napelbaum recommends washing pet bowls three times a week.

As for toys, Napelbaum recommends washing them once a week — that goes for both plastic and plush items. "For plastic toys, soak them in a bucket of 50% water and 50% vinegar for 30 minutes, and let dry," Napelbaum suggests. "For plush toys, we recommend tossing them in the washer and using baking soda or a natural detergent. Let the toys air dry."
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