Dirty Job No. 2: Clearing Dead Bugs From an Overhead Fixture
Time it takes: 15 minutes.
Why it matters: The corpses pile up, especially in summer. They’re not dangerous to your health, but who wants to look at them?
Step 1: Turn off the light and tape down the switch for safety. Wear an apron with pockets to stash supplies. With a screwdriver and a cotton cloth in your pocket, climb an extra-tall stepladder (try the six-foot Werner 356; $71, amazon.com), which will get you eye to eye with the fixture. Unscrew the dome. Dust the bulb with the cloth.
Step 2: Climb back down and head to the kitchen. Dump any dead bugs into the trash. Line the sink with a large dish towel (to prevent breakage) and place the dome on top, open-side up. Fill with warm water and a squirt of dish soap and let soak.
Step 3: Wipe with a sponge, rinse, and dry. (You can also pop most domes into the dishwasher, says Henning, who does this with all but painted and very delicate covers.)
Step 4: When it’s dry, reattach the dome. (Consider switching to frosted-glass domes, which camouflage the body count better than clear ones.)
Try to do this: Whenever you’re sick of looking at the bugs.