5 Things (Almost) Everyone Forgets to Clean

Seriously, when did you last clean the toaster crumb tray?

When it comes to cleaning, some chores land on everyone's to-do list (like, making the bed or vacuuming the kitchen floor). Then there are those that almost everyone forgets about, and before you know it, you haven't cleaned the crumb tray of your toaster in months (wait, ever?). Don't worry—let this list of uncommon chores jog your memory. Here are five household items nearly everyone forgets to clean, but that only take a few minutes to tackle.

Can Opener

First up is the can opener in your kitchen drawer. According to studies, most can openers harbor bacteria like salmonella and e.Coli. Here's how to clean a can opener the right way:

  1. After every use, wash the can opener with hot water and dish soap, making sure to clean the gears and cutting wheel. Then (this is the important part) dry it with a dishcloth, and let it air dry with the handles open to allow air to circulate and prevent rust.
  2. If you haven't kept up with cleaning your can opener regularly and gunk has built up on it, clamp the wheels onto a layered piece of paper towel and turn the handle to help remove any residue.
  3. To disinfect, combine 1 teaspoon of bleach with 1 gallon of hot water. Spritz this mixture onto the can opener, including the gears, and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a cloth. Rinse and dry the can opener.
  4. Once the can opener is completely dry, prevent rust by applying a small amount of food-grade mineral oil to the gears using a clean cloth.

Toaster Crumb Tray

Next, it's time to decrumb your toaster! The standard 2- or 4-slice toaster often has a removable crumb tray. But if you don't know about this hidden compartment, you may still be shaking your toaster upside down to remove crumbs. Instead, follow these steps to clean your toaster's crumb tray.

  1. Look at the bottom of the toaster for a handle that pulls out. Carefully remove the tray and dump the crumbs into the garbage.
  2. If needed, you can wash the tray with warm water and dish soap before drying thoroughly and replacing the tray.

Plant Leaves

You water houseplants and make sure they get enough sunlight, but do you clean their leaves? Dusting the leaves of houseplants not only makes them look clean and shiny, but it can also help them get more sunlight, aiding them in photosynthesis. Here's how to clean plant leaves for beautiful, healthy houseplants.

  1. The easiest way to clean plant leaves is to gently wipe them with a damp cloth while holding the underside of the leaf to support it. For plants that don't have large leaves, like succulents, you can mist them with water using a spray bottle.
  2. To make the plant leaves shiny, skip anything oily that can attract more dust. Instead, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon into 1 pint of water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and use it to clean the leaves. The lemon juice is acidic and will help prevent mineral deposits from drying on the leaves, leaving them beautiful and shiny.

Light Bulbs

If hearing someone tell you to dust the light bulbs in your home makes you roll your eyes, we don't blame you. But you might be surprised how all the dust that accumulates on light bulbs can dim their glow over time, especially if using long-lasting LED bulbs that you may not change for years. All you need to do is follow these simple steps.

  1. When the light is switched off, dust each bulb with a dry cloth.
  2. If there's any stubborn residue, unscrew the bulb and wipe it with a barely damp cloth, being careful not to get water into the electrical workings of the bulb. Dry the bulb thoroughly before replacing it.

Air Vents

The last thing many people overlook is the air vents in their homes. Here's how to properly clean an air vent to avoid wafting dust around the room:

  1. Use the nozzle or brush attachment on your vacuum to remove dust from the outside of each air vent.
  2. For deep cleaning, turn off your heating or air conditioning before removing the air duct cover. Dust both sides of the grate with a microfiber cloth or a soft brush. Rinse and carefully dry each vent cover before replacing it, so dust won't cling to it.
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