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By: The Safety Mom, Alison Jacobson
Posted on: Jul 26, 2018

Cleaning Tips for Those “Should I Clean This?” Areas

While there are many areas of the home that we all know MUST be cleaned, this week’s blog highlights cleaning tips for those gray areas of the home that present some cleaning questions. But never fear – Safety Mom is here for us all with simplified solutions!

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For many of us house cleaning isn’t one of the highlights of our week but we do it anyway, and any cleaning tips we can get are helpful. It isn’t just about getting rid of dirt and making our home sparkle and smell nice, but also eliminating bacteria and allergens. Even the most germaphobe people, however, might be missing some key areas around the home that not only harbor allergens but can potentially cause fires.

Check out these cleaning tips for areas around your house that you might not be cleaning, but should:

Kitchen range exhaust fan - Kitchen fires are responsible for 50% of house fires every year. When cooking on a stove, high heat combined with oil can create a flame and if the flame reaches up to a grease-soaked filter in your exhaust fan it can quickly ignite and spread. What’s more, the warm and moist environment directly above a hot stove top is perfect for growing bacteria and mold and allows dust to stick to the grease. Once you turn on the fan, all of that is blown into the air. An important cleaning tip for the filters is to clean them every three months or so by removing them and washing in warm soapy water or in an empty dishwasher. Allow them to dry completely before replacing.

Stair railings – Most people will dust stair railings but not clean necessarily clean them. When you consider that they’re touched as much as light fixtures simply dusting won’t get rid of the bacteria and germs and other cleaning tips should be considered. But even though they’re usually made of wood, you can’t clean stair railings like you do your wood floors as the cleaning agents are usually too harsh. Wood railings are prone to potential damages like scratches, deformities, and polish chipping. The easiest cleaning tip for stair railings is to mix a few drops of dishwashing soap with water in a spray bottle and use a soft cloth.

Stairs Home Loft Lifestyle

Ceiling fans – Being short, I often miss cleaning areas that are high above me. Ceiling fans are especially tricky but important as dust and allergens are circulated through the house every time you turn it on. You should take the same steps cleaning ceiling fans every time you dust (after all they’re accumulating the same amount of dust.) If you have a sturdy ladder and your ceilings are not too high you can take a pillowcase, place it around the blade and gently wipe off the top, sides and bottoms at once. To prevent dust build-up, you can spray a little Endust first. If the fan is too high or you don’t feel safe standing on a ladder there are several ceiling fan dusters on the market.

Clothes dryers – After kitchens, laundry rooms are the leading area for home fires. Accumulation of lint causes one out of four fires. Simply cleaning the lint out of the filter every time you do a load of wash isn’t enough. Both the vent as well as the dryer duct need to be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent lint build-up which can lead to a fire. Before cleaning your dryer unplug it and turn off the gas valve if you have a gas-powered dryer. Cleaning tip number one is to remove the lint trap and wash with warm soapy water and dry thoroughly. Second, to clean inside the dryer, purchase a dryer vent lint removal kit which is an attachment that fits onto your vacuum cleaner to get into the lint trap housing. Then, move the dryer away from the wall and inspect the duct. Remove the lint build up from in there as well.

Keep these lesser known cleaning tips in mind and make sure to put these areas on your regular cleaning rotation.