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Forgotten Housecleaning Chores

Updated on March 28, 2014
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Michelle Dee had a rough upbringing as a military child and has happily recovered and now hikes 5-8 miles every weekend in the mountains.

Forgotten Housecleaning Chores - Ceiling fans need to be dusted every so often.

Ceiling fans need to be dusted every so often because they can accumulate a lot of dust.
Ceiling fans need to be dusted every so often because they can accumulate a lot of dust. | Source

Homemade Cleaning Solution

Here is a simple, non-toxic cleaning solution I use on my kitchen countertops, doors, flat stovetop, walls, and appliances. It cuts grease and gets the stovetop and appliances shiny and clean:

1 teaspoon Borax

1/2 teaspoon washing soda

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dishwashing liquid

2 cups hot water

Mix all together in a spray bottle. The hot water is key because it helps to combine all ingredients into a solution.

Some items do not need cleaning every week, but eventually they do need some cleaning!

There are several areas in our homes that we often don’t think about when going about our usual house cleaning chores. It is not easy to forget about washing the dishes, vacuuming the carpets/floors, laundry, and cleaning the bathrooms. Of course there may be a few people out there that do all of these things plus the forgotten cleaning chores and my hat is off to them. It does not take much time for dust and grime to settle around our homes, but with regular vacuuming, dusting, and changing your furnace filter on a regular schedule may help with dust control. If you have allergies, or even if you do not, less dust is always a good thing.

It may be overwhelming to add new cleaning chores to the list in addition to all of the regular housecleaning responsibilities we already have to do. In that case, it may be easier to break down chores into smaller pieces. Maybe choose 2 of these tasks each day and in 1 week all of them will be accomplished! Or perhaps pick 4 of them per week and they will all be accomplished in 3 weeks. Whenever I have accomplished the following list of forgotten housecleaning chores, I do notice very much the home feels cleaner, especially when I look at the light fixtures and light bulbs!

Here is a list of household cleaning chores that may be forgotten but probably only need attention twice a year (or more if you choose) and are easily overlooked, and you may even think of a few more things to add to the list!

Doors That Are Seldom Used

This door to the extra bathroom is seldom used. It must be cleaned about every 6 months.
This door to the extra bathroom is seldom used. It must be cleaned about every 6 months. | Source

Interior Doors

Do you have any doors in your home that stay in the same place day in and day out? I have a guest bathroom door just like this. It does not get used very often so the door is not closed or opened. It just sits there and it will accumulate a layer of dust on the backside over time, as well as the floor boards along the floor.

On doors that are used quite often, take a rag with your favorite cleaning solution and wipe down the door handles.

Eeek! I Think It's Time to do Some De-cluttering!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Eeek! Looks like this frig is due for some forgotten housecleaning!
Eeek! Looks like this frig is due for some forgotten housecleaning!
Eeek! Looks like this frig is due for some forgotten housecleaning! | Source

Inside Cupboards / Pantry / Refrigerator

Can you say “declutter”? I know I get overwhelmed thinking of cleaning out and organzing these three areas and it takes me about one week to complete all three. This is the great opportunity to see if any food items have expired or gone stale. Once the area is cleared of all items, clean them with your favorite cleaner and let them dry out. Now is a good time to organize items as they are put back into their places. Place all the vinegars in one spot, all the oils in one spot, all the pasta together, etc. You may have an organization system that you like and now is a great time to put it into practice.

Floor Boards Behind Sofas and Beds and Closets


Floor Boards Behind Furniture and in Closets

Since we never have to look behind furniture, we don’t see all the dust and hair accumulating behind the couch or the bedroom furniture. Even in the closets there are things stored in there that don’t move very often and over time the dust and dirt can accumulate on the floor boards. A quick wipe-down with a wet cloth will do the trick.


This is one of my least favorite cleaning chores. At least with draperies I can just take them down and throw them into the washer (delicate cycle-cold water of course). There are special blind cleaners on the market that are designed to clean blinds quickly and efficiently but I have tried these and did not like them so much. I take a cleaning rag soaked in plain water and manually swipe each blind, then dry them. I do this about twice a year along with the window seals.


Draw open the curtains or blinds and then take some Windex (or your favorite cleaning solution for windows) wipe down the entire window. Include the window seals as well. Don’t forget to clean the outside of the window. If you live in a single family home, take a hose and some Krud Kutter and clean the outside windows. If you live in a townhouse or condo I suppose your HOA will one day power wash the outside windows if you don’t have access to them yourself (i.e. you live on a higher floor).

Ceiling Fans

You can’t see the dust accumulation while the fans are running. When ceiling fans are spinning they catch all kinds of dust over time. You can buy an inexpensive ceiling fan duster at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Pictures on the Wall

If anyone smokes cigarettes they can tell you how much a gunky tar and nicotine film seems to stick on pictures that have glass coverings. As a matter of fact, if you are a smoker and smoke inside your house you will have to dust much more often your furniture, television screen and pictures, because they will accumulate a dirty-brown layer of grime from the cigarettes. Windex works well on cleaning pictures that have glass coverings. I used to smoke but I have quit and wrote a hub about it.

Faceplates for Light Switches, Electrical Outlets, Phone and Cable Outlets


Light Switch Covers / Electrical Outlet Covers

It’s amazing how dusty and grimy these covers can get, especially in the kitchen. Wipe down with a wet soapy rag and then dry. If you are really ambitious you can unscrew each plate and let them soak in warm soapy water a few minutes, then wipe them down and dry them before reinstalling them. This is especially helpful for the plates in the kitchen where grease and oil from cooking may accumulate.

Light Fixtures and Light Bulbs Need Some Dusting

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Chandelier cleaned up. These glass covers collect dust in the air and need cleaning every 6 months.Glass bulbs like the ones shown here are popular in bathrooms. I usually take each one down and hand wipe until dust is gone.
Chandelier cleaned up. These glass covers collect dust in the air and need cleaning every 6 months.
Chandelier cleaned up. These glass covers collect dust in the air and need cleaning every 6 months. | Source
Glass bulbs like the ones shown here are popular in bathrooms. I usually take each one down and hand wipe until dust is gone.
Glass bulbs like the ones shown here are popular in bathrooms. I usually take each one down and hand wipe until dust is gone. | Source

Light Fixtures (Including Light Bulbs)

It’s amazing how light fixtures and light bulbs can accumulate dust in the living room and bathrooms. Regular vacuuming can help decrease dust but fixtures still need some cleaning, probably every six months. Make sure the lights are turned off and cooled down before cleaning. Never ever try to clean a light bulb with a wet rag. If your bathroom doesn’t have a window in it, then a flashlight may help you see what you are doing. Better yet, if you can get light fixtures where the bulb is covered at the top, this will eliminate dust accumulating on the bulbs. You will just have to clean the fixture itself with a wet rag. If you decide your light bulbs in the bathroom are covered in a layer of dust, unscrew the cold bulbs and carefully wipe them down with a wet rag and then dry them with a lint free cloth. Be careful not to dampen the base of the bulb that screws into the fixture. Once dried put them back in and see what an amazing difference clean bulbs can make!

Top of Refrigerator

A refrigerator with a lot of stuff stored on the top (such as cookbooks, knick-knacks, canisters, etc.) will accumulate dirt, dust and grime as well as the surface and should be wiped down and cleaned on occasion.


Behind and Underneath the Refrigerator / Washer / Dryer

Here is a place we rarely visit and forget about. We don’t get to see the dirt accumulating. Dust and food particles that are unknowingly dropped on the floor can accumulate underneath the refrigerator. Newer models have the coils located behind cardboard and according to the operating instructions you don’t have to clean those. You may want to check your operating manuals on your appliances for maintenance and cleaning.

For the washer/dryer, carefully pull out the appliances from the wall and sweep the debris away with a broom. You may even want to wash and dry the floor as well since the appliances are already pulled out from the wall. Don’t forget to clean the lint screen after each dryer load!

It's a Dirty Job But Someone Has To Do It

What is your LEAST favorite of the forgotten chores you must do someday?

See results

Honorable Mentions

  1. Take your favorite cleaner and wipe down the outside of all the kitchen cupboards and drawers to remove any film that may accumulate through the year, or even some missed food and liquid particles that you only see when looking up close.
  2. Take some good old fashioned Barkeepers Friend and a sponge and deep clean all your kitchen countertops. Double check if you can use a powdered cleaner on your countertops.
  3. The interior oven.
  4. Clean and wipe down that Catch All clutter drawer in the kitchen!

© 2013 Michelle Dee


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