I don’t know about anyone else, but having a clean home just makes me feel better. Part of keeping things clean means maintaining the machines that you use. So with that said here are my top 5 things you should be cleaning that tend to get overlooked.
Numbero Uno – The dryer lint trap
Every dryer has a lint trap. First and foremost that should be cleaned out after every use. If you do not clean this out regularly the lint builds up and becomes hazardous. Too much lint mixed with the heat of the drum can cause a fire. On my dryer the lint trap is on the inside of the door. Some models have a lint trap on the top of the dryer with a screen that you pull out. Cleaning the screen off is step 1. However, it is the second step that many people tend to either forget or not think of. Every month I like to take my lint trap vent off (there are a couple of screws for mine) and use the vacuum hose and vacuum out all of the lint that is inside of the dryer itself. Not only is it hazardous for all that lint to be in the dryer, but it also affects the amount of drying time for your laundry.
Number 2 – The washer
I have always been particularly anal about the cleanliness of my washing machine. After all, this is what you wash your clothes and towels in. Up until we moved into our house I had always had a top loading washing machine with the plastic or resin material for the barrel. I found that the plastic type of washers tend to get a lot of soap scum, calcium deposits, and just a bunch of gunk in them. Once I month I would run a hot bleach cycle to kill all the bacteria. Then run a baking soda and vinegar cycle to get as much of the scum off as possible.
When that wasn’t enough I would scrub the machine getting it as clean as I possibly could. Moving into our house we did have the top loading machine, but it quickly decided to quit working properly and started leaking (more like flooding). Thus, our new machines were bought and they were all the rage at the time; front load washing machines. While I do like the fact that it is front loading because we can stack the washer and dryer making more room for other things, I was not aware how much more maintenance they were. With top load washing machines when it is not in use you tend to leave the lid up. Leaving the washer open lets the air get in the machine which restricts the growth of mold or bacteria.
On the front load washer, we used to keep it closed. Unfortunately, keeping it closed everyday leads to a raunchy smell; like rotten eggs coming from the washer. The very first time that it happened I was not sure where it was coming from, but once I found it woooo-weeee that stuff stinks. Like many people, I never did read the manual when we first bought the washer. Did you know front load washers have a cleaning cycle? For my washer, you wouldn’t know that without reading the manual because nowhere on the machine does it say cleaning cycle. However, if you push two of the buttons at the same time and hold them there for a few seconds the letters “CLN” come up on the screen. The manual says to add 6 cups of bleach to the soap dispenser and then run it on the cleaning cycle. I do this once a month now or if it starts to get stinky before that. Washers actually get pretty gross. The front load machines have the big lip of the drum, you know the part where small things and socks tend to get stuck in? You should regularly be wiping it out with a dry hand towel so that no water sits in there, causing mold and mildew (and smells!).
**side note- you can find washer cleaner at the grocery store. I know Tide makes some.**
Moving on to number three – the vacuum
I don’t know about all vacuums (especially the old fashion-y ones with bags on them), but the newer models not only have a dirt collector [the canister], but they also tend to come with many filters. THESE FILTERS NEED TO BE CLEANED! If you do not clean or replace these filters your vacuum is not going to have the best suction. The model that I have, some yellow Eureka pet hair vacuum, has the filter inside of the canister, a filter under the canister, and a filter inside the top of the canister. Lucky for me, I do not have to replace any of these filters they can all be washed. So once a month I am cleaning those babies out.
Number 4 – UNDER THE STOVE
I do not know why a lot of people (the ones that I know anyway) do not tend to think about cleaning under their stove. Especially those people with animals, it is a prime spot for pet hair (GROSS)! I make it part of my vacuuming routine to vacuum under the stove. When I am really in the cleaning spirit I take the stove out and then I will vacuum and wipe down the wall and the floor. (PS. the same thing should be done with the refrigerator.)
Last, but not least – the DISHWASHER
Surely, you would not think that a dishwasher would get dirty as it is always running with soap to clean dishes. However, much like the washer, that is not the case. Soap always causes soap scum and calcium deposits happen. Little bits of food get stuck in the drain. You can find dishwasher cleaner in the grocery store (usually with the dishwasher soaps). I do this about once every 2 or 3 months as I do not have a huge problem with my washer being dirty. Mostly because I rinse off my dishes completely before putting them in the dishwasher.
What about you guys? Do you wash these 5 things regularly? What other things do you wash that most people tend to overlook? Let me know in the comments below!
I hope you are having a great week!