17 Places in Your Home You Forgot to Clean


17 Places You Forgot to Clean that Might be Grossing Out Your Guests

We all have those places in our house that tend to get overlooked. They just become part of the scenery and we simply stop noticing them. But when guests come over and are looking at your home with fresh eyes, they might. 

But have no fear! I’m here to help you think through All The Places with a list of 17 areas you may want to double check before your next round of house guests arrive.

Related: Is the weather starting to get nicer where you live? It’s the perfect time to give your car a good cleaning too. And you don’t even need to leave the house because here are 14 Surprising Household Items You Can Use to Clean Your Car!

Spray bottle cleaning surface

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1. The Base of Your Toilets

Sure, you’ve wiped down the seat, you’ve scrubbed the bowl, you’ve even wiped down the flusher. But have you checked the base and rim of the toilet? 

(Where my fellow boy moms at??) 

Not only are those yellow stains unsightly, they’re smelly. Be sure to run a clorox wipe around the seam where the toilet meets the floor. While you’re at it, check the walls nearby too. Maybe even the ceiling. There’s just no telling!

Suggested Product

Did you know Clorox makes compostable wipes now? These would work great for this!

Toilet in bathroom with blue tile

2. Light Switch Plates

I always overlook these tiny little surfaces. But they are often full of tiny people finger smudges that are likely to be noticed by guests, especially in a small space like a guest bathroom.

Suggested Product

For this spot I would use a multi-purpose disinfectant spray like this one.

Finger pointing at light switch plate

3. Base Trim

Brush it off with your broom when you’re sweeping. Or try to make it a habit to wipe them down with a damp rag or even a baby wipe as part of your cleaning routine.

Suggested Product

For jobs like this I love using a low cost baby wipe like these Up & Up wipes from Target.

Floor molding, a commonly missed place when cleaning

4. Doors

The other day I was cleaning the guest bathroom for a baby shower I was hosting when I noticed faint brown drips all over the back of the door. My guess? Dirty hands that weren’t quite clean as they pushed their way out of the room. 

Gross, I know. 

But then I started to look at the back of other doors and saw similar streaks. Hopefully your kids have better hygiene than mine. But just in case, give your doors a once over, especially near the doorknobs.

Suggested Product

A multi-purpose spray and a paper towel could work fine here but for really stubborn stains a magic eraser works great.

Door handle, a commonly missed place when cleaning

5. Kitchen Cabinets

We all make sure to wipe down our counters and the sink as we clean. But drips, crumbs, grease, and dust tend to accumulate on cabinet doors. I notice this especially on garbage can cabinets and on the cabinets above the stove. The grease and steam from cooking can leave a residue that builds up over time.

Suggested Product

A degreaser works wonders for getting that stubborn food and grease residue off kitchen cabinet doors.

Kitchen cabinet door front,a commonly missed place when cleaning

6. Dining Chairs

I get that food will inevitably end up on the seats, but somehow it even makes its way onto the spindles and the backs of our chairs. So give them a once over too!

7. Stairwell Walls

I don’t know about you, but our stairwell takes a beating. Whether it be from throwing shoes down the stairs or just hands on the wall as the kids head to their rooms. A magic eraser should do the trick on any of the marks you find here.

Suggest Product

Magic Erasers are your best friend for this one.

Stairwell walls,a commonly missed place when cleaning

8. The Air

When we clean we tend to think of hard surfaces only. But have you ever walked into someone’s house and instantly knew what they made for dinner the night before? Or that they have a pet? 

An air purifier can remedy this, or even just opening your windows to air things out before company arrives. 

Suggest Product

For a cost effective option you could consider this air purifier that should do the trick for one small room. For a larger space, this model from Bissel covers up to 1700 square feet.

9. Window Trim and Molding

Don’t forget to give some attention to your window trim, especially the ones behind furniture that you may not notice as often. I’ve found dead flies and dust bunnies lurking on the window sills behind my couch. And let’s not even talk about what I found on the floor behind the couch.

10. The Inside of Your Microwave

I tend to put this one off because it remains “hidden” most of the time. But we all know how gross this small area can get. 

Try microwaving a cup of water with a few tablespoons of vinegar for several minutes to help loosen up the grime. Let sit for a few minutes then wipe down with a sponge.

Suggested Product

All you really need for this one is some white vinegar and a scrub sponge! Cheap and easy!

Bowl inside of dirty microwave that needs to be cleaned

11. Ceiling Fans

Ever look up at a ceiling fan and notice dust hanging like a chandelier from the blades? Cover the blades with a pillow cover and wipe clean to “catch” the dust in the pillow case. Then just toss it in the washing machine.

Suggested Product

You could buy a cheap pillow case that you reserve solely for this chore. Target sells a microfiber pillow case that would work great for attracting dust.

Hand cleaning ceiling fan blade with rag

12. The Hand Towel in Your Guest Bathroom

Talk about a breeding ground for nasty. Like I mentioned above, kids don’t always do the most thorough job when washing their hands. And then they dry those “clean” hands off on the hand towel. Now imagine what could be building up over several days. Yuck.

While this may not be practical for everyday use, try putting out heavy duty napkins when guests are coming so that they can use their own towel and dispose of it when they’re done. 

Suggested Product

Something like this napkin tray and these disposable napkins would be perfect.

Hand towel in bathroom

13. The Bathroom Mirror

Don’t forget to check for toothpaste residue and flecks of dried spit! Especially in the bathroom where your kids brush their teeth. 

Suggested Product

For cleaning mirrors I am a big fan of the ecloth brand sold on Amazon. They don’t require any kind of cleaning solution or chemical and don’t leave behind streaks. Plus you can just throw them in the wash and reuse as many times as you want!

Woman cleaning bathroom mirror

14. Ceiling Light Fixtures

I’ll never forget the time I was using the bathroom in someone’s house and I looked up to see the silhouette of a dead cockroach in their ceiling light fixture! You would think this is something you would notice in your own house, right? 

But then I checked our lights when I got home and found dead flies in mine! So maybe take a quick glance at your light fixtures as you’re tidying up.

15. Window Blinds

Another often neglected area that accumulates some serious dust. Try vacuuming off the excess dust and then wiping down each slat with a sock sprayed with pledge.

Suggested Product

I’m sure everyone of you has a single mismatched sock laying around at home. So all you really need is some pledge multipurpose spray and you’re good to go!

Hand cleaning window blinds

16. Dining Area Light Fixtures

This is another one of those areas where dust and spiderwebs can appear that we may not notice for weeks or months. And who wants to see that dangling over your food when you’re a dinner guest? Don’t forget to wipe these down as well.

Suggest Product

All you need for this area is a good microfiber cloth and multi purpose Pledge!

Hand cleaning glass chandelier with rag

17. The Face of Your Kitchen Appliances

I often overlook the drips and streaks on the face of my stainless steel appliances. Especially below the ice and water dispenser where dried water streaks are likely to accumulate daily.

Suggested Product

Here is a great starter kit for cleaning stainless steel. It has a fingerprint resistant formula and can be used on refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers and outdoor grills.

Hand cleaning face of oven

If you tend to forget about some of these things, it doesn’t mean you’re dirty, just that you’re human. But I hope this helps uncover a few blind spots as you’re getting ready for company! 

Any other areas we left out? Leave them in the comments below!

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Need more cleaning tips? Check out these related posts!

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Places You Forgot to Clean

63 Responses

  1. I try to do a deep clean for this very reason two times a year. Floor to ceiling and everything in between. You give a good list of what not to forget.

    1. Don’t forget under the beds, behind dresser, night stands and wall behind entertainment center and under the floor. The dust is unbelievable!!!

  2. These are really great suggestions to clean. There are a few I’ve missed but having white walls makes you clean everything lol Awesome post!

  3. So many places often forgotten! I don’t think any of us mean to forget, it’s just not something we think about because we’re always just focused and preoccupied on the main areas like the counters, and now I’m looking at the ceiling…

  4. Awesome tips! Those are definitely some pretty gross spots that get neglected. Probably my sneaky spots are, range covers, fridge door handles, and where the glass door slides, so nasty lol.

      1. Yes, I learned to deep clean at the young age of 9. I’m now in my 70’s and it hard but I have always done these things including VACUUMING FURNITURE AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH! Cleaning under the beds and your curtains!! Vacuuming gets rid of a lot of dust! Also air purifying I have 2.

  5. I suggest checking get table lamps and shades for dust and cobwebs as these can be overlooked in guest bedrooms.

      1. Kim thanks for this list and the links. I have put the stainless steel cleaning kit in my cart for sure. I also made a deep cleaning list from this article, saved it to my phone’s memo section, and shared the list with my teenage daughters. As I am reading your article, it is early on a Saturday morning. Ready, set, clean!!!

  6. All door knobs need cleansed and disinfected frequently! 😳Your #4 didn’t actually say this. Great posts!

  7. I’m the mom of 3 boys too! Although they are grown up and out on their own now, when I would clean the bathrooms, the toilet got cleaned top to bottom, the floor, and the cabinet and wall or tub next to it. 😂😂😂
    Now we have grandkids that come and visit, so cleaning top to bottom and sides, especially during potty training!!! 😁😁😁
    When we renovated both bathrooms, we picked the light fixtures that had the light covers facing down, now I don’t have bugs to cleanout of the fixture.
    Great post!!!

    1. Haha! I can relate to all of that! I am no longer surprised at the obscure places I need to clean because of them! So glad you enjoyed the post!

  8. Boy mom of 4 right here so I totally agree with the toilet, walls, ceiling one lol. I’d like to add the bathroom trash can to that one. Well actually all trash cans really. Unfortunately on more than one occasion I’ve discovered that my son’s or their darling father has missed the toilet and managed to pee in the trash can 🤔 (someone please tell me that I’m not the only one that has had to clean up urine from the trash can bc my family is filthy little animals 😄) Anyways we have plastic ones And I’ve realized that they tend to hold onto odors which is why after I clean and disinfect them I like to put a cotton ball with a few drops of essential oil on it to help with all the stink. Thank you for the post there were definitely a couple of places I had missed. Off to go check my light fixtures now. Thanks again for the honest and real life posts that remind us we’re all human and nobody’s house is perfect. Have a great day!

    1. I have totally found pee in the trash can!! And of course, no-one would fess up! But I love the essential oil trick! I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave a comment!

    2. Love the real life post and discussion here! Really all those potty training articles and books that get published for moms NEED to include the importance of training little boys to sit and Pee on the toilet!!!! I did not know to teach mine to do this at home until a friend mentioned it recently. Too late as they are in they teens/tweens and think it is emasculating now but really wish I had taught them as babies.

      1. Oh my goodness, I think about this all the time! Definitely a missed opportunity that would have saved me so many headaches!

  9. Your number 4 yellow spots may be room freshener spray. I had the same thing and no children around. When you spray the droplets have to go somewhere. I’ve started to spray inside the toilet BEFORE I go, eliminates having to spray after the go. No more yellow spots.

    1. 👍🏼…. Thanks for pointing this out about the yellow/ brown spots …. This is exactly what happens to my doors after spraying room freshener!

  10. All great reminders! Luckily I was taught to deep clean at a young age. Another important place to remember is under kitchen large appliances, top of fridge and if your kitchen cabinets do not go to the ceiling or have no soffits clean top of cabinets as you clean the fronts.

  11. You left out the air vents. I find myself forgetting to clean those in my own house and they can be really gross.

  12. I would add door frames, more than once I’ve noticed spider webs around door frames and wondered how long they had been there. Also the shower door rails, these seem to be missed with the tub/shower cleaning and they can build up some awful black sludge when missed for several weeks. Another favorite the tops of appliances, especially refrigerators (lot’s of 6’+ family members) and the washer and dryer seem to be forgotten often or at best just the tops cleaned but not the sides or around the lint vents, etc. Also with the refrigerator under the produce drawers are routinely missed with pets fur gathers here, ick! TV’s seem to be forgotten often as well until someone comes over and even if the screen is cleaned regularly the top of the TV is neglected just like the top of the fridge. Lamp shades seem to be forgotten as well, table top or free standing, the ceramic or metal will get cleaned oftentimes but the lampshades will gather dust and spiders love the inside of lampshades, no fun to run into the spider and it’s home while turning on a lamp to read.

    Great list, love the thought put into it, thanks! Over a year in my new house so probably a good time to check some of these areas that aren’t on my weekly hit list. Having grown up with brothers and raised boys everyone at our house learned to clean the toilet from top to bottom and under the rim, the piece that attaches the water line to the toilet now that often goes unnoticed, spotted that one this morning at my house!

  13. Don’t blame your kids!
    It’s everybody 🤭

    Vacuum and then use a clean mop on the baseboards. Quick and easy✨

  14. Yes it’s great post you shared with us thanks a lot helps full tips you have given us thanks 😊

  15. Love this list and all the extra comments makes me feel better that the world is not perfect and made of all clean neat freaks out there. Thanks a million!

  16. Great ideas in these posts.

    Make sure there is now kitchen garbage like watermelon or cantelope rinds in the house.

    We visited a family who had a spotlessly clean house and there was a garbage container in the kitchen with melon rinds . It was overwhelming!

  17. Kitchen garbage cans that have dried up whatever on the inside/outside and lid really gross me out. For several years now, the trash can (inside and out, lid and can) get wiped down with a disinfectant wipe every time the trash goes out. I’ve also always used a cloth tea bag to put several pieces of charred coals in. Charcoal from a fireplace or grill works. Charcoal absorbs odors. One small bag of charcoal lasts for a couple years and wiping down my can keeps it fresh. Small kids/grandkids love a trash can (it’s like a magnet for them) and those little finger go straight to their mouth. Noooo! “Just wipe it clean in between.”

    1. This is a really good comment! For whatever reason, this is the thing I notice the most at other people’s homes as well. So I manage it well at our home, but I love the charcoal suggestion! And you’re so right about the little ones going straight for them. It’s disgusting!

  18. Great post, Kim!,
    Yes, I can certainly relate to many of the suggestions here!. I think I may have OCD (self-diagnosed of course!…lol). I clean just about any and everything in my home. I also have a son, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to clean up his little messes in the bathroom! 🙂
    Thanks, for the great suggestions, Kim!.


  19. I have always been very good at keeping my house clean! I sadly have to say i forget to clean some of these every often! I was Taught At a very young age but everybody makes mistakes. I love this article maybe I will start remembering these better now that I know I am not the only person in this crazy world that forgets to do these.All these comments I saw AMAZING.

  20. Some of these I do tend to overlook since my kids are grown and gone and grandchildren aren 15 and up .Thanks I am checking these spots now.

  21. You did a great job in telling people all the hidden spots. I am a professional house cleaner who owns my own business and your exactly right , those are the places that I go in and make sure I clean. Door jams is the other spot espically you you have kids or fur babies because they both tend to rub on the lower half of the door jam. A little baking soda and dawn cleans it right up if it’s real bad

  22. My husband and I used to own a B&B. I frequently wished that parents would teach their little boys to sit down to pee. It can get pretty bad.
    We always put the lid down also. It keeps you from sitting down IN the toilet when you didn’t turn on the light.

  23. Don’t forget the garbage disposal! People can become nose blind to lingering smells. Drop a few ice cubes and some lemon and run it for a few minutes.

  24. I cannot use “guest towels” who knows how long they have been there? EWW! I always have a roll of paper towels in all of my bathrooms. I also leave towels on the bed so guests don’t have to guess which ones they can use and extra blankets in the guest room closet. These are great suggestions, I’ll be checking them all when I get home from work!

  25. This post was a great reminder of those hidden areas that I always forget to clean in my home! Will give them another look when I get home, thanks!

  26. Our toilets stay fairly clean on the outside and the surrounding area, except for dust. We have 5 boys, and even when they were small, we hardly ever had pee messes. We taught them to sit on the toilet to pee. That helps soooo much with keeping the bathroom clean and odor free. I honestly have no idea why a guy thinks it’s ok to go into a bathroom and splatter all over. It’s actually quite irresponsible and selfish for a guy to pee around like that and leave it for a lady to clean up! It’s uncivilized and heathenish! A guy like that shouldn’t even use a bathroom. He should go to the woods to pee, if there’s one around! 😃 It really grosses me out and also makes me mad when we have guests and it’s obvious that the guests think it’s ok to pee on our toilet rim and walls and leave it for me to clean up. Also maddening, because we have a fairly new house and I don’t want pee odors to sink into our walls and floors! Ladies, please train your boys!

    1. Can I please agree with this?! My husband has always sat to pee. And I so appreciate him for it. Our 7/5/3 year old boys sit to pee. I still have to clean the front/floor of the toilet occasionally because sometimes the train set is just so interesting that they wait until the last second to go potty, and it’s comes blasting out at full force. But I have to clean more after adult men have used our guest bathroom than my own little boys. And it really is kind of insulting.

  27. Kim All these reminders and ideas are wonderful !!!! Thank you so much for
    Your ideas and tips 💝 and some great comments from readers as well. I definitely agree with Carols comment on the yellow or brown spots on the bathroom doors…. Mine is definitely room freshener spray droplets…. I cleaned the door …. Sprayed the freshener and came back later to find droplets! Just watch out where you spray and where the droplets fall!
    Thanks again Kim for all your hints and suggestions. – Barbara A

  28. When I wipe down my window sills I also raise the window and clean the outside window sill. When you look out the window and see dirt and dead bugs and spider webs it definitely takes away from the clean inside window sill! Thanks for these great suggestions!

    1. Hoovering air vents, extractor fans, and air con vents which all collect dust. I put disinfectant or lavender essential oil into toilet brush holder, which freshens air in bathroom. I also use watered-down disinfectant in a spray bottle to quickly spray toilet seats, taps, door handles, fridge doors, good for a quick freshening up fix 👍☺🍀🙌💦

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Kimberly Shearer Vacation Pointers blog writer

Hi! My name is Kim. I’m the mom of 3 boys, the wife to 1 husband, and the driver of a 2013 Toyota Sienna. I love Jesus and my family, I have an obsession with getting a good deal, and if I had it my way I’d spend every weekend at Disney World trying a new food shaped like a Disney character…

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