4 Things You’d Never Think to Clean

Given that they’re invisible to the naked eye, germs might be growing on places you’d never consider cleaning. Here are a few that warrant your occasional attention:

1. Telephone receivers. In his research, Dr. Gerba found significant numbers of illness-causing bacteria and viruses on telephone receivers.

2. Shower curtains. They get wet most every day, and they often stay wet, making them a perfect habitat for mold.

3. Indoor garbage cans. Particularly those in the kitchen and bathroom. Emptying them isn’t cleaning them. Regularly scrub them to make sure germs aren’t germinating.

4. Automatic dishwashers. Take a close look at the edges of the door on your dishwasher. Many are breeding grounds for mold and mildew. The same goes for the rubber cushioning that surrounds most refrigerator doors.

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50 thoughts on “4 Things You’d Never Think to Clean

  1. As another pro cleaner I agree with all the things mentioned by the article & comments. A couple of things not listed are the spaces under stoves and fridges. I once found a long lost pearl earring under the fridge, yeah I handed it in :)

  2. The top rim of your washing machine is a breeding area for mold. tilt the drum to the side to expose the area so you can wipe it down. Leaving the lid open when not in use helps keep it dried out. Also keeping your shower curtain closed when not in use helps keep it dried out.

  3. of them i have three ( no dishwasher) and i certainly clean all. once a month  or twice. things you learn growing up in a warm environment is that mold will always try to take hold!

  4. I have fabric shower curtains. They dry quickly with no mold or mildew.

  5. I’d like to give the dishwasher a hot shower but if my wife caught us we’d both would  have  to go. And I would never hear the end of it.

  6. I clean my phone, I clean my trash can.  I deliberately buy cheap shower curtains so I can throw them away.  I tried cleaning shower curtains a bunch of times and nothing happened except ruined shower curtains or it took FOR. EV. ER. to get them to clean right, so I just replace them.  I don’t have a dishwasher. 

  7. Oh, please. Anyone with a lick of sense would know that these things get dirty. 
    Regarding the shower curtain, I have a nice cloth shower curtain – I buy cheap liners at the Dollar store and throw them away when they get dirty – washing the cloth curtain about once a month.  As for the wastebasket, doesn’t your nose tell you if it needs cleaning? After a phone call, a gentle swipe with an antibacterial wipe will fix your phone right up, and a run with bleach in the dishwasher without dishes will disinfect and clean the inside, then just wipe down the rubber gaskets with a damp cloth.  All of these take a minimum amount of time and you will feel so self righteous afterwards.  

  8. I clean my telephones weekly, more frequently, if someone in household is ill.  I throw shower curtain & liner every other week; kitchen trash can is cleaned weekly others at least once a month; dishwasher door and seals are wiped once a month (bleach is put in dishwasher with no dishes and run on auto setting once a month)

    1. Computer keyboards and cell phones are similar in shared germs, I wipe them down also.

  9. Got 4 new things to clean now during my computer break.  right after finishing cleaning the vac and changing the belt. thanks for the heads up. Malika

  10. Get a shower curtain liner for $3, You can use scrub free on it, I usually throw mine away buy a new one after use of  3-6 months.. cheap enough..

    * Add to that the kitchen dish drainer- Clean it in sudsy hot / add some cloroz -water.. soak the entire unit for about 5-10 minutes to hold harmless all germs/bacteria.. even that you don’t see.
    Make sure you also do the utensil holder!

    * always soak your dishcloth in hot sudsy /clorox water.. daily doesn’t hurt/ clorox several times a week at least. Good reason not to buy designer dish clothes.. white works!

  11. Pish posh…I routinely clean all of those items.  How about the rubber gaskets around the frig? The dish drainer tray…most housewives know all about these things.

  12. I also clean houses for a living.  Among my top priorities; toilet handle, light switches and door handles.

  13. well actually I clean all of the above,,,,,,, some of us are quite intelligent

  14. you can wash shower curtain in washing machine with bleach. remove the rings and wash delicate setting. also the bathmat in the shower can wash in washer too. It gets mildew on the back side with the suction cups. Dry both in sunshine before you put them back in shower.

  15. While doing dishes and you pull the drain look at the bottom rubber ring… I take mine apart and put them in the dishwasher or soak them in clorox once in awhile

  16. Also front loading washers are prone to mold. Leave them open after use and wipe the rubber ring with a towel

  17. Also front loading washers are prone to mold. Leave them open after use and wipe the rubber ring with a towel

  18. Also front loading washers are prone to mold. Leave them open after use and wipe the rubber ring with a towel

  19. Does anyone else have problems with sprayers containing bleach solutions? They always seem to start failing about halfway through the bottle. First leaking all over your hand, then not spraying at all. Does the bleach corrode the mechanism? And why have manufacturers not fixed the problem? Or maybe it does only happen to me…

  20. Also I discovered recently that you need to clean the ice/water dispenser on your fridge if you have one.  I was on the floor cleaning a mess, looked up and saw it.  Ewww..

  21. I can see people neglecting telephone receivers and appliance gaskets; I only clean mine when they become noticeably grimy. But trash cans and shower curtains? You can’t help but notice when they’re dirty.  Of course, trash cans are seldom completely clean, some stay clean enough if you wipe down the outside and spray some bleach on the inside. The best place for a shower curtain is the trash, doors don’t cost much, stay cleaner and never need replacing.

  22. I just cleaned my kitchen trash can with bleach today! 
    Innkeepers clean things the normal household wouldn’t clean, like light switch plate covers, doorknobs, remote controls, oh yeah we are germophobes!  We need to make sure our inns are spotless for our guests, dust is the least of the worries!  

    Shellie your Innkeeper at The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount VA Where she says “No Pop Tarts Allowed!” 

  23. I just cleaned my kitchen trash can with bleach today! 
    Innkeepers clean things the normal household wouldn’t clean, like light switch plate covers, doorknobs, remote controls, oh yeah we are germophobes!  We need to make sure our inns are spotless for our guests, dust is the least of the worries!  

    Shellie your Innkeeper at The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount VA Where she says “No Pop Tarts Allowed!” 

  24. I just cleaned my kitchen trash can with bleach today! 
    Innkeepers clean things the normal household wouldn’t clean, like light switch plate covers, doorknobs, remote controls, oh yeah we are germophobes!  We need to make sure our inns are spotless for our guests, dust is the least of the worries!  

    Shellie your Innkeeper at The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount VA Where she says “No Pop Tarts Allowed!” 

  25. How could you forget any of those items?  Lysol and Clorox, as well as Target’s Up&Up cleaning cloths are inexpensively available and can easily be used for all of the above items.  Also–with shower curtains, you need to make the extra effort to towel off the curtan and squeegie the walls; with a dishwasher, towel off the door when you open it–takes just a few seconds to do this–and leave the door open for a while after you remove the contents; antibacterial wipes for the phone–keep the container handy–takes a few seconds; same for swabing down the inside of your refuse pail in the kitchen (and elsewhere throughout the house).  Forgetting to do this–plain laziness.

    1. Take just a few seconds and clean out your judgmental attitude. Forgetting to do this –plain snobbishness.

    2. Forgetting is not lazy, forgetting is forgetting.  Laziness is knowing you have to do it and choosing not to.

  26. I clean all of those things, but then again I am OCD. I clean houses for a living, and almost every house I clean for the first time, you can tell those areas are overlooked. Great tip for cleaning those vinyl shower curtains that are starting to show mold and mildew..Place them in the washer with at least one towel that can be bleached. Add detergent and bleach, and let the washer and towel do all the scrubbing for you. It comes out looking like new. Just hang it back up, and let it dry. To help with the mildew, I usually mist mine down with a mild bleach solution once a week, so I don’t have to take it down as often.

    1. you can’t be OCD, you have OCD. and if your just saying you have it to be cute, stop. crying yourself to sleep and washing your hands till they bleed is not fun

    2. you can’t be OCD, you have OCD. and if your just saying you have it to be cute, stop. crying yourself to sleep and washing your hands till they bleed is not fun

    3. you can’t be OCD, you have OCD. and if your just saying you have it to be cute, stop. crying yourself to sleep and washing your hands till they bleed is not fun

    4. you can’t be OCD, you have OCD. and if your just saying you have it to be cute, stop. crying yourself to sleep and washing your hands till they bleed is not fun

    5. AH, how do you clean shower stall floor pans – what cleaning products do you use to remove the scaly/scum ? I can’t find a good product. thanks.

      1. If it’s scaly from hard water, use CLR.  Be careful with it, though.  It is strong stuff but certainly lives up it’s reputation of getting rid of hard water stains.  CLR can be found at one of the Big Box stores that begin with W, or K or T, some grocery stores and perhaps some drug stores (those that sell more than prescription and over the counter drugs.

      2. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Bathroom version.  Seriously.  I cleaned the grimy bathtub in less than 5 minutes and it was really dirty (3 boys)

    6. AH, how do you clean shower stall floor pans – what cleaning products do you use to remove the scaly/scum ? I can’t find a good product. thanks.

    7. AH, how do you clean shower stall floor pans – what cleaning products do you use to remove the scaly/scum ? I can’t find a good product. thanks.

    8. AH, how do you clean shower stall floor pans – what cleaning products do you use to remove the scaly/scum ? I can’t find a good product. thanks.

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    1. Yeah, I was doing it wrong this whole time! I just threw out the shower curtain when it got dirty. Same for the dishwasher.

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