The 51 Things Most Homeowners Aren’t Doing but Need to
You probably haven’t done these cleaning and home maintenance tasks lately (if ever!), but it’s imperative that you do. The good news is they’re easy, and we’ll show you how.
Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Cleaning inside the dryer and dryer vent
The Family Handyman
Built-up lint inside dryer cabinets causes more than 15,000 fires every year. Lint escapes through tiny gaps around the edges of the dryer drum and falls into the cabinet, especially when the exhaust vent or vent cap is clogged and airflow is restricted. The lint can get ignited by electric heating elements, gas burners or even a spark from the motor, and the flames then travel through the lint-lined exhaust vent. To make sure this doesn’t happen in your house, check the exhaust vent and the inside of the cabinet frequently.
Cleaning faucet aerators
Aerators are found on almost every kitchen and bath faucet, and if water flow slows or becomes uneven, clogs inside the aerator are usually the cause. Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to fix.
Cleaning oven door
Built-up spills and remnants of old food and liquids inside ovens can cause smoke and smell issues. It’s important to clean up big spills as they happen, and make it a habit to put your oven through its cleaning cycle regularly. But when you’re really trying to make your oven shine, you might need to go further.
Cleaning the bath fan
Quality Stock Arts/Shutterstock
Household dust, moisture, and humidity combine to cake bathroom exhaust fans with debris. Often located on the ceiling, you may not notice it’s even dirty. Luckily, bath fan grills are easy to clean. Grab the edge of the cover and pull down. Squeeze the springs to release them from the slots and remove the cover.
Washing the trash can
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
Sure, you put a garbage bag in there but that doesn’t mean your trash can is free from germs. Just think of those times the trash leaked and who knows what lingers in the bottom of that bin. And each time you take out the trash, just spray the inside of the trash can with a disinfectant. Once a month, wash it out with bleach and cleaning with hot water.
Vacuuming a mattress
Despite being covered with sheets and a mattress cover, your mattress still gets dirty. It’s a good idea to periodically vacuum it and spot clean any stains that may appear. Airing it out outdoors in the sunshine for a few hours can also do wonders for removing any lingering musty smells. Learn about the things all smart homeowners do once a week.
Wiping down walls
A Swiffer Sweeper floor mop is useful for more than just cleaning hard floors. Use it to dust interior walls and trim, too! Attach a dry cloth to the rectangle end and press it along walls and trim. You can pick up dust, cobwebs, and dirt safely, without having to step on a ladder.
Doing fridge maintenance
Spend 30 minutes on these simple maintenance steps to keep your fridge running in tip-top shape. It’s hard to believe, but six simple maintenance steps will prevent almost 100 percent of refrigerator breakdowns and eliminate those service calls. Take these steps and you can forget about spoiled food, lost time waiting for repair people and shelling out $70 an hour plus parts for the repair itself.
Washing the deck
Exposed to the elements year-round, your deck does take a beating. Learn how to clean your deck properly and even give it a proper update (in less than eight hours).
Washing the dishwasher
You’d think your dishwasher, post dishwashing, would already be clean. But you’d be wrong! Food bits find their way into all the nooks and crannies of your dishwasher, leading to bad smells and eventually, your dishes not getting clean. Also, make sure you’re never putting these 9 things in the dishwasher at all.