7 dirtiest places in the home you’re forgetting to clean — and you'll be surprised

Cleaning equipment being carried in a bucket including a squeegee, cloths and spray bottles
Cleaning equipment being carried in a bucket including a squeegee, cloths and spray bottles (Image credit: Shutterstock)

When it comes to cleaning every room of your home, we often think that we’ve covered all the typical grimy areas that we can see. But there are some dirtiest places in the home that you’re actually forgetting to clean.

These common spots often get overlooked in our cleaning chores, and it's not always the things that we see on a daily basis. What’s more, these places are also known to be more filthy and full of germs than in the obvious places. 

Unlike some things that are actively avoided,  such as one of these 9 gross things you forget to clean around your home, these grimy places are easily missed. However, by tackling these spots, you'll save yourself time and effort in the long run — not to mention those giant dust balls.

So if you want a fresh and spotless home all-year round, don’t ignore these dirtiest places in the home you’re forgetting to clean. 

1. Door handles, handrails and light switches 

An open door in a home

An open door in a home (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you have kids, live with a partner or always have guests round, think of how many grubby hands have touched your door handles or handrails over time.

Despite this, we often forget to give these a good wipe down on a regular basis. Our door handles are covered in germs and bacteria from dirty or sweaty hands. Inevitably, once you touch the handles and then another item, you are effectively spreading germs constantly around the home. 

It’s always best to give any door handles around the home a thorough clean with a disinfectant spray or disposable wipe. The same applies to light or electrical switches that are used on a daily basis. This way, you’ll prevent the spread of germs and be more hygienic. 

2. Remote controls/games controllers 

Someone cleaning a remote control with a wipe

Someone cleaning a remote control with a wipe (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Just like our smartphones, we handle remote controls throughout the day. And considering how often you hold controls or gaming controllers, it’s not hard to imagine how much bacteria is sitting on their surfaces. In fact, a study commissioned by sofa and carpet specialist ScS revealed that your TV remote could be up to 20 times dirtier than your toilet. Gross!

What’s more, germs can also get transferred to other items around the home that we touch. However, we often forget to include these items in our cleaning routine. While it might seem like an extra chore, it won’t take long at all. You can simply wipe down with a clean microfibre cloth to eliminate dust. For unsightly fingerprints or grime, you can use a designated cleaner or anti-bacterial wipe designed for electronics. Experts suggest television remote controls should be cleaned and sanitized once a month. 

It’s also good practice to learn how to clean your phone the right way and get into the habit of doing this regularly.  

3. Walls and baseboards 

White baseboard on wall

White baseboard on wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another dirty area that we don’t even consider cleaning are our walls. This is easy to do since these are not exactly an obvious place, however, dust, dirt and grime can easily cling onto walls and the baseboards below.

While this might seem like a tedious task, cleaning a wall is quite simple to do. Tackle one wall at a time, starting at the top of the wall and working your way down. You can use one of the best vacuum cleaners to reach those spots, or a duster or microfibre cloth to wipe down and trap dust particles. 

Also, vacuum along baseboards using the crevice tool attachment, before cleaning with a damp cloth. You can simply use a warm, soapy solution or a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water to quickly remove dirt and stubborn stains. 

For more tips, check out how to clean a baseboard and remove marks. 

4. Tops of doors and undersides of furniture 

A woman vacuuming a rug indoors

A woman vacuuming a rug indoors (Image credit: Shutterstock)

How many times have you vacuumed under the sofa, bed or rug, and not the undersides? Similarly, we often forget to clean the tops of doors and other pieces of furniture. 

Again, dirt, grime and even cobwebs cling to undersides, especially if it’s a heavy fabric that’s a real dust-catcher. If not cleaned regularly, this can easily build up into a thick layer of grime. Ensure that you tackle these areas with your vacuum cleaner or dusting wand as part of your weekly cleaning regime. 

In addition, don’t forget to clean the top of door frames, kitchen and cabinets, and the tops of picture frames. These can all accumulate a layer of grime or dust balls if not dealt with properly. 

5. Inside your couch 

Cleaning white sofa

Cleaning white sofa (Image credit: Shutterstock)

When was the last time you lifted up your seat cushions to see what’s underneath? These hidden places can quickly get filled with dirt, dust, food crumbs, or even Lego pieces, and are often forgotten about when cleaning the home. 

When vacuum cleaning your upholstered sofa, be sure to give it a good clean inside with a crevice tool/attachment. This will get into all the nooks and corners properly, and  ensure your sofa will always stay spotless inside and out, all while looking great. 

And if you’re dealing with expensive leather, check out how to clean a leather couch and remove everyday stains. 

6. Faucets 

Cleaning bathroom taps

Cleaning bathroom taps (Image credit: Shutterstock)

We use our sinks daily to get clean, running water, and so it’s ironic that we forget to give our faucets a deep clean. In fact, the kitchen faucet is one of the dirtiest things in your home, according to experts. 

And while we may get the gleam on the outside, the underside tends to have a nasty buildup. This can be food debris, dirt from hands or even from dirty rags that haven’t been rinsed out properly. In addition, if you live in a hard water area, this can create limescale on the underside of faucets that can also damage pipes.  

A clever TikTok hack for dealing with stains or heavy limescale around faucets is to cut a lemon in half, and attach each half to the end of each faucet. Leave on for a few hours before removing, then you’ll find the limescale has lifted off the chrome, and easier to scrub clean. 

While you’re at it, here’s how to clean a stainless steel sink in 7 easy steps. 

7. Laundry baskets 

Overflowing laundry basket

Overflowing laundry basket (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Laundry baskets or hampers are handy for dumping all of our dirty clothes, but we often forget to clean the actual basket. Whether it’s made from plastic or linen, these will inevitably pick up dirt and grime from filthy items over time. That’s why it’s important to regularly clean our laundry baskets.

If it’s machine washable, then throw your basket in a separate wash, putting it on a gentle cycle. Or simply wipe down with an antibacterial spray or disposable wipe if it’s plastic. Just be sure to shake out all loose dirt and debris into the trash before you start cleaning!

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!