5 Things You Need to Wash + 1 Thing You Shouldn’t

September 11th, 2020

Once you’ve fallen into a cleaning routine, it’s hard to break out of. You may be skipping some things that need a good scrubbing, or using the incorrect tool for the job. On your next cleaning day, here are five things you should make sure to wash, and one thing that never needs cleaning.

1. Ceiling Fans

If you’re waking up sneezy after sleeping with the fan on, it might be time to give it a good cleaning. You rarely see the top of a ceiling fan blade, so any dust that collects there is out of sight, out of mind. Next time you clean, give it a careful wipe with a cloth, like a pillowcase. This can help trap the dust instead of sending it flying all over the room.

2. Toilet Brushes

Once you’re done cleaning your toilet, don’t just toss the brush back into the holder and call it a day. A wet brush is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Let your brush dry out before returning it to the holder. Every now and then, give it a good soak in an antibacterial cleaner, too.

3. The Oven

“But,” you say, “that’s what the self-cleaning feature is for!” Self-cleaning features are undoubtedly convenient. However, because a self-cleaning cycle heats an oven up to 900-1,000 degrees and lasts several hours, it uses a ton of energy. Additionally, these cycles can cause unpleasant odors and even dangerous fumes. Store-bought or even homemade cleaners require a little more elbow grease, but work just as well on dirty ovens.

4. Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals help keep kitchens fresh by keeping smelly leftovers from stinking up the trash. This doesn’t mean they’re immune to smell, though. If your garbage disposal starts to smell, toss a few ice cubes in and let it run. The ice can help clear out any leftover bits. You can also throw a citrus peel in every so often, to give your kitchen a fresh, pleasant scent.

5. Hardwood Floors

You can vacuum all you want, but the vacuum won’t pick up stray drops or liquids that have dried on a hardwood floor. It’s important to wash your hardwood every now and again. Just make sure you’re doing it right. Skip the soap and water. Instead, get a cleaning product especially for hardwood and use with a damp (not soaking wet) mop. Also skip any homebrew cleaner that includes vinegar. Vinegar can strip your floor’s finish and even void the warranty on your hardwood.

Okay, so those are the things you might forget to clean. But what shouldn’t you clean?

Please, please do not wash raw chickens.

The theory goes that if you wash a raw chicken, you’re getting rid of bacteria before cooking. Washing chicken before cooking is entirely unnecessary. In a properly cooked chicken, all of the bacteria will be killed during the cooking process. In fact, if you hold a chicken under running water, you risk splashing that bacteria-filled water all over your kitchen. This creates an enormous health risk, so skip the rinse cycle and get right to the next prep step.

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