Your tried-and-true cleaning routine keeps your living room surfaces sparkling. But there are probably a few important items that you're missing. You might not see it, but dust and bacteria love to collect on some of your living room's most-used items. Banish germs for good with our list of must-clean items that often get forgotten. By adding just five more minutes to your regular cleaning schedule, you'll feel and breathe a lot cleaner and safer.
When you think about it, few things get as dirty as your TV remote. Multiple people touch it every day, and it's not an item normally in your cleaning routine. Before sanitizing, be sure to remove the batteries from the back. Then you're free to wipe down the surface with a cloth slightly damp with rubbing alcohol. Let dry and replace batteries.
The same thing goes for any remotes to your kids' video game consoles. Just think of all the cheese dust remnants left on the buttons from afterschool snacking and gaming.
If you don't think you need to wash your throw pillows, think again. Couch pillows are used just as much as the pillows in your bedroom, if not more. Keep your family and your guests safe from the bacteria buildup by cleaning throw pillows regularly. If you're lucky, you might have a removable pillow cover to toss in with the rest of your laundry. But some embellished pillows require hand-washing. Every pillow is different, so always check the care label before cleaning.
Having a dust-free lamp doesn't mean that it's free of germs. While cleaning your living room, don't stop at the lamp base. After you've polished the surface to perfection, move on to quickly cleaning the lamp's switch as well. With the lamp unplugged, wipe it with a safe disinfectant and let dry.
This is a small items but one that can hold a lot of germs. Just like a door handle or a sink knob, this piece of hardware gets touched by many hands daily.
4. DVD Player and Stereo System
Even if they're in a closed cabinet, you don't want to skip on cleaning your electronics. Think of all the fingers that touch those buttons! Luckily, this technology is easy to clean. A simple wipe down with a slightly damp dusting cloth should do the trick. Keep this habit up several times a month, and you'll keep your entertainment center free of dust and fingerprints.
5. Coffee Table
Feet aren't allowed on the kitchen table for obvious reasons, but why are we OK with feet resting on the same surface we put our movie-night popcorn and bowls of ice cream? Stinky feet are the reason why decluttering the coffee table isn't enough for a cleaning job done. Treat the coffee table as you would kitchen countertops. It should be wiped down regularly with disinfectant. And not just the top. Kids with short legs like to rest their barefeet on the sides of the table, so be sure to wipe along the edges and legs.
Curtains can hold onto dust, pet dander, and pollen, so don't neglect them during your cleaning routine. Take the time to remove them from the curtain rod and stick them in the washing machine—unless they are made of a dry-clean fabric, such as silk. Always check the care label before washing and drying for the best results.
7. Ceiling Fan
It's a tough reach, but you'll be disgusted when you finally get a glimpse of what's on the top of your ceiling fan blades. Clumps of dust sit idly, especially during the winter months. Prevent them from flying around the room by tackling dust bunnies at their source. Long-handled dusters from your local home store ease the task. To be consistent, clean your fan at the start of every season.
Watering isn't the only way to take care of your houseplants. These beloved additions to our homes can get dusty without proper care. Pay attention to the leaves while you're watering them; when you see dust start to collect, wipe the leaves down with a slightly damp cloth. Don't forget to swipe along the pot, as well. Your leaves will look greener and healthier than ever!
9. Behind the TV
You might not realize how dusty the back of your TV gets until you look behind it to fumble with some misplaced wires. It is a dust magnet! Give yourself some peace of mind by wiping down all the cords and boxes back there. Just be careful when working with electronics; unplug all cords while working with them. We recommend doing this every time you schedule a normal cleaning day so the dust doesn't have time to collect.