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Clean These 5 Neglected Spaces Today for Your Health

Most of us think we’re pretty good at keeping the house clean. We wash dishes, vacuum and sweep the floors, do the laundry, dust, and do many other chores that are obviously important. However, there are some spaces that tend to get neglected. Perhaps we don’t notice how dirty they are, or maybe they’re out of sight and out of mind. It doesn’t mean you’re lazy, but since forgetting to clean them can be bad for your health, here’s a list to keep in mind.

Inside the Refrigerator

Nobody likes a dirty refrigerator. However, it’s easy to get used to the mess and not notice how bad it’s gotten, especially if it’s always full. That’s a bad thing since it can be a breeding ground for biological growth and cross-contamination. Plus, if you leave leftovers in the fridge too long, there’s always a chance that someone may accidentally eat spoiled food.

Fortunately, cleaning the fridge doesn’t have to be an all-day chore. First, get rid of anything spoiled or out-of-date. Move everything out and, if necessary, store it in a cooler. Take out all removable parts and wash them in the sink with dish soap. Dry them and put them back. Don’t neglect the shelves. While you’re at it, give the bottom coils a good vacuum.

HVAC Air Ducts

Over time, your air ducts accumulate many different indoor pollutants — household dust, pet dander, pollen, dead insects, and more. While this isn’t healthy for anyone, it’s especially harmful if someone in the house has asthma, allergies, or a compromised immune system. It’s not a DIY project, so hire a reputable, professional HVAC specialist to clean out your ducts. At the same time, they can inspect your ducts to see if any need repair.

Inside the Washer

Why clean the washer? Despite constantly swishing around laundry soap, the washer is prone to biological growth, since it’s a dark, wet place between uses. High-efficiency, front-loading washers are especially notorious for getting smelly between loads. For older, top-loading washers, run it at the highest and hottest water setting, empty, with four cups of bleach. For newer washers, follow manufacturers’ instructions, and don’t neglect the door seals.

Handles, Knobs, and Light Switches

Diligent hand washing can prevent transmission of colds and flu viruses, but not if you neglect to clean all the surfaces those hands touch. Doorknobs and handles, cabinet and drawer pull, and light switches should be wiped regularly with an antibacterial cleaner.

Ceiling Fans

A ceiling fan can help you save money on utility bills, but it can also accumulate a lot of dust and debris, no matter how frequently or seldom it’s used. Since it’s not at eye level, it’s easy to ignore. Use a long-handled duster to wipe off the tops of each blade, as well as any other parts that need cleaning. Light coverings can be removed and washed if needed. Lay a sheet down beneath the fan to catch falling dirt.

These are just a few spaces within the home that need regular cleaning but are often neglected. Most of these chores only take a few minutes to accomplish, and when they’re done you can take pride in keeping a clean, healthy home.

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