The 8 dirtiest places in your apartment

Exposing the spots you might've missed

Crisp clean bathroom on pastel ombre background
(Image credit: @lindsey_isla)

Even if you’re on top of your everyday cleaning, some of the dirtiest places in your apartment might be getting looked over. Dirt, dust, grime, and build-up can easily make their way into the crevices of your apartment without you realizing — or maybe you're choosing to turn the other cheek. 

Instead of ignoring the hard-to-clean parts of your home, consider confronting them head-on for a deep cleaning that will last. Even for the most tidy apartment dwellers, there are always places in your apartment that could use a deeper look (and a deeper scrub). 

If you're on a kick to deep clean your apartment, here are the eight places in your space that may need extra attention. 

The dirtiest places in an apartment to keep an eye on

Don't skip these spots! For your cleanest living space yet, take a look at these grimy places and be sure to give them a little extra TLC.

1. The shower and tub 

Number one on the list is an obvious one: your bathroom. More specifically, one of the dirtiest places in your home is likely your shower and tub, a great place for germs, mildew, or even mold to build up. Since this is the room where you clean yourself, it’s important to have a bathroom cleaning checklist with daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks to keep things germ-free. Even if you don't have a lot of time, you can avoid creating more germ-thriving areas by wiping down the space quickly with disinfectant wipes (like these highly-rated Clorox ones from Amazon) and opening windows or doors to keep steam from being trapped. This moisture can be one of the reasons the bathroom is a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria. 

2. The toilet

Cleaning your toilet is never fun, but this doesn’t mean it can be skipped completely. The reasons this is one of the most bacteria-prone areas of your home is pretty clear but this is also typically the most dreaded on the list, which makes procrastination all too common. If you find yourself avoiding cleaning this bathroom fixture, there are plenty of toilet cleaning hacks that might make your cleaning routine a bit easier. 

3. Kitchen countertops

The kitchen is the number one place in your home that needs to be kept as tidy as possible for safety reasons. Your countertops are especially important to keep clean in order to keep food contamination from happening. Because this is the main place where people are handling foods, transferring germs can become a problem for unkempt counters. By ticking off your kitchen cleaning checklist and keeping counters free of grime and clutter, you can keep a safe home to prepare and eat food. 

4. The stovetop and oven 

This is the place in your home that sees the most food splattering, uneven cleaning, pest attraction, and leftover residues — the oven. As one of the most germ-prone places in your home, consider creating a regular routine for wiping down your stovetop and oven after every couple of uses (these special wipes on Amazon are perfect, according to customers). While you’re deep cleaning your oven, consider also tackling cleaning your microwave, a place where germs can also build up. 

5. Inside the fridge 

Your refrigerator sees it all. Spoiled food, opened packages, rotting produce, dirty containers, and cross-contamination are just a few reasons why your refrigerator could be a germ-prone space in your home. Besides the occasional deep cleaning, keeping your fridge tidy takes serious organizational skills. By creating a fridge organization system that works for you, you can avoid keeping expired foods and open containers in the fridge, which helps keep germs at bay. 

6. The living room

Typically living rooms are the meeting places where guests visit, making it one of the dustiest places in a home. This is also the room that sees the most dirty shoes. All that lounging on the couch with friends tends to add up to a lot of bacteria if you’re not regularly deep-cleaning your living room. From regularly vacuuming your rug to cleaning your couch, there are plenty of ways to keep a living room tidy and nice so that it serves you and your guests well. 

7. Kids’ rooms 

Those living with kids know how difficult it can be to keep their rooms tidy. An excess of toys, books, and blankets strewn across the floor is one thing, but keeping the room germ-free is another. Instead of obsessively focusing on how to keep things tidy, it may be worth looking into the bigger problem of excessive germs. Since kids often spread germs at schools and daycares, it can be essential to your home’s health to deep clean this room as often as possible. 

8. The gym or workout room 

If your rental apartment building has a gym, it may be kept clean by a janitorial staff. Still, with many of your neighbors and roommates sweating in the same room, it could be worth taking matters into your own hands when you arrive and leave the gym. With your landlord’s approval, you could leave paper towels and cleaning solutions in order to motivate others to clean the equipment. This could keep everything germ-free for longer periods between deep cleanings from the owners. For those with their own workout rooms, deep cleanings are necessary, but the daily routine of washing down your yoga mat or Peloton can go a long way. 

Now that you're aware of the dirtiest spots, it'll be easier to stay on top of keeping them clean. To make the process more bearable, there are numerous cute cleaning supplies worth stocking up on.

Kate Santos

Hello! I’m Kate Santos, a writer and photographer based in Los Angeles. In the design world, I got my start working as an Editorial Intern for Dwell magazine in San Francisco. Since then, I’ve written about design and architecture in many national magazines and online publications, including Playboy, Hunker, and The Culture Trip.

I grew up in a very old house in North Carolina and am still influenced by the rustic, charming, antique and aged elements of a home. Sustainability and longevity is extremely important to me and I believe learning to reuse materials or purchasing items you’ll love forever goes a long way. I also lean towards the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi when designing my own home, embracing the perfectly imperfect items I can find.