All the places you're probably forgetting to clean in your apartment

It happens

Light pink living room with white couch
(Image credit: Doman Decors)

You’ve swept the bathroom floors, emptied the trash, washed the dishes — now what? Cleaning your apartment from top to bottom can be a challenge, especially when it's difficult to notice more troublesome spots. While the more obvious areas, like the bathroom tub or kitchen counters, are typically the first to be cleaned, there may be hidden or forgotten spots in your house that could use a refresh. Turn your attention to those areas and you can enjoy a spotless home that can save you time and energy. 

Here's how to find the areas you're forgetting to clean and a list of common areas and items that get neglected. 

Do a top to bottom lookover

For Juliet Tenaglia, professional cleaner and owner of Bella Cleaning, learning how to clean your home means creating a system that helps you keep your space cleaner in the future with less effort. “The best way to keep up with your home is to keep things tidy each day,” advises Tenaglia. “By not letting the messes pile up, it is much easier to maintain than to have to do a complete overhaul.” 

It's sensible advice and pretty easy to find the places worth focusing your everyday tidying efforts. Her advice is to “wipe down the counters in the kitchen and bathroom each night, put your clothes in the laundry basket or hang them up, and fold blankets and straighten the pillows on your couch”. These simple tidying routines allow you to better focus on more needed areas when you get down to cleaning. But what about those areas you completely gloss over? Let's break it down.

High and low places

Your tidying routine is figured out and now you need to take an objective look at your space. “If you take a step back and look at the entire room, top to bottom, you may come across some tasks you typically don’t tackle," says Tenaglia. Some examples include scuff marks on walls, fingerprints on mirrors or windows, grease on upper cabinets, dust on ceiling fan blades, and more." Products such as Goof Off Remover are made to help remove unwanted scuff marks from a variety of surfaces, including walls.

Inside kitchen appliances

Hidden areas that aren’t perceptible also pose an issue. Tenaglia advises checking the interior of your kitchen appliances. When was the last time you cleaned out your air fryer or your toaster? While the surfaces of kitchen appliances are often wiped down, it can be tough to remember the insides. Think about the kitchen items that you also don't use as much — they likely need a refresh, too.

Behind your couch (and other furniture items)

Tenaglia also notes that cleaning behind furniture often gets missed. It's easy to remember sweeping around and sometimes even under couches, chairs, and tables. But have you pulled them back from the wall and taken a peek? You'll also want to incorporate vacuuming behind furniture into your routine. An ultra-light vacuum such as the Shark Rocket Corded Stick Vacuum can help reach hard-to-reach spots behind furniture or in corners.

Stainless steel appliances

Because of their finish, stainless steel appliances always look pretty shiny unless they're wildly dirty. This makes it a lot easier to forget about wiping them down. When it comes to her cleaning pet peeve, Tenaglia admits, “stainless steel is the bane of my existence." In her own home, she bought matte black stainless appliances to lessen the chance of noticeable fingerprints. Her cleaning secret when it comes to fingerprints or almost anything? “Dawn Dish Soap is one of our favorite go-to products,” she says. “Dawn diluted in water in a spray bottle can clean anything and everything. Kitchens, bathrooms, mirrors, glass, and floors will all sparkle by using this product. I always keep it handy”.

Corners and ledges

These spots are easy to forget but can collect dust and allergens. This goes for any room in your home. Think about the last time you swept the corners behind your toilet or the windowsill in your bedroom (or second bedroom.

If you’ve forgotten these areas in your apartment, Tenaglia’s advice is to make it a priority. “Keeping your home clean is essential to avoid getting sick or to manage allergies," she says. "If it is not something you enjoy doing yourself, make it a priority to hire someone who does." 

If you’re tackling it on your own, her company even has TikTok clips that function as how-to videos for cleaning your space the right way. It's a good excuse to spend some time on social media in between spending time cleaning your home’s problem areas.

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.