14 Places Where Dirt Hides in Your Home

Think your house is clean? Think again! Here are the 14 places where dirt likes to hide and how best to clean them.

Amanda Thomas
6-minute read
Episode #128

As the weather starts to turn cooler, it’s time to close the windows to keep out the chill. Summer is such a great time to air out your home and get that fresh air breezing through. Unfortunately, along with that lovely breeze come bugs, germs, and gunk.

Before you close up the windows and start cozying up to the fire, it’s time to discover the hidden dirt in your home…and get rid of it!.

So where is the dirt hiding? You’d be surprised! There are loads of places we don’t think of cleaning on a regular basis. Here are the 14 spots to check in your home:

  1. Drapes and curtains are a great place for germs and dirt to hide and not be seen. I recommend taking window treatments down at least twice a year. If the fabric is washable, toss it in the washing machine. Before throwing in the dryer, make sure the fabric won’t shrink in the process. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution. Choose to air dry instead and iron or steam out any wrinkles before re-hanging.

  2. Window blinds and shutters are also dust collectors. For a thorough cleaning of these window coverings, use a two-step process. First, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to suck up loose dust and dirt. Be sure to vacuum both sides of the blinds or shutters. The second step is to take a bucket of warm, soapy water (use a few generous squirts of Method or Dawn dishwashing soap) and an old sock and wipe down each individual slat. Put the old sock on your hand, like a glove, so you can wipe both sides of the slat in one movement. Rinse the sock often. Be sure to get in all cracks and crevices. If you want to go one step further, when the blinds or shutters are dry, take a dryer sheet and wipe each slat. This will make your blinds smell good and help repel future dust and dirt. Cleaning blinds or shutters is a big job so either break it down into a few days (upstairs this weekend, downstairs next weekend) or round up some helpers and assign one cleaning step to each person.

  3. Ceiling fans are champions at collecting dust. To quickly clean these once a month, use a Swiffer duster on an extender. For a deep cleaning a few times a year, go at your ceiling fans with the same process as window blinds. Vacuum first, then wipe down, and to prevent future dust from sticking, wipe with a dryer sheet. If you don’t have a brush attachment for your vacuum cleaner, try using an old pillow case. Insert the fan blade into the pillow case and then simply pull the dust off the blade and into the pillow case. If you’ve got especially dirty fan blades, you may want to empty that pillow case after each blade has been cleaned. Beware! If you are an allergy sufferer, this cleaning method is probably not for you. Check out more on the pillowcase technique and see images here.

  4. Air vents and their narrow openings are perfect dust catchers. Monthly vacuuming of these guys is pretty sufficient but once a year, take the time to remove the vent panel so you can thoroughly vacuum and wipe down the entire panel, inside and out. While that panel is off, run the vacuum cleaner attachment hose into the venting as far as you can to suck out any extra dust hiding out in there.

  5. Air ducts which are connected to those air vents are a prime location for gathering dirt, dust, and germs. You can do this job yourself if you purchase the right tools but let me tell you, it is well worth hiring a team of professionals. I had this done in my home about 6 months ago and I was amazed at what I saw coming out of our air ducts. The professionals have all the right tools and a commercial vacuum to suck up any residual gunk that falls out of the ducts. I had to do a little vacuuming once they were done but I felt like I was breathing much cleaner air. Check online for discount coupons to have this service provided in your home.

  6. Area rugs trap all sorts of dirt and dust. If you’ve got small rugs that are washable, run the rugs through a heavy-duty hot water wash. You may want to choose to air dry the rugs, especially if there is a rubber backing on them. This slip-resistant coating tends to crumble and disintegrate from the heat of a dryer. If you have larger area rugs, sprinkle the rug with a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Let this sit for 15-20 minutes to absorb odors and then vacuum thoroughly. As tough as it might be, flip the rug over and vacuum the underside as well. Then, roll up the rug and clean the area that is normally covered by the rug. Once all that’s done, put the rug back in place.