How to Clean These 11 Tricky Spots in Your Home

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Reviewed by Asya Biddle
Updated April 15, 2022
Woman vacuum baby green wall
Photo: Johner Images / Getty Images

Because you can’t exactly stick your mattress in the washer

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We’ve all got those problematic areas that we can never seem to get clean enough—but don’t throw in the rag just yet. With some unconventional tools and wisdom, you can solve the puzzle. Here’s how to tackle the top 11 tricky-to-clean spots in your home.

1. Clean Your Showerhead

Modern showerhead water circle showerhead
Photo: Karl Tapales / Getty Images

Not enough power in your shower? That crusty film of mineral deposits is likely to blame. Luckily, it’s easy to clean your showerhead and get it running good-as-new. All you have to do is dismount the showerhead and leave it in a bowl of white vinegar overnight. In the morning, give it a quick rinse, reinstall it, and prepare for a spa-worthy shower experience.

2. Don’t Forget About the Jetted Bathtub

You can actually clean a jetted bathtub with the same detergent you put in your dishwasher. Simply add a drop or two to a tub full of warm water, then run the jets and let them go for about 15 minutes. Follow this by draining the tub and giving it a good wipe down and rinse. For the jets themselves, you can purchase specially-made cleaners or use a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water.

Pro tip: If you’re headed to a hotel with a jetted tub, pack a dishwasher pod in your luggage. Fill the tub with hot water, then throw in the pod and let the jets run for about 10 minutes. Afterward, drain the tub and refill it again with cold water.

3. Remove Candle Wax

That warm candle scape really brought some ambiance to the room, but one overzealous blow caused a wax explosion that is way less cute. Don’t let this dim your light, though—you can remove candle wax from most surfaces with the help of a blow dryer. Simply apply low heat until the wax melts, then wipe it up with a microfiber cloth dipped in a 1:2 solution of vinegar and water.

4. Wash Your Yoga Mat 

Funky odors and stains on your yoga mat can really bring down your downward dog. Don’t let this harsh your mellow—try running the mat through the delicate cycle on your washer with some mild detergent. Be sure to pull it out before the spin cycle to avoid any stretching. You can also give it a scrub in your bathtub with some warm water and gentle detergent. 

5. Clean Your Single-Use Coffee Maker

Certain parts of your single-cup coffee maker are tricky to clean. You can handwash the reservoir and run the coffee-ground cup holder through the dishwasher, but the exit needle at the bottom of the single-use cup holder isn’t so easy to tackle (until now). A bent paperclip is all you need to push out any stubborn clogs. Don’t forget to descale every three to six months by running 48 ounces of white vinegar through the machine.

6. Wipe Down the TV Screen

Clean tv cloth spray plants
Photo: d3sign / Getty Images

If you’ve ever attempted or thought about cleaning your TV screen with window cleaner, don’t do it—regular cleaners can damage your screen, particularly if it has an anti-glare coating. Instead, let a microfiber cloth (the kind meant for glasses) tackle dust and fingerprints. For stubborn spots, use a cleaning cloth that’s specifically meant for electronics.

7. Clean the Computer Keyboard

Your computer’s keyboard is full of hard-to-reach crevices that attract dirt and dust like a magnet. Compressed air is always a trusted standby solution for cleaning your keyboard, but sometimes it leaves behind stubborn chunks that are hard to clean away. When this happens, unplug the keyboard, turn it upside-down, then give it a few gentle taps to dislodge the dust. You can also clean around the keys using a cotton swab dipped in a 1:1 vinegar and water solution.

“When there’s food grime, debris, or a lotion layer left on the keyboard, we also utilize a small amount of the vinegar/water solution with a barely damp microfiber cloth,” says Asya Biddle, Angi Expert Review Board member and manager of The Dust Busters janitorial company in Williamsport, PA.

8. Use Vinegar on Window Blinds

Your blinds are an area that you never think to clean, particularly because it’s a challenging and sneeze-inducing task that you’d rather ignore."Window blinds are one of the hardest surfaces to keep clean, but the more frequently they’re dusted, the easier they are to maintain,” says Biddle. Vacuum these with your cleaner’s brush attachment. Then, clean the blinds with a wipe down from a microfiber cloth dipped in a 1:1 vinegar and water solution.

Biddle advises the following: "If the process of wiping down each blind with the vinegar and water solution is too tedious, try this instead. Fill your bathtub with the vinegar and water solution, then place one full blind in at a time, agitating the water by moving the blind in and out of the water until you get the desired result. Remove the blind from the tub, lay it fat on a surface, wipe it over with a microfiber rag, and then allow it to air-dry the rest of the way." 

If you still hate this chore, consider hiring a local house cleaning service to tackle it for you.

9. Clean the Air Vents

Cleaning your air vents is crucial for reducing dust in your home, but it’s not the easiest job to accomplish. You can grab light dustings with a small vacuum or a microfiber cloth wrapped around a tool such as a butter knife. For seriously soiled vents, unscrew the whole thing from the wall and wash it in hot water with dish detergent. Allow it to dry fully before reattaching it.

10. Vacuum Your Mattresses

Vacuum mattress wooden bed frame
Photo: LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

Whether it’s regular dirt and dust or a sudden mess of liquid or bodily fluid, cleaning a mattress is a difficult task. You can get rid of dirt with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment. For liquids, use a damp sponge and some upholstery cleaner or dish detergent, then allow to dry fully. Consider hiring a local mattress cleaning service for a complete clean.

11. Get Into Tiny Crevices

You don’t have to turn a blind eye to that gunk behind your bathroom faucet or other hard-to-reach crevices. Get in the groove with either a toothpick or a cotton swab, depending on the size of the space. 

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