Some places are just magnets for dirt and dust at home. It pays to know where those pain points are, so you can take a few extra minutes to wipe them down more frequently. We reached out to Melissa Maker, the green cleaning expert behind the book Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day and cleaning company Clean My Space for her take on the three nonnegotiable places you should be cleaning .
Tackling these three messy areas takes less than five minutes, but the payoff is big. Happy cleaning.
1. Your front entrance, or wherever you most frequently enter your home
A logical spot to start your touch-up clean, the main entrance is the space everyone has to pass through to get into your home, so it tends to accumulate a lot of grime. "About 80 percent of the dirt that comes into your home gets tracked in through that front door," says Maker. "If it's not cleaned on a regular basis, you'll notice your home gets a lot dustier and grittier." Luckily, it's easy to spruce up: Simply give the floor a good sweep, vacuum, or mopping and shake the entry mats in your front hallway.
2. The fridge
How many times has a little food spill mysteriously appeared in your fridge? Maker says it's important to deal with them right away since they only accumulate over time. Just dampen a reusable cleaning towel (because paper towels are wasteful!) with a blend of half a teaspoon of dish soap and two cups of water, or add some baking powder for more stubborn stains.
By timing your cleaning with your weekly grocery shopping, you can also remind yourself to finish up your food before it goes bad and stinks up the rest of your fridge. "Every time I go grocery shopping, I pull everything out of the fridge and give the shelves a spray and a wipe. If there's any old food, I will move that to the front and put the fresher stuff in the back," Maker recommends. Bonus: Getting into this habit will cut down on food waste, too.
3. Your bathroom sink counter
"Think about what goes on on that countertop and sink! It's a magnet for dirt," warns Maker. Once a week, she recommends removing all your beauty and personal care items from the counters and giving them a wipe-down with a microfiber cloth (she swears by these for picking up dust, dirt, and bacteria without leaving streaks behind) and that all-purpose cleaning solution you used on your fridge. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your mixture to make it smell better and boost its antimicrobial power. Once you wipe down the counter, be sure to get your sink and mirror too.
From there, Maker recommends decluttering all the items on your counter. "I'll always make sure I don't have extra things on there that I don't need," she says. Everything you do decide to keep out should be wiped down. "Over time, your bottle of face wash is going to get grimy. Instead of letting it get there, give it a one-second wipe down and put it back. It just looks and feels so much better."
And there you go! A little wipe-down can go a long way toward making your home feel spick-and-span on any given day.