8 Dirty Secrets in Your Home
In denial about the crud that’s festering in the nooks and crannies of your home? The maintenance and cleaning pros we talked to say these eight jobs are among the grossest — and among the most important. One job could even save your life.
Deep breath …
#1 Cruddy Undersides of Rugs
Look under your area rugs for a nasty surprise — a sea of grit and dust — despite regular vacuuming.
What to do:
- Move furniture, fold over the rug, and vacuum dirt and dust from its underside. Sweep and mop the floor, too.
- While you’re under the hood, check the rug’s condition. If there’s no staining or discoloration, a good floor cleaning and vacuuming of the rug’s underside is enough.
- If pets, kids, or wine have left their mark, invest in a professional cleaning. A pro will run between $1.50 to $3 per square foot of rug, depending on the type of rug. Delicate natural fibers are usually more costly to clean than synthetics.
#2 Disgusting Disposal
Your kitchen has more germs than even your bathroom. And your garbage disposal and its splash guard flaps just might be the most disgusting place in the house — slimy, smelly, and befouled with old food.
What to do:
- Scrub the underside of the rubber flaps with an old toothbrush and warm, soapy water.
- Pour a 1:1 ratio of white distilled white vinegar and baking soda down the drain. Let it sit overnight and flush with boiling water to sanitize.
- Toss frozen cubes of white vinegar (just freeze it in an ice tray) down the disposal while it’s running. This will sharpen and sanitize the disposal’s grinding blades.
- Freshen up the drain with slices of lemon or other citrus fruit. Peels are OK, but if you have fruit to spare, the citrus acids will help disinfect and freshen.