Here's what to tackle during your next cleaning session.

Here's what to tackle during your next cleaning session. Credit: Getty Images/TNS/Sam Edwards

Most of us would probably point to a bathroom or frequently used outside entrance if asked to name the dirtiest area of the house — but dirt lurks in some unexpected places. Here's what to tackle during your next cleaning session.

1. Faucets

Every couple of months, remove the faucet aerator by twisting it counterclockwise, then soak it in vinegar for at least 15 minutes. (Note how it goes back together.) Gently brush all parts with a toothbrush to remove any remaining residue, rinse well, then screw it back on.

2. Handles and switches

Use a microfiber cloth dampened with your favorite cleaning product to wipe down handles and switches during your normal cleaning routine.

3. Above the kitchen cabinets

Break out the stepladder and your vacuum's hose attachment (or a wet/dry vac), or a small hand broom and dustpan. Do this task first so any stray dust lands on surfaces you have yet to clean.

4. Bathtub

Dry off the tub or shower after each use to reduce bacteria growth. Disinfect regularly too: Fill a spray bottle with a product that contains at least 3% hydrogen peroxide and keep that near the tub. Lightly mist a dry tub, and you're done. For whirlpool tubs, cycle disinfectant through the pipes per manufacturer's directions.

5. Fridge interior

Avoid using chemical cleaners here. Instead, fill your sink with hot water and dishwashing liquid. Remove items from one refrigerator shelf at a time, then remove the shelf itself. Wash it in the sink, wipe dry with a microfiber cloth, then put back.

6. Kitchen sink

Wash the sink with soap and water daily and disinfect it with kitchen cleaner once or twice a week.

7. Toilet

The best cleaners for the walls around the toilets contain enzymes to break down the organic material. Spray the walls and let sit for at least a few minutes so the enzymes can do their work. Then wipe down with a damp towel.

8. Remote control

Use a disinfectant wipe to clean remotes often. To get in between the buttons, try a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

9. Stove

You'll have to pull the stove away from the wall. Make this easier and protect your flooring with furniture sliders under the feet of the stove. (A bath mat with the carpet-side down works, too.) If you have a gas stove with a flexible hose, pull until the hose is almost — but not fully — extended. Once it's pulled out, scrape off buildup with a plastic putty knife, then spray the sides of the oven with oven cleaner. Use a good all-purpose cleaner on the adjacent cabinets and floor.

10. Toothbrush cup

Soak the cup in warm water mixed with a little bleach for a half-hour. Rinse, then soak in clean water for another 30 minutes to remove the bleach residue. Better yet, use a cup you can toss in the dishwasher instead.

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