4 Things You Might Be Forgetting to Clean

Spring cleaning is upon us. Here are some things everyone forgets to clean.

Spring symbolizes new beginnings, a time to clear out the physical and metaphorical dust. Clutter and grime have a way of affecting your mental health, and tackling a task that might have been overlooked too often in the past can be particularly satisfying.

But even in a top-to-bottom spring clean, there are a few things busy parents might miss.

Garbage cans

If you have ever lifted a garbage bag out of your trash can and caught a whiff of what lies below, you know that it can get super stinky. First of all, using higher-quality trash bags that aren’t prone to ripping can keep liquids and goo contained.

To wash your trash receptacle, don some rubber gloves and rinse it out. Then use a disinfectant spray to kill the germs and neutralize the smells, scrubbing the sides and bottom thoroughly. Let the can dry completely before using again.

Sprinkle some baking soda in the bottom to help with odors in the future.

Washing machine

Hard water and detergent build up inside of a washing machine, and dirt tends to cling to these deposits.

According to HGTV, the easiest and least expensive way to do this is with two household items — bleach and vinegar, used separately (never mixed!). Set your machine to hot and let it fill with water. Add a quart of bleach and let the washer run for a minute to mix. Then, open the lid and let the mixture sit in the machine for an hour. When time is up, close the lid and let the cycle run fully. After the machine has drained, repeat with one quart of vinegar instead.

After the cycles have run, wipe down the interior of the washing machine with equal parts vinegar and water.


If your spice rack contains the same spices that it came with and you received it as a wedding gift a decade ago, it is definitely time for a spring cleaning.

Alex Wilkens, VP of Product for The Spice House, goes by this rule of thumb: “Buy enough spice to get you through six months to up to one year. Whole spices will last much longer than ground spices — once you grind the spice, now you are creating more surface area, and the volatile compounds within the spice are released.”

But replacing your entire spice rack with high-quality spices can get pricey, so he recommends starting with the basics: Black pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, a seasoning rub, Italian herbs and chili powder.

Unused tech

If you still have your flip phone from the ’90s sitting in a box in storage, it’s gotta go. Tech that is just collecting dust isn’t made for the garbage can, though. Electronics can contain hazardous materials and need to be disposed of properly. Check with your municipalities for any annual electronic disposal days. Make sure to wipe all of your personal data before handing it over, though.

Cheryl Leahy is a mom of two who can be seen in lifestyle TV segments across the country sharing the latest products and services.

Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.


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