15 things you forget in a deep clean

Is your home as clean as you think it is?
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It’s usually pretty easy to see when your home is due for a deep clean. Things like grubby floors, dusty furniture and grimy shower screens are difficult to ignore, but there are also many less visible areas in your home you may be forgetting to clean altogether. 

Using a home cleaning checklist is one way to ensure every inch of your home is primped and polished, but here are 15 tasks many lists gloss over entirely.

Add one or two of these jobs to your cleaning checklist each week for a home that’s clean all day every day.

1. Coffee machine

Note: Check your manufacturer’s instruction manual before you begin.

To clean your coffee machine, remove and clean the filter basket and wipe the inside of the portafilter. Use a soft brush or toothbrush to remove coffee grounds or residue. Use a damp cloth to wipe the shower screen on the underside of the grouphead.

Flush water through the portafilter and steaming wand for 10-20 seconds before you resume normal use.

Remove drip trays and wash them with warm soapy water.

Wipe over the outside of the machine with a damp cloth.

Consult your manufacturer for specialty cleaning products.

White butlers pantry with home coffee machine
A clean coffee machine will run more efficiently and make better-tasting coffee. (Credit: Photography: John Downs | Styling: Tahn Scoon)

2. Kitchen waste bin

Empty bin and wipe down inside walls and base with warm soapy water. Allow to dry in the sun if possible.

3. Exhaust fans

Remove covers in both kitchen and bathroom and wipe or wash clean in soapy water. Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe clean fan blades or vacuum with brush attachment.

4. Dishwasher

Consult manual for manufacturer’s instructions on how to run a deep clean cycle in your empty dishwasher, usually on a hot cycle for an extended period.

White shaker kitchen with blue tiled splashback
And don’t forget to clean your dishwasher filter while you’re at it! (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

5. Door knobs and light switches

Wipe over with a damp cloth, use a little diluted vinegar to move stubborn marks. A few drops of eucalyptus oil on the cloth will freshen up each room as you go.

6. Washing machine

Regularly wipe down seals, doors and lids for both top- and front loader machines.

Consult manual for manufacturer’s instructions for a periodic clean of your washing machine without a load of clothes in it. Especially if you always wash in cold water, it is usually recommended to run a hot wash to clear and build-up of grease.

White shaker style laundry with patterned blue floor tiles
Keeping your washing machine clean will prevent mould and soap scum build up. (Credit: Photography: John Downs | Styling: Tahn Scoon)

7. Bathroom accessories and cabinet

Wipe over or soak soap and toothbrush holders, canisters and utility trays. Run drinking glasses through dishwasher. Take out everything from your cabinet and wipe shelves clean. Dispose of any toiletries or pharmaceuticals that are past their use-by date.

8. Microwave

Food remnants, oil and pasta sauce can get stuck to the inside of your microwave. If you have white vinegar (or a lemon) on hand, here’s how to banish grime and odours in your microwave.

9. Oven

Cleaning guru Shannon Lush says cleaning your oven and stovetop should only take five minutes. Here’s her speedy and foolproof oven cleaning method.

Black and white kitchen with splashback window above stove
Cleaning your oven should only take five minutes, says cleaning guru Shannon Lush. (Credit: Photography: Jacqui Turk | Styling: Alanna Smit)

10. Skirting boards

Dirty skirting boards can bring down the look of an entire house. Plus, the longer you leave them, the harder they are to clean. Here are three ways to keep skirting boards dust free!

11. Bathroom mirror

One spot that’s easily missed is the bathroom mirror. But if you look closely at the mirror, you won’t find the fairest of them all, you’ll find toothpaste splatters, dust and fingerprint marks! Buff your way to a sparkling clean mirror using a microfibre cloth and a solution of water, rubbing alcohol and a drop of your favourite dish soap.

Travertine bathroom with arched mirrors and double vanity
Take a closer look. Are your bathroom mirrors covered in grime and spots? (Credit: Photography: Louise Roche | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

12. Top of kitchen appliances

When was the last time you dusted the top of your fridge, or the microwave? Dust builds up in these spots and is rarely disturbed.

Give the tops of your kitchen appliances a once over with a microfibre cloth, or if it’s been a while and the dust has adhered to the surface with a layer of grease, bust through it with some sugar soap

13. Indoor plants

Dusting indoor plants regularly not only makes your plants look healthy and shiny, it also allows them to photosynthesise better! Use a soft cloth and neem oil spray for best results.

Modern open plan living and dining room with monstera plant on TV unit
Keep indoor plants happy and healthy by dusting the leaves regularly. (Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread | Styling: Corina Koch)

14. Air-conditioner filters

Did you know that most reverse-cycle air-conditioner manufacturers recommend cleaning the filter every fortnight? Failing to clean the filter can lead to dust, dirt and mould build up, which is just nasty!

A dirty filter can also cause the machine to cool and heat poorly, leading to higher energy bills.

15. Kitchen cabinets

Your kitchen bench probably gets wiped over with an anti-bacterial solution several times a day. But how about your kitchen cabinet doors? Spils, splatters and grime can build up on cabinet fronts over time, so be sure to give them a good wipe down with warm soapy water regularly.

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