35 things you are forgetting to do that are making your home kinda gross

Don’t worry, these oversights are easy to fix.

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With so much going on in your life, sometimes home maintenance gets put on the back burner. Have you ever stopped to take a deep breath, only to realize there are so many basic things you’re forgetting to do that are making your home a little, well, disgusting?

Not to worry; here’s a list of those things around the house that tend to creep up on you — along with quick ways to address them. Now you can take care of them before you have that startling moment when your mom or out-of-town guests are about to arrive and your stomach drops through the floor. You can thank me later...


Clean out window tracks & other narrow spaces

Solution: The gap-cleaning brushes that get into tight areas

You get your whole kitchen sparkling clean, but then you notice that the sealant around your kitchen sink is grungy, and you just can’t clean it. Well, now you can with these gap-cleaning brushes that are designed to reach into those tight spaces, thanks to their ultra-narrow design. Also perfect for window tracks and sink fixtures, they’re outfitted with long, elevated handles that keep your hand out of the way while you clean.


Protect the bottom of your oven from food spillover

Solution: These oven liners that make cleaning the oven obsolete

Cleaning the oven has to be the worst kitchen chore, but with one of these nonstick liners on the floor of the oven, you can avoid doing it for good. Suitable for both gas and electric ovens, these liners are made from PFOA- and BPA-free Teflon, and are heat- resistant to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. They go right in the dishwasher for reuse after your casserole spills over.


Dust under appliances & furniture

Solution: This microfiber duster that’s extra long and narrow

With a flat, flexible head that’s designed to get into those tight spaces, this duster is built to reach under — and behind — large appliances and furniture. The double-sided duster has fluffy microfiber on one side that conforms to uneven surfaces, as well as a flatter weave for maximum cleaning contact on flat surfaces. The head is machine-washable, and OXO’s trademark grip makes this easy to hold in your hand.


Remove hair & gunk from clogged drains

Solution: These flexible barbed sticks that pull out all kinds of debris

Ignoring slow or clogged drains is one strategy, but it’s not the way to actually get them unclogged. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need to call the plumber — try these drain clog removers first. The flexible sticks feature barbs that fish out hair and gunk quickly and easily. They’re suitable for use in any drain and can be rinsed off for reuse.


Deep-clean your grout & fixtures to make your bathroom really sparkle

Solution: The power scrubber that targets small but gnarly jobs

Nothing says “clean” like a bathroom with sparkling white grout, but it can be a pain in the backside to remove all that dirt and grime. This power scrubber is like an ultra-effective electric toothbrush that rotates 60 times per second. Use it to scrub shower drains and sink fixtures, too.


Scrub off the food that’s stuck on the inside of your microwave

Solution: This “angry mama” that steams off the gunk

Cleaning the microwave when it’s covered with stuck-on food residue can be a pain in the heinie, but the Angry Mama microwave cleaner is so furious, she make this chore easy. All you do is fill this little gadget with vinegar and water, then put her in the microwave for seven minutes, and steam will emerge from her head. Once the cycle is done, the stuck-on mess will have loosened, and all that’s left for you to do is wipe it off.


Clean the residue out of your washing machine

Solution: These tablets that whisk away grime and soap buildup

The washer is another thing that just doesn’t get much attention... until it gets coated in grime and soap reside, and worse — it begins to smell. Keep your clothes from taking on a mildewy odor — and keep your washer performing at its peak — with these cleaning tablets that couldn’t be easier to use. Throw one in, run a cycle, and the whole machine will be squeaky clean.


Dust your ceiling fan blades

Solution: This extendable duster that cleans both sides of the blades at once

It’s so frustrating to lie in bed looking at the dusty ceiling fan and wonder how in the world you’re going to get it clean — standing on the bed just isn’t ideal. The handle of this duster telescopes from 27 to 47 inches in length so that fan is easily reachable, and the microfiber head captures dust and grime like a magnet. Plus, the donut-style design means you can tackle both sides of each blade at once.


Use the herbs in the fridge before they go bad

Solution: This container that preserves herbs in the fridge for weeks

Fresh herbs add so much to home cooking, but they’re expensive and can go bad so quickly — and no one likes a container of wilted cilantro in the fridge. This BPA-free herb keeper extends freshness by hydrating your greens and promoting air circulation. Use this to preserve parsley, cilantro, basil, and even asparagus for up to two weeks.


Clean & refresh your garbage disposal

Solution: These pods keep the disposal clean and stink-free

It’s easy to ignore the disposal and just keep using it until it causes a problem, but the better idea is to head problems off before they arise. Intended for once-a-week use, these foaming cleaning pods use the power of natural citric acid to clear away gunk and food debris, while leaving behind a fresh lemon scent. The formula meets EPA standards and is biodegradable.


Wipe your feet when you walk in the door

Solution: The mat that catches dirt & moisture before it gets inside

When you’re in a hurry, it’s easy to forget to thoroughly wipe your shoes before you come in the door — and guests can be even worse about dragging mud and dirt inside. Get this indoor doormat made from ultra-absorbent microfiber to soak up all the water, mud, dust, and grime from your shoes before it has a chance to get tracked around. It has a nonslip backing and is machine-washable for upkeep.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 3


Remove the lint from deep inside your dryer vent

Solution: This 40-foot brush that can go where your hands can’t

You may think that when you clean the fluff off the lint screen, you’re all set — but a ton of lint collects within the dryer itself, and if you’re not cleaning it regularly, it can hamper your dryer’s performance and even create a fire hazard. To reach deep into the vents to grab all that buildup, this cleaning brush has sturdy, lint-grabbing bristles and a flexible handle that extends up to 40 feet.


Shield your mattress from spills & dust mites

Solution: This highly rated mattress protector that’s soft and breathable

Made with a soft knit-jersey material, this waterproof mattress protector guards your mattress against stains and spills, but won’t change the feel of it while you’re sleeping. Not only that, but it shields against allergens and dust mites, so you don’t have to wake up to a stuffy nose. And unlike many mattress protectors, it’s breathable and noise-free.

  • Available sizes: 5


Remove the pet hair from your clothing & furniture

Solution: A fan-favorite pet hair remover that’s effective and eco-friendly

You love your furry friends, but what you don’t love is the hair they leave all over your clothing and furniture. Boasting more than 100,000 perfect five-star ratings on Amazon, this reusable pet hair remover isn’t just wildly effective, it’s also eco-friendly since there are no sheets or tape to peel off and throw away. Just roll it back and forth a few times, and loose hair will be stored in the catch chamber for disposal.


Clean up the laundry detergent that has dripped out of the bottle

Solution: The pedestal with a tray that eliminates detergent messes

If you use liquid detergent from those large economy-size jugs, you know how easy it is to end up with slippery spills all over the machine and laundry room floor. This ingenious pedestal eliminates that mess with a built-in tray. It also enables you to get every last drop from the bottle since it perches it at a slight tilt for easy pouring.


Keep odors to a minimum in your fridge

Solution: A cute little mushroom guy that guards against nasty food smells

Putting baking soda in your fridge is an age-old trick to prevent bad smells from taking over, but this little mushroom-shaped dude is a step up from that yellow box. Simply pour some baking soda into his belly, and he’ll release that odor-fighting power from the cutouts in his mushroom cap. Let him stand guard the same way that bulky, unattractive box used to — it’s so much more fun.


Protect pantry staples from pests & staleness

Solution: These airtight canisters that are impenetrable to bugs & air

Keep moths, ants, and other creepy crawlies out of your dry goods while also creating an enviably organized pantry with these food storage containers. They’ll lock out air, ensuring food freshness, and will help you keep a better inventory of your dry goods. Both practical and attractive, this set of four containers is freezer, microwave, and dishwasher-safe, and has earned itself 4.6 out of five stars from Amazon reviewers.


Remove crumbs & sauce spills from between the stove & the counter

Solution: These gap covers that keep messes at bay in the first place

When you clean your counters, it’s almost impossible to keep crumbs from falling onto the floor — they disappear right down into the gap between the counter and the oven. Likewise, sauce inevitably drips between that crevice, too. Ward all that off with these silicone gap covers that bridge that space. They can be trimmed to size and are easy to clean with just a damp cloth.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 3


Use different cutting boards to prevent cross-contamination when prepping food

Solution: These color-coded cutting boards that help keep things safe in the kitchen

Cross-contamination when you’re prepping food can be risky — no one wants bacteria from raw chicken to get anywhere near the salad. To keep things safe, switch to these cutting boards that are color-coded to prevent scenarios just like that. Icons at the top remind you which board is for which food group, and the included stand makes them easy to store.


Check that your meat is cooked to a safe temperature

Solution: This meat thermometer that eliminates the guessing game

Undercooked meat? No thanks. The only accurate way to know when a piece of meat is done is to check its internal temperature with a meat thermometer, and this one has earned a sky-high 4.7-star overall rating after 71,000 reviews. It delivers a near-instant reading on the backlit display, and magnetizes to your fridge when you’re not using it. Bonus: It has a built-in bottle opener, so you can crack open a cold one while grilling.


Prevent cat litter from getting tracked all over your floors

Solution: This mat that traps the litter as your kitty exits the box

If you can’t stand how much litter your cat tracks all over the house, you need this mat that traps it right outside the box. The durable mesh design snags the litter from kitty’ paws and keeps it there — so it doesn’t get all over the floors. It’s waterproof and soft, so your cat won’t mind walking on it.

  • Available sizes: 2
  • Available colors: 5


Wipe off your dog’s paws before they come inside

Solution: This compact paw cleaner that makes it easy to keep your floors mud-free

When you spend a lot of time trying to keep your house clean, you don’t want your dog to mess up your hard work with muddy paws, no matter how much you love him. This dog paw washer makes it so easy to remove gunk off his feet before he comes inside. Just fill it with water, stick a paw in, and twist — the flexible bristles will remove debris. It’s compact, so you can take it on the go to keep your car squeaky clean, too.

  • Available sizes: 3
  • Available colors: 8


Keep grease splatter off your stove & walls

Solution: A mesh splatter screen that keeps the grease in the pan where it belongs

Fried food is delicious, but it sure can make a mess (you know how your stove looks after you’ve made bacon in the morning). This splatter screen is made with fine stainless steel mesh to keep the grease in the pan where it belongs, while still allowing steam to escape. It’s the easiest way to keep grease off your stove and wall, and it’s dishwasher-safe for cleaning.

  • Available sizes: 4


Clean small messes as you go

Solution: A handheld vacuum that’s ideal for quick pickups

It’s hard for your house to turn into a big mess if you’re vigilant about cleaning up the little messes right when they happen. This handheld vacuum is an excellent tool to have when you’re applying the clean-as-you-go strategy. The rechargeable vacuum works on hard surfaces, carpet, and upholstery, and its cordless design lets you maneuver it into tight spaces.


Check the status of the dishes in the dishwasher

Solution: A magnet that answers the “clean or dirty” question once and for all

Don’t run the risk of contaminating clean dishes by starting to load in your dirty ones — get this magnet that lets everyone in your household know the status of the dishwasher. The magnet makes it easy to stick on, but it’s even compatible with non-magnetic stainless steel dishwashers, thanks to the included adhesive pads


Hunt down pet stains on floors & furniture

Solution: This black light that will help identify those trouble spots

As a dog or cat parent, it’s easy to get used to the smell of urine where your pet has had accidents in the past. This black light identifies those hidden spots, so you can deal with them before guests come over — just shut off the lights and switch it on. When you’ve located the source of the mysterious smell, give it a spritz with some stain remover designed for pet odors.


Descale your coffee maker

Solution: This cleaning solution that will have your coffee tasting better than you knew it could

Coffee fiends: You’ve probably gotten so used to how your coffee tastes that it probably never occurred to you that the inside of your coffee maker is likely covered in lime scale and other hard water residue. This descaling solution will remove all that, which means your morning brew will have a less metallic flavor. Give it a shot and taste the difference.


Protect linens & out-of-season clothes from moths

Solution: These vacuum storage bags that guard against moths & dust

Don’t just throw all those extra bed sheets, towels, and out-of-season clothes into boxes under your bed where moths and other pests can chew holes in them — and worse. Instead, get these vacuum storage bags that create an airtight seal to protect your belongings. Even better, they shrink down the contents by 80%, so you can store more in your closet.


Cover the open pet food cans in the fridge

Solution: These covers that fit pet food cans of all sizes

So your kitty loves wet food, but only eats a little at a time? Stop leaving that can uncovered in the fridge, because that’s downright gross, and forget the plastic wrap, too (it’s not eco-friendly). These pet food can covers are just what you need; made from BPA-free silicone, they lock in smells and have a universal fit that works with large and small cans alike.


Guard against hair & other clogs in your shower drain

Solution: This oddly shaped hair catcher that ensures your drain stays clear

A clogged shower drain is so aggravating, but there’s no need to let it become a problem. Just pick up the TubShroom hair catcher. Made from stainless steel, this odd-looking gadget grabs hair and other gunk before it has a chance to block your drain and cause a problem. You simply remove the TubShroom periodically to clean it off, and you’re set.


Clean the smudges & fingerprints from stainless steel appliances

Solution: The spray & cloth combo that makes stainless steel gleam

There’s nothing more chic than the look of stainless steel appliances, but they’re certainly a magnet for fingerprints, food smudges, and splatter from grease. This spray and microfiber cloth cleaning kit gets stainless steel sparkling again, and it’s earned an impressive 4.7-star overall rating on Amazon. What’s more, it provides a layer of protection that guards against future fingerprints and stains.


Remove the hard water stains from toilets & tubs

Solution: This pumice cleaner that can power through the toughest hard water stains

The most beautiful bathroom can be compromised by hard water stains — that discoloration that’s left behind from the mineral content in the water. Get those stains out with this pumice cleaner that can remove just about any hard water stain. Gentle but effective, it can be used on any porcelain or ceramic surface, and doesn’t require the use of cleaning fluids.


Protect your sink & vanity from beard trimmings

Solution: This unique apron that ensures your vanity won’t be covered with beard hair

Keep your bathroom clean when you’re doing a little beard maintenance with this apron. It goes around the neck, then attaches to the mirror with suction cups, creating a hammock that catches all the trimmings, so they can easily be disposed of once the manscaping is complete. Bonus: This is an easy way to keep drains from getting clogged, too.

  • Available colors: 2


Get the dust off your hard-to-clean electronics

Solution: This gel that gets into all the nooks and crannies of keyboards and remotes

Just because they’re hard to clean doesn’t mean that you should just neglect things like your computer keyboard, TV remote, and delicate items like your camera. This cleaning gel molds to tiny spaces, where it grabs onto dirt and dust. Pull up, and those crevices will be clean. The gel is reusable until it turns dark with dirt.


Repelling pests that want to take over your home

Solution: These ultrasonic gadgets that deter everything from mosquitoes to mice

Eliminate a pest problem before it starts — and without using smelly chemicals — with these ultrasonic repellers that annoy and deter pests. These devices emit a noise that’s undetectable to human ears, but which turns away all kinds of unwanted bugs, mosquitoes, roaches, and mice. Just plug them into any wall outlet and let them get to work.