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Room-by-room guide: How often should you clean that?

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

This cleaning guide will help you keep your house in order

It's hard enough to vacuum and dust on the reg, but what about the less common chores that stand between you and the pristine home of your dreams?

You know, those chores we'd all prefer to ignore. We caught up with home maintenance and cleaning expert Elizabeth Dodson of HomeZada to learn both how and when to clean the oft-forgotten corners of your home.

Bathroom

Ah, yes, the room we'd all like to forget on cleaning day. "Unfortunately, cleaning your bathrooms needs to be a regular occurrence, but you may not need to clean all the bathroom fixtures as often as you think," Dodson said. She suggested that homeowners deep clean the bathroom at least once a month, using the following tips for neglected corners:

Toilets. Spot clean as needed, but deep clean once monthly for a long-lasting shine. "Scrub with a cleaner made for toilets and a stiff brush to remove germs and mineral deposits for good," she said.

Shower heads. Give your shower heads the attention they need by soaking them once yearly to remove deposits. Dodson stated that you can use a vinegar and water solution to knock loose the debris for ideal water pressure.

Bathtub. Surprisingly, Dodson said you don't need to worry about cleaning the tub more than once per month, unless you want to. The main thing you want to avoid is the dreaded bathtub ring, so spray the tub with a bathroom cleaner and scrub away before stains start appearing.

Kitchen

You likely clean your kitchen regularly, but you need to pay attention to areas besides the sink and stovetop every now and then. This is super important to prevent the spread of germs.

Refrigerator. "Remove everything from your fridge once quarterly so you can effectively wipe down the inside of your unit," said Dodson. This is a healthy habit, too, since it will allow you to more easily check for expired foods.

Oven. Don't worry about the oven too much unless it starts producing smoke or odors from burnt-on food remnants. Dodson reported that you can spot clean as needed with an oven cleaner, or just a damp rag.

Backsplash. Look closely at your backsplash, and you'll likely notice that it is coated with grease and dust. "Wipe it down with a good cleaner once monthly to nix the buildup," Dodson said. Get the shine without the residue by using a chemical-free product like Green Works All-Purpose Cleaner.

Flooring

The way you clean your floors depends on the type of flooring in your home. "Feel free to vacuum any flooring in your home to remove dust," said Dodson. "This should happen at least every two weeks in order to reduce allergens." If you have tile or linoleum floors, use a cleaner every two weeks to mop and address spills. Wood flooring only needs dusting once monthly, and an occasional spray with a wood cleaner to create luster and remove gunk.

Household extras

Of course, there are hidden corners throughout the house. Consider the following three nasty household items that need occasional attention:

Windows and blinds. Dodson suggested you wipe down your windows and ledges once per month, but spend the money on professional window and blind washing once per year for a beautiful finish.

Toy chests. "Children carry germs, so cleaning their toy chests at least bimonthly will reduce the risk of colds," she said. Use a simple disinfecting cleaner for great results.

Baseboards. Once quarterly, use a gentle brush vacuum attachment to pick up dust off the baseboards. "Any additional baseboard work is likely unnecessary," said Dodson.

Want more cleaning tips? Head on over to the Zen of Zada for additional home maintenance information.

This post was sponsored by Green Works.

More about cleaning

Goodbye, gunk: How to clean mineral buildup in your sink or shower
Extremely odd places people clutter in their home
How often should you wash that? A laundry guide

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