They may hang motionless, but drapes and curtains are a magnet for dust mites, pet hair, mold, dander, and debris of all kinds. If someone in your house suffers from indoor allergies, cleaning the curtains regularly can help reduce allergen buildup. Simple panel curtains can usually be washed and dried at home and then steamed to release wrinkles. There are certain types of draperies you should take to a dry cleaner or other cleaning professional, including lace curtains, designs with embroidery or appliqué, those with pleats or complicated fabric construction, and draperies that are too big to fit into your washing machine. In between washings, experts recommend vacuuming curtains with a hose and brush attachment at least once a month to prevent debris from building up.
Considering that the kitchen is usually the dirtiest spot in any house—even dirtier than the bathroom—it’s no surprise that trash cans can become laden with germs. Even if you take out the trash regularly (which I sincerely hope you do), the can itself is still coming into contact with dirt, dust, old food, raw meat, decomposing vegetables, moldy leftovers, kitty litter, and whatever else we deem to be too old, too gross, or too disgusting to keep in the house. Clean the trash cans at least twice a month to prevent the spread of germs like E. coli, salmonella, trichinosis, and simple cold and flu bugs. Small pails can go into the dishwasher; wash large cans with hot water and a mild bleach solution or with a product designed for pet messes, which contain enzymes to break down bacteria. A hose works best, but apartment-dwellers can clean a large trash can in the shower. (Just remember to rinse out the tub afterward.)