Dirty Spots in Your Home Guests Always Notice

Are you hosting guests over the holidays? That usually means a whirlwind of preparations and cleaning. And there are some areas you definitely don’t want to miss. Here are 10 dirty spots in your home guests always seem to notice.

1. Glass and mirrors

Guests hopefully aren’t going to inspect every last detail of your home. But they’ll likely look through a window or check themselves out in a mirror at some point during their stay. So Merry Maids suggests taking the time to clean off all the smudges, toothpaste spatter, etc. Sparkling mirrors and glass can set a clean vibe for the whole room.

2. Bookcases

living room with a large bookcase

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It’s obviously ideal if you could dust your house from top to bottom before guests arrive. But if you’re short on time, focus on any open bookcases and shelving you have in spaces guests will be. Polite guests won’t be rummaging through all your possessions, but someone might pick up a book or framed photo off an open shelf to take a look. So don’t let them come away with a handful of dust, as well.

3. Baseboards

Cleaning baseboards might not seem like a good reason to break your back before company arrives. But you might want to make sure they’re not coated in a layer of dust and dirt. Odds are guests will bend down to plug something into an outlet or even sit on the floor when seating becomes scarce. And if they see baseboards that seem like they haven’t been cleaned in months, that might make them question the cleanliness of your entire home. So minimize the dust — at least in common areas. Any guests with allergies will especially appreciate it.

4. The bathroom

Bathrooms contain some of the germiest items in a home — clean your toothbrush holder ASAP if you haven’t lately — and any sign of dirt could make your guests cringe. According to HGTV, it’s actually the bathrooms that you should spend the most time cleaning, as guests will be in there alone and able to snoop, with bright lighting to help them examine the whole space. “Focus … on the things most people will actually use — the toilet, mirror, sink and counter,” HGTV suggests. And offer your guests fresh towels to give the room a truly pristine feel.

5. Pet fur

dog on couch with Christmas tree

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Those of us with animals become accustomed to a little pet fur floating around — on our furniture, on our clothes, in our food. It’s a way of life. But with guests around, the pets have to clean up their acts, too. Pet fur and visitors with allergies definitely don’t mix, and you should go above and beyond in your cleaning for them. But even animal lovers probably won’t enjoy sitting on a coach coated in your pet’s hair. So pick up visible fur from the furniture and floors. And for extra points, wash your pet’s toys, too, as guests might grab some of them for playtime.

6. The fridge

The kitchen always ends up becoming the heart of any holiday gathering, and guests probably will go into your refrigerator at some point. If it looks like you haven’t cleaned it out in a while, they might be hesitant to enjoy your cooking. So as you prepare your kitchen for guests, wipe down the surfaces in your fridge and dispose of any expired food. Be sure to disinfect the refrigerator door handle, too, as it’s a notorious spot for germs to congregate.

7. The microwave

Just like with your refrigerator, there’s a good chance guests will use your microwave during their visit. And if your exploded burrito is still haunting the inside, that’s not something they should see. But the good news is it takes minimal effort to get your microwave sparkling clean. According to The Kitchn, simply fill a microwave-safe bowl with water. Then, chop a lemon in half, squeeze its juice into the bowl and drop the rest of the lemon in, too. Microwave for 3 minutes, and let it stand for at least 5 more minutes, so the lemony steam can work its magic loosening gunk. Then, wipe it down with a cloth, and you’re done.

8. The kitchen sink

The best guests insist on clearing the plates after a meal and doing the dishes. Assist them on their quest to be helpful by providing an empty, spotless sink. Because the kitchen sink is a high-traffic area, you’ll want to get it as clean as possible to set the tone for the whole kitchen, according to HGTV. Get rid of food remnants, and put out fresh dish towels and sponges. Besides, a disinfected sink area will dramatically reduce the bacteria that could be spread around your kitchen, so that’s a win in itself.

9. Odd smells

tabby cat sitting in a litter box

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You might be used to certain smells in your home, but guests will notice them — both the good and the bad. Merry Maids specifically names pet items and the animals themselves, as well as trash cans and sinks (or garbage disposals) as areas you should cleanse of odors. For good measure, try some natural ways to make your entire home smell good. Diffuse essential oils, put out small bowls of vinegar to neutralize odors or even bake something that smells amazing to welcome your guests with good scents.

10. Clutter

Finally, clutter may not technically be the dirtiest or germiest thing in your home, but it does give off the impression that your cleaning habits aren’t up to par. So try to clear surfaces and put items in their designated places — shoes in closets, toys in baskets, etc. — before guests arrive. If you’re really pressed for time, HGTV even says it’s OK to move clutter to a storage bag or box, and put it somewhere guests won’t go. (Just promise you’ll sort it out soon after your visitors leave.) Your decluttered space will impart a calm, clean vibe to help you and your guests visit in comfort.

Main image credit: dszc/Getty Images


Mia B
Mia B6 days ago

thank you for sharing

Marija M
Marija M11 days ago

tks for sharing

Madison Idso
Madison Idso12 days ago

If people judge my home then they aren't welcome in my home. No time for nonsense. A perfect home is unneeded in my world.

Vincent T
Vincent T17 days ago

thank you for posting

Frances G
Frances G19 days ago

thank you

Richard B
Richard B22 days ago

Thank you

Christine D
Christine D22 days ago

My bathroom is always clean but as for the rest, I really don't care if there's a bit of dust or dirt here and there. I believe we need to be exposed to some dirt to keep our immune system active,

Lorraine Andersen

Thanks for sharing. I clean litter boxes twice a day, sometimes three and one can not always predict when odd smells will be forth coming!

Shirley Plowman
Shirley Plowman24 days ago