Parts of the house that you don’t think of as “dirty” may actually be harboring more harmful bacteria than the toilet or the shower, simply because they don’t jump out as something that needs cleaning. It’s therefore important to give these areas a regular and thorough cleaning, since they can become even filthier than a garbage can if they are neglected for long enough.
Most dishwashers don’t completely sterilize their interior with each wash cycle. That means a lot of lingering food bacteria that is constantly multiplying if the dishwasher isn’t manually cleaned. Things get much worse if dishes are allowed to collect for days before being run.
A good cleaning solution designed specifically for dishwashers or even a cycle run with just a cup of white vinegar is usually fine for cleaning out the interior. Don’t forget the door gasket, however, as bacteria can hide out underneath it. Pay special attention to these with a damp towel and some spray cleaner or white vinegar.
In general, people change and launder their bed linens far too infrequently. It’s common to go weeks or months without washing sheets or pillowcases, but they really should be in the weekly laundry.
Pillows generally don’t require much washing if they’re covered properly with a pillowcase, but should still be washed at least once every six months in a hot cycle to kill off dust mites. Mattresses should be cleaned once every six months too, again provided they have been covered with sheets the whole time and spills haven’t soaked into them. To clean a mattress, first vacuum it with an upholstery attachment, then sprinkle baking soda over it and let it sit for 24 hours before vacuuming it up.
Carpets generally don’t reflect how dirty they are, especially if they are dark in color. Try to keep in mind all the bacteria being regularly dragged across them thanks to feet, food spills and pets, and have them steam cleaned at least once every few months, possibly more frequently if kids and pets are constantly all over it.