I’ll tell you something, y’all—I never really recovered from the shock when I moved the fridge away from the wall and used a stepstool to peer at the top of the kitchen cabinets so I could clean them: I am here to tell you “having the vapors” is real. I was prostrate on the couch, quivering with disgust for a week. Well, I wanted to be, anyway. Instead, I found ways to clean those nasty, neglected places. Check out these tips for cleaning hard-to-reach places.
Cleaning Hard-to-Reach Places in the House
First thing is, don’t go hurting yourself. Falling off a stepstool or getting crushed by a toppling refrigerator is not a dignified way to go. Enlist helpers who are taller, stronger (and more gullible), then step back and watch.
At some point, your helpers are bound to catch on, so you’ll need to help. Here’s where some useful tools come in handy, like a telescoping duster, which helps you wipe off dust and debris on top of kitchen cabinets and above your grandma’s highboy. Some of these dusters have adjustable heads that bend and lock to a ninety-degree angle to sweep more of the unseen surface overhead. You can also use one of these extendable dusting sticks to clean ceiling fans and overhead light fixtures.
If you can’t move your appliances to get at the grimy dust under and behind them (and your gullible helpers turn out to be less gullible than you thought), try wrapping a broomstick with a thin microfiber dust cloth, secured to the broom handle with a rubber band, and use it like a giant cotton swab under and behind your fridge.
Your vacuum attachments are your friend. Use the thin one to get between and behind couch cushions and the upholstery attachment to clean the cushions themselves.
Behind the toilet? Well, that requires your own homemade version of a hazmat suit, some kneepads, and a good amount of intestinal fortitude. In other words, there isn’t really a tool that will get back there without you getting all up in there yourself.
Don’t Forget the Car
Even the thinnest vacuum attachments won’t reach into car vents or behind car door latches. Toothbrushes, those little foam-on-a-stick paint tools, and cotton swabs can wipe hard to clean places in your car. Kids create all sorts of chaos in the car, so you might need to remove the floor mats, uninstall and clean the infant car seat, and use a bristle brush to loosen the nastiest, dried-on messes.
There’s so many other tough spots—blinds, grout, greasy kitchen fans, and showerheads, just to name a few. Some of this requires elbow grease and specialized cleaners—ones you hire—so you can step back with a beverage and supervise.