Even if keeping a clean home is important to you, there’s a lot to stay on top of. There’s the obvious: taking out the garbage, unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming—let any of those slide and you’ll feel the impact almost immediately. But they are also so in your face that keeping up with them is easy (or easier, anyway). Then there are those less-frequent, but equally important jobs, like changing your sponges and cleaning out your fridge.
But what about the items in your home you should be paying attention to, but forget about because you don’t need to deal with cleaning or replacing them very often? If you really want to make your abode an oasis of cleanliness, here are four items you should check in on—chances are good you need to clean or outright replace them right now.
Your dryer’s lint catcher
I’m sure you check your dryer’s lint catcher each time you use it, but when was the last time you gave it a good cleaning? If you’ve noticed your clothes are taking a lot longer to dry than they used to, you may have just found your culprit: Remove your lint catcher and inspect its mesh screen for a buildup of fabric softener or other materials. Give it a soak in hot water and clean it with a soft-bristled brush to get the air circulating once again. If your lint catcher is damaged, you should replace it, lest you risk lint getting into the innards of your dryer—a much trickier problem to solve.
Your shower curtain liner
How long has it been since you’ve last changed your shower liner? Did you know those things can hoard more bacteria than a toilet seat? Experts say you should be washing your shower liner every month—especially if it is made of cloth, which better absorbs mold and mildew—and replace it around once a year. (Don’t buy claims that your vinyl curtain is “mold resistant”—they never truly are.)
Your drying rack mat
Like shower curtain liners, drying rack mats are easy to forget about and equally susceptible to the growth of mold/mildew. You should be changing out your drying cloths once or twice a week—they are usually durable enough that you can wash them and reuse them, but you definitely have to wash them. (While you’re at it, clean the dish rack itself every week).
They’re the last thing you touch before you fall asleep and the first thing you touch when you wake up. Your pillows are naturally going to build up oils, dirt, and sweat from daily use, most of which will be taken care of from throwing your pillowcases in the wash (please tell me you’re washing your pillow cases). But it’s still not a bad idea to change out your pillows themselves every one to two years, so you always have a (relatively) clean, supportive, and comfy place to rest your head at night.
Your toilet seat
The idea of replacing a toilet seat had never quite crossed my mind, but it turns out you’re supposed to replace them every five to seven years, according to BobVila.com. Any longer and they may crack, start to slide around every time you sit down, or begin to accumulate weird orange mineral stains you can’t scrub off—especially if you live in an area with hard water.