Things You Should Clean Every Single Day

December 31, 2020

Most of us probably make to-do lists that are more ambitious (okay, sometimes a lot) than the amount of time and energy we have in a day. This goes for our daily cleaning routine as well. Wiping down the kitchen floor sounds like a good plan at 10 a.m., but by 10 p.m., the couch and Netflix are calling our name. To make your daily cleaning more realistic, we’ve broken down the tasks you actually need to complete each day, with the ones you can totally skip (at least until tomorrow). These are tasks that, if avoided, can have real consequences, like a smelly home or potentially bigger problems down the line. As for the rest, you can save those chores for your weekly cleaning. Or, you know, push them to tomorrow’s to-do list.

It’s all too easy to let dirty dishes pile up in the sink, but skipping this daily chore can make your home stink, or even worse, attract pests. Committing to this daily task is much easier if you have a dishwasher. Instead of waiting for dishes to reach a critical mass before loading the dishwasher, skip the sink altogether and get in the habit of loading every cup, plate and utensil as you use it. Get your family on board with this routine and you’ll never come home to a pile of stinky dishes again.

Wipe down kitchen countertops (and stove tops)
If you spill sauce splatters and jelly on your kitchen counter overnight, not only do you run the risk of attracting bugs into your home, but they’ll be infinitely harder to wipe off in the morning. To save yourself extra elbow grease in the morning, take a minute to wipe down the counters and stove in the evening. Plus, waking up to shiny, clean kitchen counters every day is a much better start.

Take out the kitchen trash.
Whether you’re cooking fish for dinner or clearing out your fridge of all expired produce, it’s a good idea to empty your kitchen trash on a regular basis, preferably every day if you’re cooking every day. If you don’t, the food scraps will start to stink. If you compost, be sure to invest in an airtight container that won’t let the smell escape.

Dealing with Spills and Stains
When you accidentally drip wine on your carpet during your favorite show or when a friend is visiting, it may be tempting to postpone cleaning. But the longer you wait, the less likely you are to completely remove the stain. Be sure to treat the stain on the spot as soon as possible, and always within a day, to save your sofa, carpet or duvet cover from ruin.

Scrubbing a shower wall is hardly cleaning, but adding this 30-second task to your routine can help prevent the build-up of soap scum, mold and mildew. Because it doesn’t take long and can save you time from scrubbing and grouting or regrouting, it’s worth adding to your (and your family’s) to-do list. After a few weeks, this chore will become second nature.

Skip it. Wipe the mirror.
Smudges on your bathroom mirror may seem like a conspicuous mess, but these fingerprints and water stains aren’t likely to spread germs or bacteria, and they won’t make your home stink. If you want to do a quick clean to improve the look, go ahead and wipe down the mirror, but if you want to prioritize cleaning those areas that are most likely to harbor germs, it’s wiser to take the time to wipe down the bathroom sink and faucet handles.

Skip it. Vacuuming.
Unless you’re aiming for kitchen crumbs (which attract pests), you probably don’t need to vacuum every day. Adjust your schedule to once or twice a week, depending on your home and the amount of foot traffic in your home. Sure, regular vacuuming helps maintain your carpets and rugs and keeps your home looking neat and tidy, but it’s a chore that you can probably put off until tomorrow.

Skip it. Cleaning Small Appliances
If you have to wipe down your microwave or clean your coffee maker after every use, you’re probably working too hard. Don’t feel too guilty about letting the microwave splatter marinate for a few days-this microwave cleaning tip will make it easy to wipe off the mess later. If you’re making coffee in a Moka pot, just give it a quick rinse with water and dry it thoroughly, so you can skip the soap and scrubbing.