Do you ever clean your toilet… tank?
If you're like most people, then probably not! But luckily, our favorite organization pro Peter Walsh is here to tell us about five dirty things in our home that we probably don't clean often enough — if at all!
1. SHOWER DRAIN
Anyone with long hair knows the eternal struggle of a clogged shower drain, but cleaning it out can be such a nasty, messy process!
However, avoiding the inevitable drain clog just makes it worse and could even lead to plumbing issues, Peter says. He recommends buying a hair snare for just a few bucks at a hardware store. This thin piece of plastic is inserted into the drain where it "grabs" the clog.
But beware: What you dredge up from the depths of your drain might be gag-inducing!
"It looks like a horror movie, like it's going to bite you," Rach says.
2. TOILET TANK
If your toilet seems to have a funky smell that you just can't get rid of, check the tank. Gunk and mildew can build up, resulting in unpleasant odors.
If you see brown stains around the tank's water line, your toilet is due for a cleaning.
To start, drain the tank by flushing the toilet and then pour a cup of bleach into the tank. Wearing gloves, use a brush to scrub the sides and bottom of the tank. Let the tank fill with water and sit for about an hour before flushing.
Peter recommends doing this once a year or so.
(If your toilet bowl needs some help, too, try this easy at-home cleaning solution.)
Separately, if you see mineral deposits in your tank instead, fill it with white vinegar and let it sit for 12 hours before draining and scrubbing.
Safety Note: Be sure to never mix bleach with vinegar, because it can cause a chemical reaction that releases chlorine gas, which can be dangerous.
3. DISHWASHER DRAIN
Since your dishwasher is cleaning things constantly, it's easy to assume that it's always clean, Peter says — but don't be fooled.
The drain inside the dishwasher fills up with larger bits of food which can result in terrible smells.
To get rid of the dirty dishwasher once and for all, take out all the racks and unscrew the filter at the bottom. Give it a rinse, removing large particles of food by hand. Finally, pour baking soda and white vinegar down the drain to flush out any extra yucky bits. (You can clean your garbage disposal using a similar method, too!)
4. PET BOWLS
You eat off of clean dishes — shouldn't Fluffy and Fido get to as well?
Peter recommends cleaning your pet's dishes every day, as they can be a petri dish for all sorts of nasty bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella and more. Gross!
Rach runs Isaboo's bowls through the dishwasher, but you can also hand wash them daily with hot, soapy water. Don't forget to disinfect your sink afterward.
Peter also recommends using stainless steel bowls instead of plastic or ceramic, both of which can crack and serve as a breeding ground for even more bacteria.
5. THE KITCHEN SINK
Cleaning beneath your kitchen sink isn't just a good organizational habit — it could even save you from a costly bill down the line. Peter recommends that you regularly clean and check underneath the kitchen sink for leaks.
While it's a good idea to trash any unwanted items, he adds that plenty of people only discover a leak because they check under there regularly. Since a slow leak can end up causing big damage, checking often can save you money and a huge headache in the long run.