How to Clean Hard-to-Reach Spots in Your Home

Cleaning hard to reach placesWe all have those areas of our homes that are difficult to reach and clean.  For many of us, the easy answer is to sweep the problem under the rug (so to speak), or to skip hard-to-reach areas and assume they can be cleaned more occasionally than other spots.  In fact, it’s just as important to clean areas that require a little stretching or extra effort as it is to sweep your floors.  Dirt and dust that accumulate in any corner of your home will affect its cleanliness, and can harbor allergens that could be detrimental to your family or guests’ health.

Below is a list of some out-of-reach areas along with some advice we’ve collected on how to clean them: 


Ceilings, especially in the corners, are notorious for collecting cobwebs and dust.  One approach is to attempt to vacuum the corners if they are low enough and if your vacuum cleaner has an appropriate attachment.  If you have high ceilings, use a sturdy ladder to reach them with a ceiling or high reach duster, like this model manufactured by Bissell.

It’s always a good idea to have a second person available whenever you use a ladder for cleaning or other tasks.  One person should brace the ladder for safety, and should be available to assist you if you slip or fall.  Never climb a ladder when you are home alone.


Molding, such as crown molding, is decorative and beautiful but also difficult to clean. suggests that you clean your crown molding whenever you dust the rest of the house.  Required tools, according to the site, are a long-handed duster or a mop/broom and a cloth that can be draped over it.  If the molding is not too dirty, you can simply wipe it with the duster or cloth-draped mop, as long as dirt and cobwebs are sticking instead of falling to the floor.  For more complicated stain removal, use a natural cleaning solution (luckily, staining on tough-to-reach molding isn’t common).

Cabinet Tops notes that dust and debris accumulate out of sight on the top of cabinets.  Standing on a sturdy stool, wipe cabinet tops with a cloth dampened with an eco-friendly cleaning solution.

Inside Cabinets

There’s really no short cut when it comes to cleaning the shelves and insides of your cabinetry.  Whether the contents are dishes, canned goods, or cleaning supplies, the only way to thoroughly clean the inside of your cabinets (or closets, for that matter) is to empty everything out and then to vacuum, dust and/or wipe down all of the surfaces before replacing the contents. If you’re replacing items like cleaning supplies, wipe the bottles clean before you return them to the cabinet.

Behind the Toilet

It’s tough to clean the area that hides behind the toilet, because there is so little room to maneuver between the bowl and the wall.  Your usual broom or mop probably can’t handle the job, and this is an area that can easily breed a mold and/or mildew problem. recommends that you “bite the bullet” and crouch down on the floor armed with plastic gloves, wearing clothes you can afford to get dirty.  Use a strong-bristled brush to sweep away dust and dirt, and then wipe the area down with a damp sponge and an eco-friendly cleaning solution.  Because the area could easily remain damp, wipe it dry with a paper towel after cleaning.

The Floor Beneath Furniture

You probably don’t move your furniture every time you vacuum or sweep, but at least once every two to three weeks you should get help from a family member or friend and make it a priority to clean the floors beneath your furniture.  Dust, allergens, dirt, spilled liquids, small toys, and even clothing items can wind up beneath furniture and add to the collection of dust.  Once the furniture is moved, vacuum or sweep and mop thoroughly before replacing it.

Refrigerator Coils

Many people don’t realize how important it is to clean your refrigerator coils every six months (more often if you have pets) for cleanliness reasons and to keep your refrigerator operating efficiently.  Refrigerator coils are found either beneath or behind the appliance, and your user manual should provide cleaning instructions.  This online video from will also help.

Hard-to-reach places are easy to ignore, but cleaning them on a regular basis will contribute to the freshness and neat appearance of your home – as well as to the health and well being of your family.