Here's the thing: Not all these trouble spots are obvious. In fact, many look clean. The good news is it doesn't take a lot of elbow grease – or harsh chemical cleaners – to ensure they truly are clean.
Here's what to look out for and how to get it squeaky clean.
1 Cleaning equipment
"When it comes to dirt and germs, first and foremost are the actual rags, sponges and scrub brushes you clean with," says Anne.
• Run sponges through the dishwasher, or microwave them on high for a couple of minutes.
• Nylon and stainless-steel scouring pads and brushes can go in the dishwasher.
• Rinse, wring out and hang dry kitchen rags after use; launder them either every couple days or when they begin to smell.
• Always toss rags into the laundry after they've been used to mop up spills from raw meat.
2 The toilet base
Don't just clean the toilet bowl and seat. The real mess is usually on the rim, toilet base and surrounding floor. "Especially when you have small children – or men – in the household," says Anne.
• Always wipe down the toilet rim and base when cleaning the toilet.
• Wipe or mop the floor around the toilet base as needed or at least weekly.
3 The kitchen sink drain
"All kinds of food debris gets caught in the drain and causes bad smells," says Anne. Left to build up too long, clogs can develop.
• Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar, let sit for a minute, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain, for an inexpensive, eco-friendly once-a-week disinfecting/deodorizing treatment.