How to Clean Hard-to-Reach Areas in Your House

Not all of us are granted with the gift of height; and if we were then it would be so much easier to clean hard-to-reach areas in your house that can prove to be a nuisance to get to. These troublesome areas are usually overlooked or forgotten about until dust or cobwebs accumulates and creates a haven for dirt to gather.

Not only is this a potential health hazard for dust allergens but it also looks unsightly.  This article will give you a quick summary of some useful tips and tools that can be used to reach those awkward areas and get them just as clean as every other part of the house.


Bullet-Tick-1Start with the Ceiling

The ceiling corners are one of the most difficult areas to reach especially if there’s furniture in the way. The quickest and easiest approach to reach theses corners is by using the extension wand on your vacuum cleaner to suck up dust and spider webs.

If your ceilings are higher than normal then you should use a small step stool or ladder but be careful and made sure you have sturdy position if using your vacuum cleaner. Make sure that you use both the extension hose and wand attachments on your vacuum (if provided) to avoid tugging the machine and losing your balance.

Alternatively you could use a long-reach duster. It’s also advisable to have someone helping you get on or off the ladder and to keep it steady.

Bullet-Tick-1Cornicing and Coving

Right next to the ceiling corners is usually decorative cornicing or coving which goes right round the room. Beyond the standard cornicing, most old-style houses have larger variations with different patterns, it was a bragging right back in the day and adds a lot of character to the house.

cleaning-cornicing-covingCornicing looks beautiful but it can be a pain to clean if dirt is left to accumulate over an extended amount of time. If you already have the step ladder out then it’s a good idea to wipe down dirty cornicing with a cloth-draped mop soaked in warm soapy water.

If the cornicing dusty then it can be cleaned using the same method as ceiling corners described above. Your vacuum cleaner wand attachment or long-reach duster can be put to good use.

If the cornicing is stained or starting to discolour then it might a good idea to clean it and prepare the surface by giving it a light sanding.

You can then prime and paint it with a good quality primer and emulsion paint to make it look as good as new. This task can be done in little time using your step ladder.

Bullet-Tick-1Cleaning the Cabinet Interior

Sadly there’s no quick and easy way to cleaning-cabinetclean the inside of your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. The best thing is to remove everything inside, take out all the dishes, cups, pots and pans so you can the inside a deep clean. Start by using your vacuum cleaner to suck up any dust and debris.

The next step is to meticulously wipe down the entire interior using a lint-free cloth and warm soapy water.

You can use an all-purpose cleaner instead of soapy water. When placing items back into the cabinet make sure they are free from dust that might have started to gather especially those that were right at the back.

Bullet-Tick-1Wardrobe and Cabinet Tops

cleaning-up-top-toolThese can be tricky to clean because there’s usually little space between the ceiling and wardrobe or cabinet tops.

I’ve found that the best and easiest cleaning method is to invest in a vacuum cleaner attachment specifically designed for this awkward area. The attachment can bend to reach these surfaces with relative ease.

Alternatively you could use a step ladder to climbed up and wipe the surfaces. If you have long arms then it shouldn’t a problem to reach the furthest areas, otherwise you could ask one of the family members with longer arms to help.

Bullet-Tick-1Cleaning Behind Your Toilet

toilet-cleaningThe area behind of your toilet can be difficult to clean because of the limited space between the wall and the toilet bowl.

It’s an area that can harbour dirt and bacteria and hard to clean using a standard mop. The best method to clean here is to be hand-on. Lean down onto the floor and use the crevice tool attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clear the dirt.

After vacuuming is done put on a pair of rubber gloves and apply an antibacterial solution around the area and wipe it down with a microfiber cloth. Use a dry cloth or paper towel to dry off any wet areas.

Bullet-Tick-1Underneath & In Between Furniture

The areas underneath and in between furniture are usually overlooked during a cleaning session. Although they don’t need cleaning every single time you bring out the vacuum, you should try get to those areas as much as possible to avoid dust and allergens accumulating.

cleaning-with-crevice-toolMost furniture like display cabinets, tables and beds don’t need moving as they normally have a space between the floor and the bottom of the furniture. vMove any obstructions within those spaces, bend down and use the telescopic wand attachment to vacuum the dust and dirt.

If your bed does not have a gap underneath, to access the floor, then move it to the other side of the room to clean the area.

You might need some assistance to move your bed or you might be able to wheel it across depending on the design.

Bullet-Tick-1Behind your Refrigerator

I never realised how much dirt accumulated behind the fridge until my husband had to move it to replace a blown fuse. I was shocked to find so much fluffs of dirt that they had created a dirt blanket! Immediately got the vacuum cleaner out to get rid of nasty fluff being careful not to interfere with the components or coils of the fridge. Make sure you read the cleaning instruction of your fridge model before attempting to clean it and always disconnect the plug.

Hard-to-reach areas can be overlooked when cleaning. Keeping them clean prevents dust and dirt from gathering up and makes it easier to maintain those areas in the long run. I bet you’re tempted to go look behind your fridge.


Our List of the Best Vacuums

More Cleaning Tips:


  1. Curtis Butler

    I like that you mentioned how you can utilize ladders to reach the tops of your wardrobes in order to clean them. My sister has been interested in cleaning her house before she hosts a dinner party for her husband’s birthday this weekend, but she is worried that she may not have the tools needed to dust the antique wardrobe in her bedroom. Maybe she should rely on a housekeeping service that has the supplies needed for the job.

  2. Darrien Hansen

    You make a good point when you mention how you should occasionally clean underneath your furniture to prevent dust and allergens from building up. I have a piano in my living room that has a lot of dust and dirt underneath it, but I don’t have the tools needed to thoroughly clean the surfaces behind and under it. Maybe I should find a home cleaning service that has the equipment needed to clean tight spaces.

    • Cheryl

      Hi Darrien, which model/brand of vacuum cleaner are you currently using to clean your home? I can recommend a bunch of useful attachments to help clean underneath your piano.


  3. KeldynFrancis

    Cleaning is a job that seems to take up so much time so learning how to clean hard to reach areas in my house has been extremely helpful to me. What I have noticed from professional cleaners is they clean from the top down. I really like your tips and the attachments you can use for vacuum cleaners. Can you recommend to me a vacuum cleaner and accessories that would help me in my cleaning endeavours?

    • Cheryl Mulban

      Hi KeldynFrancis,

      Using the right accessories for hard to reach areas makes cleaning a lot easier. I’m short and struggle with tall ceilings especially in the hallway. I would recommend the Dyson DC39 Multi-Floor Cylinder vacuum. Its portable enough for awkward spaces and comes equipped with a multitude of accessories and extension tools.

      thanks for reading



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join the SmartVacGuide community to receive the latest news & free stuff

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This