Guests are coming and the house is a disaster! So you furiously tidy up, you vacuum, and you scrub the floor. You shout orders at your kids and husband to pick up those stinky socks. You clean the toilets and the counters! You even cleaned the windows and took that fuzzy thing and flailed wildly at the cobwebs. Then you hide all the leftovers in your bedroom!
You’re golden! Let that picky mother-in-law show up now!
Well, maybe not…
This post may contain affiliate links.
Especially if you have little ones or pets, you may have missed some gross spots you don’t even see anymore. It’s easy to have tunnel vision about our own house. We live with it day after day and sometimes it’s easier not to pay attention. Even if you do a spring cleaning you may miss some of those.
This is not about having a show home or that my house is super clean, I only mean this list as a guideline especially if you’re having people over you don’t know and you’d like to make a good impression. You want a home with a relaxed atmosphere but like it or not, guests will see things you don’t.
After helping host countless parties in other people’s homes here are 5 trouble spots that usually need attention even in the cleanest of homes:
(And when you are done with this article, go check out 5 MORE things you forgot to clean that might be grossing out your guests).
1 – The guest bathroom must sparkle
OK, I know, you cleaned the bowl and you wiped the counter…. but… did you clean the underside of the seat? How ’bout that area between the seat and the tank? And what about the gold mine of unmentionable goobies on the floor behind the back of the toilet?
Now, sit on the toilet, like a guest would. Look down. What do you see? Are the baseboards clean? Are the corners of the floors clean? Pick up these Clorox wipes and disinfect at the same time!
Now go wash your hands, and look up at the mirror. Really look at the mirror, Are there water or toothpaste spots? I’ve wiped countless bathroom mirrors at other people’s homes. I always want to leave a place better than I found it….
Cleaning the guest bathroom is a must! Honestly, if your bathroom is clean and stocked a lot of other things can be overlooked. That’s why I’ve also written a very comprehensive list on how to make your bathroom totally guest-ready before your party.
2 – The doors, door handles, and light switches are often forgotten
Rarely do I go into a house with littles and find those items clean. Go right now, and look at your most-used light switch… I’ll wait.
Are you grossed out? I sure am when I wipe mine down. Same with the door handles. Go from the entry door and wipe all the door handles, on both sides of the door, and all the light switches. Don’t forget the ones in the kitchen, they’re often the worst ones.
That goes for the fridge handle too, and the kitchen cabinet doors! Those get greasy and gross. If your guests are going to be anywhere near the kitchen, get your microfiber cloth and take 10 minutes to wipe those cabinets down.
3 – Did you clean The walls?
One time my husband and I were cleaning the house to receive family and he noticed a fairly long grayish spot on the wall towards the baseboard next to the front door. “Where did that come from?”. I had to look and think. I stood there baffled for a minute. Then it came to me! That was one of my beloved dog’s favorite spots….. and she had been gone for 3 YEARS!!!!
After this incident, I started being much more aware of people’s walls. I remember going into an otherwise immaculate house one time with long, gray dog marks all over the walls! I’ve seen countless finger streaks also.
Even if you don’t have pets or little kids you probably have a wall that people grab on to while turning into a hallway. Look at it with discerning eyes and suddenly you may see all those disgusting handprints. Grab a magic eraser and make them disappear!
4 – Wipe those dining room chairs
I beg of you, wipe down the back of those chairs! Nothing will gross out a guest more than a sticky chair back.
Examine your chairs. The legs and those horizontal bars are often the targets of lots of splatters and spills and they don’t often get a lot of soapy water style love.
That’s one of my hubby’s pet peeves.. sticky. He was the sticky monitor the whole time our kids were little. He probably wiped the chairs every day.
5 – The couch can hide things you don’t want people to find
When guests come you really should vacuum the couch. And spot clean it. Don’t let poor Aunt Gladys sit in last month’s spit up or Princess’s hairball. Using a lint roller works wonders, although I wouldn’t be caught without my Dyson Animal vacuum.
I get it! I’ve had horrible, old couches that are impossible to clean. Then get inventive. Grab a clean quilt or a blanket. Heck, clean Batman sheets are better than grubby couch cushions any day.
I know, that’s technically more than 5 things, but one last piece of advice:
To clean your house for guests, you have to think like a guest.
Go outside your front door, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Now open the door and enter your house as if for the first time! Discover it. What do you see first? Move about the house, use the guest bathroom, sit in your dining room. Get a real sense of what a guest may see.
So what do you think I’ve missed? What grosses you out? Do you think I went too far?
In the end, you need to give yourself a little grace too, hopefully, you’re inviting people over who love you and will look beyond the spots you missed.
The idea is for your guests to feel welcome in your home, and a little extra thoughtful cleaning can go a long way.
BUT WAIT! There’s more! This list has been so popular and I’ve gotten so many comments on it that I wrote a follow up: 5 MORE Things You Forgot to Clean that Might be Grossing Out Your Guests! It lists some more specific areas even I forgot that you need to know about!
If you’re planning to host a birthday party don’t miss checking out my Ultimate Birthday Party Planner and workbook.
And since you don’t want your party to break the bank, you may want to look at my 5 practical money-saving tips for any party and my party on a budget food ideas that don’t look cheap.
But if you’re going to a dinner party, don’t forget the hostess! Check out my 10 thoughtful thank you gift ideas for the hostess.
Party decorations are a must in my house: check out all of my free printables and my printable shop.
Don’t forget to pin it:
80 thoughts on “5 Things You Forgot To Clean That Might Be Grossing Out Your Guests”
Thank goodness I do clean as suggest. I sure can understand why you are giving the advise you are as I have seen many disgusting homes over the years. I don’t know I I missed reading this but also clean your window screens and wash your windows. It is amazing how dusty the screens get.
Very easy and helpful tips you shared with us. Thank you for sharing this article.
Very amazing and informative reading for me. Thank you for sharing it.
I am also insane about cleanliness…. I clean even button boards on weekends. I literally enjoy while reading your article.
Hello Nathalie! Wonderful piece of article and by the reading of this lovely piece of article I came to know that how can we properly clean our house and do not provide any chance to my guest that they gross out us. Thanks for sharing this article with all of us. I learnt allot about cleaning purpose
What a great piece of article I found today, it will be very helpful to me in the cleaning of my own home. I hope all the readers will love this article. Thanks for sharing this article to us
As a house cleaner, this article helps me a lot to get new guidance. I really enjoy this great reading. Thank you for sharing this article.
And you can pick up sets of towels at the dollar store. 🤓
When we moved into the house we live in now, we had to power wash the filter on the stove vent hood, in order to get it clean. Probably hadn’t been cleaned in the entire time the owner has had this house. It was soooooo nasty. Grease was even dripping back down onto the stove it was so saturated.
That sounds awful! Thank you for sharing!
I run mine through the dishwasher every so often. Works like a charm!
Glad to read this blog. This is a great and useful article! What you had mentioned are really helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your insights about cleaning.
May I also add salt and pepper shakers. Restaurants sometimes also have the ugliest, sticky shakers.
Yes! You’re so right!!
Kettles and teapots are often overlooked. A cotton bud down the spout of the teapotwill dislodge the tannin that stain.
That’s a great trick. Thank you.
Ugh! Venetian blinds
Yes, of course. Those things are hard to clean!
I can’t stand bad smells when I walked in the house. If I can tell what type of pet you own, or what you been cooking by the smell when I walk in the front door then the smells are too strong! Clean up after your pet daily! Air purifiers arguing cheaper and cheaper. Ozone machines are good every moving scents.
Another area overlooked are the top facing molding around windows and doors and picture frames
We stay at a relatives home and their home is pretty dirty but it is their refrigerator that grosses me out the most. Makes me gag!
That’s a tough one for sure.
Guess I was lucky. My grandmother was a professional housekeeper. I learned from her. A 5 minute cleaning project can do wonders. Great article. Especially the “ go outside , come back and look at your hose like a guest.
Thank you for your kind words Dona.
She is kind, you are right…….and she didn’t forget to mention that she is human, she has been there….that says to your reader that you are just like us, makes you relatable and most of all in my view, I can tell you are thoughtful. Wish there were more like Dona in the world 🙂
This is a really good suggestion if you’re trying to sell your house. Other people see what you don’t.
Great article. I sometimes take pictures of the room too to establish where the worst offenders are and to observe from an outsider too and use as a reference point when cleaning – also great to look at after and have a sense of accomplishment when done.
That’s a fantastic way to look at a room from a different perspective. Great idea.
Great reminders! When I was a young wife and new mother we were enjoying a relaxing evening, I was painting a picture and hubby was playing with our toddler. A knock on the door, OMG! My mother had just picked up my aunt and grandmother at the airport and they stopped by! No call! My mom never did that! My house was clean but our clutter was all over the living room. I hugged my grandma and then went to my favorite aunt, my Aunt Art. As I hugged her I whispered my apology for the way my house looked. She looked at me and said “I came to see you, not your house.” May everyone have an Aunt Art visit them, not their house.
What a sweet story. Thanks so much for sharing!
I have a housekeeping business and the one thing I’ve noticed many people forget is ceiling fans. I’ve seen dust dangling like icicles on a Christmas tree!
Those sure are difficult to clean. But you’re right, it needs to be done.
A/C vents and celing lamps get grasey sometimes you see light bugs in there, the inside part of window frames, I went to a popular Italian restaurant it was so disgussting dry food resting in the window frame.
Yes, I get comments about the need to clean the vents a lot. Thank you.
Do you have a book that I can buy?
I have a birthday planner that contains lots of tips and tricks as well as a planner: https://www.pressprintparty.com/shop/birthday-party-planner-checklist/but have not yet put all my party planning advice in one book.You could browse my party tips section. It contains lots of excellent information: https://www.pressprintparty.com/diy/party-tips-diy/
I get grossed out by dirty hand towels in the bathroom. I remember being at a party of 30 to 50 guests – one hand towel in the bathroom. It was dirty and wet, and never got changed that night.
For events where I’m having multiple guests over, I used to put out a stack of “fine-dining” paper napkins for guests to use and dispose of. Now I have a basket of white, rolled washcloths for individual-use hand drying (and an empty wicker basket to toss used cloths in). So much more sanitary than using one towel for everyone.
That’s a great tip Deanna. Thank you!
If nothing in my house is ckean, the guest bathroom always is. What is worse if someone just hsppened to stop by and ask to use the restroom. I am phobic about this one. I even think I have my husband trained to sit when he urinates. As for the rest of the housr, it may not be oerfect. I like to call it “lived in.”
I agree about the guest bathroom. I tend to use it at least a couple of times a week and always clean as I do.
I notice ALL those things in my house…what does that say about me..🤔? 😅 That’s not to say I spend my days scrubbing obsessively (I mean, with kids you sort of have to choose your cleaning battles or at least how often you’re going to fight them), but I find the more my house is free of excessive clutter, the easier it is to see what needs to be cleaned, and to do the cleaning needed.
Oh Lord , i have two dogs that love to eat dog biscuits on the sofa , a reclining sofa . My daughter was over the other day . She said , ” Mom there are dog biscuits under your recliner . I could have crawled under it !
Keep a spray bottle of cleaning solution (I use glass cleaner for quick wipe ups) and a tub of Disinfectant wipes under kitchen and bathroom cabinets along with a roll of paper towels. It makes it easy to wipe things down quickly and often. If you don’t want to bother with extra stuff, keep a pkg of magic erasers under those counters. Hand is dandy in my book.
I totally agree in keeping wipes available making it easy to clean. I love the magic erasers too. A must in my book.
The wall behind a kitchen garbage can and the wall where the air conditioner control is- those places need to be wiped often.
My garbage can is under the sink out of sight, so I don’t have to worry about that. But you’re so right.
You’re most welcome 🙂
My favorite is the very tall guest who can see on top of my fridge.
Never forget that one – a must remember – my eyes never see I am
That’s a good point. I’m only 5’4″ and I don’t think of tall guests.
Ppl forget vents on the wall and the bathroom fan vent. They also forget the sides of the bathroom vanity. The vents from the fan over the stove. Blinds are never clean! Window sills and the tracks for sliding glass doors. I could probably come up with more but right now these are the ones that come to mind.
You said it!!! I walk in my house feeling that everything is clean and ok, just I recieve a call telling me guests will come ,and I start to see things that I haven’t noticed before,thank you for your blog ,it helped me in realizing that what happens to me everytime is a real thing not just a mind tricking game 😊
Nothing more disgusting than a dirty bathroom. People have busy lives but 30 minutes a day can keep a house descent. Then weekends can be for deeper cleaning and once a month jobs – light fixtures – baseboards – etc. it’s just laziness. And it’s unhealthy. My children weren’t raised in a dirty home but I have one child who is lazy and is teaching her children laziness. They want to stay at my house “because it’s not messy” per the kids! It’s takes a little effort and elbow grease to live in a clean “home”.
I can’t believe an article had to be written to tell people gross places that they don’t clean! I always have cleaned as if someone was going to inspect my house. I even trained my 3 boys and 1 daughter.
I find that including at least ONE task everyday keeps my house looking like a magazine. When I had a housekeeper I sat in each room and made a list of what to clean as if I was doing the job. Each room was rotated on each cleaning day as well as basic expected cleaning. That way cleaning was not burdensome. I made the schedule into a one page document with the cleaning details listed making it easy to print out for the housekeeper. Each task could be marked off as the task was completed.
Congratulations on being perfect. Some of us need help, and not shaming, and this article is a great reminder.
People just get busy and overwhelmed. We all develop blind spots. I’m just trying to help people see from someone else’s perspective whom they’ve invited into their house.
You can’t see why this article had to be written yet you had to make a list for your professional housekeeper?
Were you in the military ? lol. So organised! Good for you, but I was thankful for this article .
Great article! Luckily I always thoroughly clean the whole toilet and those disgusting problem areas you mentioned. Those things gross me out enough in my own home, let alone other people’s!!
Thank you Natalie. I think if you get the toilets clean, a lot of other things can be forgiven…
Also, under faucets and behind the faucets, around the knobs on the sinks and bath tub/ shower, there is always build up from soap creating a dark scum. Anything wet keeps odor. Also, base boards should be swept and wiped down weekly, wiping base boards with dryer sheets keeps house smelling fresh.
We tend to forget about the light fixtures above our bathroom sinks. Probably because they stand so much higher than our heights. They can collect a lot of dust.
Yes. The light fixtures up high are always a challenge for sure.
I had never cleaned the shower curtain rod. My housecleaning person cleaned and polished it, and now, that curtain flies by like greased lightning.
Fantastic tip. It would be a great thing to look for in a guest bathroom too.
Cobwebs and dust on the crystal chandelier above the delicious meal you cooked for your guests…wipe down ceiling fan blades and cobwebby corners.
Good point Kay, no one wants to see dust on a chandelier right above the table. Thank you.
I agree completely!! I’d rather be a guest in a relaxed happy home than a sterile show house!
Yes, we do need to clean our home but find beauty in the mess as well. Thank you
What grosses me out is when people don’t clean between the faucet and the handles of the overflow hole and I can see what’s lurking there.
Oh yes, those faucets can be hard to clean. I always have a hard water mineral cleaner on hand. Comet does a good job too… Thanks for sharing!
Kitchen sinks not being wiped Dr own after dishes or anything!!! Drives me insane! If I use somebody sink and they have paper towel I will dry my hands with it and then usually will wipe the sink down lol also windowsills and blinds!
It’s always kind to leave a place better than you found it.
It’s really amazing how you pointed out the things most people forgot to clean all the time! Great ideas and great reminder! I’m going to clean those spots after reading this article!
Thank you Katherine. I’ve been to many clean and not so clean homes. You pick up a couple things 🙂
Comments are closed.