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Cleaning Tips for Tricky Spots

Address the annoyingly tough-to-reach places with these smart strategies

Superhuman Cleaning Hacks

Wiping down the counter: Easy. Tackling the dust bunnies behind the fridge: Not so much. Face it, some places in your house require almost circus-performer-like contortions to clean properly. Here, expert tips for getting the grime out of five hard-to-reach areas.

Between Radiator Coils

Photo by Timothy Bell

Wrap a dustcloth around a yardstick to get in between close coils. Or use a radiator brush (Brushtech radiator and baseboard cleaning brush, about $14; Amazon). Follow with a wet rag and soapy water. Finish by drying the radiator with a clean rag to prevent rust.

Behind the Toilet

Use a clean toilet brush (not the one you use to clean the bowl) to reach behind the tank. Dried-on crusty stains? Hit them with a steam cleaner to loosen the grimy residue.

Along Horizontal Blinds

Photo by Dan Hallman/Getty Images

For a quick fix, bust out the vacuum. For a deeper clean, pop plastic or aluminum blinds out of their hardware and give them a bath in the tub using mild detergent; rehang once they're dry. For wood styles, use a gloved hand to sweep the dust off each slat.

On Top of Ceiling-Fan Blades

Photo by Charles Schug/Getty Images

Climb up on a stepladder and place a pillowcase over a blade, holding it closed to pull away dust. The case will contain the dirt.

In Back of the Refrigerator

Photo by Julian Wass

Dust buildup on the coils can reduce your appliance's efficiency. Set down a large piece of cardboard in front of the fridge to protect your floor, and wiggle the refrigerator out. Vacuum the coils, then wipe with a damp cloth.