15 places in your home that you should be vacuuming, but probably aren't

Woman vacuuming a rug in her living room
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The saying goes that 'Out of sight, out of mind'. But when it comes to vacuuming, that's not necessarily a good thing. 

Because even when your home looks clean on the surface, there may well be dust, pet hair, allergens and other debris lurking in hidden nooks, corners and crannies. And that can help breed disease, mould, infestation and all manner of problems that can impact you and your family's health. 

In short, even if you're using one of the best vacuum cleaners, your home may not be as clean as you think. So it's well worth taking a quick minute to scan this list of places you might have missed. 

We're pretty sure at least one of these will be somewhere you've forgotten about. And if not, hey, you'll have a smug sense of achievement at being cleaner that the average person!

If some of these areas are difficult to get to, it may be worth looking at one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners to save you messing about with extension leads. Meanwhile, if you're struggling to find time for vacuuming as it is, you could always minimize your effort by investing in one of the best robot vacuums.

1. Under your bed

The space under your bed is a haven for dust, hair and small items like hair clips that tumble from your sleeping body it over time. And yet it's often forgotten, especially if you use it for storage. So make sure you move your bed and any stuff stored under it, and vacuum this area at least once a month.

2. Under your sofa cushions

Do you have big cushions on your sofa that generally sit in the same place? Just lifting these up will typically reveal a tsunami of crumbs, fluff-coated coins and tissues, and other grime trapped within the seams. So be sure to use your vacuum cleaner's attachment on them at least every couple of weeks.

Woman vacuuming under her sofa cushions

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Along your baseboards 

The areas where your floors meet your baseboards (aka skirting boards) are common traps for dust, dirt and debris to settle, especially in the corners. So use your vacuum cleaner's attachment to target them with care, each time you vacuum the floor.

4. Along your window tracks

Window tracks, aka window channels or window guides, are the horizontal and vertical grooves found on the frames of windows. It's easy to neglect these narrow crevices when cleaning the windows themselves, but vacuuming up any debris that gets trapped in them is not just hygiencic, it also helps ensure your windows continue to open and close smoothly.

5. On the tops of cabinets, cupboards and bookshelves

You often need a chair or ladder to even see what's on the top of cabinets, cupboards and bookshelves. But if you make that bit of effort, you may well be shocked by just how many layers of dust and dirt you'll find. The good news is that a quick go with your vacuum cleaner's hose is all you need to return these surfaces to their pristine state. Many models will come with dedicated tools for more precise jobs like this (the example below is from the Samsung Bespoke Jet AI review). 

Samsung Bespoke Jet AI cleaning on top of some shelves

(Image credit: Future)

6. Behind large appliances

The floor areas behind your oven, refrigerator, washing machine, tumble dryer and other large appliances are common traps for dirt. So once a month it's a good idea to move them forward so you can vacuum these areas.

7. Around radiators and vents

Check around any heating vents, baseboard heaters or radiators for buildup of dirt and dust. These areas can be awkward, so you may have to first dislodge debris with other cleaning tools and then vacuum up the mess afterwards.

8. Inside closets and wardrobes

You'd think that the floors of closets and wardrobes would stay relatively clean. But in practice, dust and clothing fibers accumulate and settle over time, so you will probably need to vacuum this area every one to two months.

The image below is from our Shark Stratos Cordless review – this vacuum has a floorhead that can pivot to 90-degrees to get into awkward corners. 

Shark Stratos Cordless vacuum flexing to fit under furniture

(Image credit: Future)

9. Under rugs

Everything from small bathroom rugs to huge living room rugs can get forgotten about when you're vacuuming. So make sure you check and vacuum underneath them, as well as on top of them.

10. Around bathroom fixtures    

The bathroom is a key place for all sorts of body debris and hair to accumulate. So use your vacuum's attachment to pay close attention around the base of toilets, under vanity cabinets, and any other bathroom fixtures you might otherwise miss.

11. Chairs and other furniture 

In addition to your sofa, make sure to vacuum fabric chairs, ottomans, stools and any other upholstered furniture on a regular basis. The photo below is from our Shark Stratos Corded stick vacuum review – this vacuum transforms into a handheld for more precise jobs like this. 

Shark Stratos Corded vacuum in handheld mode being used to clean sofa cushions

(Image credit: Future)

12. Inside your kids' toy bins 

Toy bins, baskets and other storage containers can become filled with crumbs, dust and dirt over time. And given children's propensity for putting objects in their mouths, you don't want them to become unhygenic. So make sure you empty them out on a regular basis and vacuum it all that nastiness up. 

13. Inside your car

Your car's inside needs regular attention, just like your home. The seats, floor mats, cup holders and trunk space all need vacuuming regularly, or they can get surprisingly filthy. If that's practically difficult (because you don't have a long enough extension lead), or you just can't be bothered, then most car washes will also clean the inside of your vehicle for a reasonable fee.

Getting in the habit of hitting these easy-to-miss spots every time you vacuum will make a dramatic difference in maintaining a truly clean living environment. Yes, it will require some extra time and effort. But you'll be rewarded by fresher air quality, a lower chance of disease and infestation, and the peace of mind that your home doesn't look clean, it actually is clean, from top to bottom. 

Head to our guide to the best car vacuums for our recommendations designed especially for this task – the Shark Ultracyclone (pictured) is our #1 pick right now. 

The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus handheld vacuum in use on a car seat

(Image credit: Future)

14. Inside your pantry 

Kitchen pantries are an obvious traps for crumbs, dirt and food particles. So it's important to vacuum them regularly to control smells and discourage pests.

15. Garages and sheds

Many people think that utility areas such as garages and sheds are meant to be dirty places, and so don't need vacuuming. But keeping their floors and corners free of things like cobwebs, leaves and dust is well worth it, both to keep the space as hygienic as possible, and also to prevent all that dirt and debris from getting tracked inside your home.

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in tech, design and sleep products. Over the years he's tested a number of mattresses, duvets and pillows, and as a back pain sufferer, has a keen interest in finding ones that offer maximum support. Plus, in running a successful Airbnb business, sleep hygiene and providing the right bedding for guests has become a big part of his day-to-day life. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books.