7 Scary Cleaning Tasks You Always Avoid (and How to Take Them On) — Apartment Therapy Reader Month


As a part of our reader month, we asked the AT community to weigh in on the scariest home cleaning tasks. Some of the responses were chores that are simply gross, while others are a little more challenging—and some speak to real fears (anyone else an arachnophobe?). But beyond just being scary, they all have something in common: they’re totally doable—you might just need a little help.

Deep-Cleaning the Oven

The oven is a scary chore (there are so many parts to deal with, and are you even supposed to use the self-cleaning setting?) and one that so easily gets put on the back burner — no pun intended — for other tasks, but our guide can help you get your oven sparkling:

Cleaning the Toilet (the Entire Toilet)

Cleaning the toilet is a pretty routine task that you have to do regularly, but that doesn’t make it any less gross — especially if you’ve been ignoring the scary spot behind your toilet, or if you’re dealing with any weird smells. Our guide can help with the basics, but when it comes time to deep clean, cleaning expert Jolie Kerr has some tips at Esquire.

Cleaning the Litter Box

You love your cat, but ugh, the litter box is never a fun chore. Animal Planet suggests using gloves and a mask to protect yourself from dust and toxins, and from there, all you really need is a sponge, dish soap, warm water, and a trash bag. You can follow the full guide here:

Unclogging Drains

For more serious clogs, you may need to call in a professional, but otherwise, you can handle it yourself. As much as you really don’t want to deal with the hair and gunk that’s likely stuck inside your drain (especially in the shower), you’ve got this—you just need a little baking soda, vinegar, a drain snake, and some courage… and a little help from our guides:

Cleaning Out the Vacuum

Cleaning out the vacuum is a task often ignored, but essential—if you don’t clean it regularly, it can get clogged (and that’s an even scarier task). Of course, every vacuum is a little different and there can be a lot of parts to deal with, but Clean Mama has a great tutorial that can help:

Deep-Cleaning the Dishwasher

The dishwasher can be intimidating—especially if you’re facing any funky smells. But, with the help of some baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and our guide, you can get every little nook and cranny clean and odor-free.

Dealing with Pests and Creepy-Crawlies

Whether you’re worried about spiders, roaches, mice (or the ever-dreaded bedbugs), dealing with pests is never a fun task, but we have a few guides that can help:

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