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The secret to a completely clean house

Maya Angelou once said, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." That's my mantra about cleaning. Once you learn how to clean something, you will. 

This especially applies to the 11 most overlooked spots in your home. I'm going to show you what they are and how to get them clean, quick and easily. 

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Baseboards

I hate getting down on my knees to wash my baseboards, so I've come up with a "lazy" way to do it. 

Give a damp mop a spritz of all-purpose cleaner and use it to wipe down the baseboards. Standing up and holding a mop handle gives you more leverage for tough spots and you can easily rinse the mop. 

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Windowsills

While you're attacking the baseboards, wipe off the windowsills with your mop too. 

I also like wiping down windowsills with baby wipes. They're quick, and the quilting traps dirt and dust. 

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Air vents

Air vents can build up a thick layer of dust overtime. Here's how to tackle it.

Start by unscrewing them from the floor or ceiling. Then, wipe them down with a damp microfiber cloth to remove any dust or cobwebs on both sides. Let them air dry before putting them back.

Repeat this every six months to a year.

If you have smart vents, be sure to contact the manufacturer before cleaning.

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Walls

For the most part, painted walls just need to be wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge to remove dirt smudges and dust.   

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Wall problems

Some spots will need more attention. To remove crayon, for example, dab a bit of coconut oil on a cotton ball and rub it on the scribble. It should come right off. 

If it's marker you're battling, try rubbing the spot with hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol. Just be sure to try this trick in an inconspicuous spot first to see what it will do to the wall's paint.

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Dust ceiling fans

OK, you may know you should clean your ceiling fan, but the fact that you don't know how may be holding you back. No problem.

Wrap some used dryer sheets around the end of a long-handled paint roller and secure it with a couple of rubber bands. This will be your cleaning tool.

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Roll off dust

Now, place the roller on a fan blade and roll off the dirt. Don't have a paint roller or dryer sheets? Here's another way to clean your ceiling fan.

Published:Caption:Photo:Alina Bradford/CNET
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Windows

When was the last time you washed your windows?

You don't really need anything fancy. Just grab some old newspaper or clean coffee filters and a spray bottle full of distilled vinegar. 

Spray the window evenly with vinegar. Let it sit for a few seconds, then wipe the window down with a wad of newspaper or a coffee filter. 

Why not use paper towels? I find that most paper towels leave behind lint. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich/Getty Images
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Stove hood

The hood over your stove can get grimey from splashes of grease and dust buildup. 

The best way I've found to clean it is to scrub the hood down with wads of newspaper. The newspaper soaks up the grease and the dust rolls off in little bits that can be swept up.

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Hood filter

If you look under the hood, there will be a filter that prevents grease from going inside the hood's vent. 

More than likely, it's a greasy mess, like the one above. Slide it out or unclip it, 'cause you're about to change that.

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Degreasing

Fill your sink with boiling water, 1/4 cup baking soda and a couple drops of dish soap. Swish the water around with the end of the filter and then drop it in, being careful not to splash hot water on yourself. 

Let it sit for about 30 minutes, then give it a good scrub with an old toothbrush or plastic brush. Rinse the filter with hot water and let it air dry before putting it back.

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Dehumidifier

Your dehumidifier probably has collected a wide variety of mold spores, dust and other air contaminants. 

To prevent these ickies from being released back into the air, it needs a good cleaning. Here are the steps to cleaning most home-use dehumidifiers

Published:Caption:Photo:Chris Monroe/CNET
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Humidifiers

Though they do the opposite of a dehumidifier, humidifiers need love, too. 

Every day empty the water cup, wipe it down and refill it. No skipping. Here are some more tips for keeping your humidifier clean.

Published:Caption:Photo:Alina Bradford/CNET
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