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23 Reasons Your House Still Looks Dirty And How To Fix It

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Why You Clean But Could Still Have A Dirty House

Do you clean and clean and clean…

…only to look around and feel like you still have a dirty house!?

Did you know there are things in your home that could be making your house still look dirtier and messier than it really is?…even after you clean?

Find out how you can make your home actually look and feel clean after cleaning it.

RELATED POST: 29 Helpful Spring Cleaning Hacks To Clean Your Home

pin for 23 reasons your house still looks dirty with woman cleaning toilet

Here are things that may be making your house look dirtier than it really is…and how to fix them.

Sometimes you can pick everything up around your house, and even do a major cleaning session, only to feel like your house still looks dirty and messy. Well, there are many things that could be contributing to that dirty house feeling, here are 23 that I find are easy to fix.

Dirty House Reason #1: Dirty walls have gone un-noticed

Having kids, I know for a fact that I cannot always remember to clean every inch of my house.

So there are times that I walk by a wall in just the right lighting and notice all of the hand prints.

Not to mention, the walls can be dirty, sticky and even splattered with things! All of which can create the look of a dirty house to someone who doesn’t live there.

Try this cleaner for getting the “krud” off your walls.

dirty walls splatter

Dirty House Reason #2: Dust is collecting in forgotten places

You need to do a deep dust because even walls and light fixtures collect dust. That can make your walls look old and dingy and restrict the amount of light penetrating the covers and shades on your lights. You don’t dust the toilet paper holder and the towel rack in the bathroom.

Some other places you may find dust is on top of your fridge or picture frames… and on the fronts of your cabinets and drawers.

This duster is great for any space and is even washable in your washing machine.

dust on picture frame

Dirty House Reason #3: Light is not penetrating, making for a dirty feeling house

Wash your windows. All year long our windows take a beating. Protecting us from all sorts of elements. And over time those elements build up on our windows making them hard to see out, and also restricting light coming in. Making your home look dingy instead of bright.

This is a great window washing system that makes it easier to do yourself.

dirty window making for a dirty house

Dirty House Reason #4: Damaged Flooring Can Create A Dirty House Look

Clean all you want, but if your hardwood floors are damaged, scuffed and scratched, your floors that you know are clean…will never actually look clean.

Fix it by putting down a rug or refinishing your floors.

Smudgy footprints on your dark hardwood floors can make them look dirty too. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I mop the floors but my kids ruin it with little footprints everywhere.

The fix? That’s a tough one. You can try rugs or making your kids wear socks so they don’t leave smudge marks. The other option is to mop once a day quickly with these quick use and toss pads.

damaged floors make home look like dirty house

Dirty House Reason #5: Forgotten bathroom grime

When you do a quick wipe down in the bathroom or kitchen sometimes you can forget to chip away at the grime around the base of the facet handles. 

Not only can dirty water and soap dry up in those cracks, but if you have hard water you may also have mineral deposits hanging out there. 

For the dried up dirty or soapy water try using a tooth brush with your favorite cleaning product to get into those narrow crevasses. 

If it is hard water deposits, spray with some CLR (this is a good deal on it) and let sit for 30 minutes. Then use your cleaning toothbrush to really scrub it out. If there are still mineral deposits left, then repeat the process.

dirty faucet with mineral deposits at the base

Dirty House Reason #6: Too many things to store can make a dirty house

You have too much stuff. If you have too much, you cannot find the appropriate space to store things.

Meaning all your clutter is out for everyone to see and your home will never look clean.

Try decluttering with these tips to get you started.

too much stuff to store and clothes are hanging out of dresser drawer making a dirty house

Dirty House Reason #7: Not removing unnecessary items from your house

You failed to remove things from your home that you need to get rid of.

Did you decided it was time to clean out an area of your home? But then you forgot one essential part? . . . which is to get it all out of your house?

And instead, you just moved all the trash into a different room? I have done this plenty of times and learned a valuable lesson. If you decide to clean something out…a room, a drawer, a closet…make sure to remove the unwanted items from your home IMMEDIATELY!

Dirty House Reason #8: Dirty Doors

Is the entrance to your home dirty? Most of us clean our surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom regularly because we know they get really dirty.

But another area you can add to that list to clean often are the doors your family uses most often.

They are constantly being touched when people enter and exit your home.

Your kids have played in the dirt and grime outside, used public restrooms at target and picked up something suspicious at then park. So on top of grime, there are germs.

Don’t forget to clean your doors with Krud Kutter often. 

dirty house dirty door

Dirty House Reason #9: Invasion of the home decor

Maybe you are aspiring to be a interior designer but just have not quite gotten the knack yet. So you decorate and decorate and decorate, only to find the look you got (cluttered), is not what you were going for.

If you don’t want to feel like you live in a dirty house, then try a more minimalist approach to decorating…less is more. And you will even find that it is much easier to actually clean if you have less “decorations” laying around.

Dirty House Reason #10: Small items everywhere can look like a dirty house

This is along the same lines as too much decor…Too many Knick knacks. Maybe you were trying to decorate or maybe you just love to showcase your collection. Either way having too many things out on shelves, tables, or furniture of any kind can make your home look dirty even when you just cleaned.

dirty house too many knick knacks and decorations

Here is a related post you may like…How To Declutter Your Home Without Guilt 

Dirty House Reason #11: There are still “things” hanging out

You dusted and mopped and vacuumed…oh my! But if your drawers and closets are so over stuffed that there are still things hanging out of them, then you need to attend to them. Because if your drawers and closets cannot be closed, then your home will look dirty no matter how hard you clean.

And when we have no place to store things, many times we actually start hanging things in places they don’t belong…like on banisters and the backs of chairs. The bad part is that much of the time, you don’t even realize your things are “hanging out” because you are so used to seeing them there.

Declutter your home so you can fit all of your “things” where they need to go…out of sight.

things hanging out of white dresser drawers

Dirty House Reason #12: You’re not making your bed 

I can admit that I am not a huge bed maker. I know I am getting into it again in about 14 hours so what’s the point? But the days I do make my bed, my room just looks so nice and clean. So if you feel like your room is still feeling messy after you clean, that could be it. 😉

Dirty House Reason #13: You Have Grimey Carpet that can look like a dirty house

You can vacuum all day, everyday, but if your carpet is dirty from stains or foot traffic, then vacuuming will not do you any good. 

Here are some tips to try to get your carpet looking cleaner:

  • Stop wearing shoes in the house…because it’s just gross (think about where your shoes have been), but it also leaves dirt on your carpets.
  • Spot treat stains (pet or otherwise) with a carpet cleaner like this one
  • For a little more money, most of my friends rave about this little buddy (seriously swearing that they cannot live without it) for getting out pet stains.
  • Hire someone to steam clean your carpets. 
  • Or better yet, if your carpet just keeps getting gross, save yourself some money by investing in a good steam cleaner of your own. Then you can do it whenever you need to. This is a great brand with loads of good reviews.
dirty house dirty carpets

Dirty House Reason #14: Things are broken chipped or scratched

Despite the fact that you wipe all your surfaces down every night after dinner, do you still feel like you live in a dirty house?

It could be that your counter tops and other table top surfaces are old and outdated, a dingy color, or have scratches, stains or chips. All of which make them look old and worn. In other words… it feels like a dirty house even after you have cleaned. 

Things like end tables, kitchen tables, and other tables in your home may look dirty because the finish is peeling off, there are water stains on the wood, or they are scratched and discolored. 

Replace old countertops if possible (there are loads of laminates that look just like granite these days), or if that is too expensive, try covering them with this. I watched a you tube video where a girl used this and it looked great when she was finished. Check it out…

For wood furniture, you can refinish it, or better yet, just chalk paint it like I did on the table below. It is so much easier than refinishing and it gives your furniture a clean, fresh, modern look.  I love Rust-Oleum chalk paint. Check out the different colors you can choose from here.

Dirty House Reason #15: Shelving is cluttered and so not organized

Are you trying the new open shelving trend only to feel like you are living in a dirty house?

The thing about open shelving is that it can quickly become cluttered if you are not doing things right. Not only that, but open shelving becomes dusty much faster than closed shelving like cabinets. Leaving both the shelf and possibly what you have stored on that shelf, a dusty mess.

Make sure that if you are using open shelving in the kitchen, that you arrange things by category, size, or even color to give the shelf a look of “yeah, I put that there for a reason and it looks good”.  Not just a shelf with loads of random stuff on it. Stack and showcase only your beautiful dishes and other items…not the ugly stuff like boxes or bags of rice.

As for open shelving in other rooms, you may find that they are being filled with senseless clutter.  If that happens, declutter your shelves and only arrange useful or pretty items on the shelves to make them look less dirty.

cluttered open kitchen shelves

Dirty House Reason #16: Fabric is wrinkled, squashed or dusty and old looking

Do you have old furniture or throw pillows that seem to have lost their shape? Do they look faded or dusty?

If so, they can be making your home feel like a dirty house.  Old upholstery and fabric can become discolored, dust filled, squashed, wrinkled, and completely out of shape…making your home look out of shape as well.  

Be sure to replace items that look like they have “seen better days”.  This will update your home’s look and give it a fresh, clean look and feel.

Old upholstered furniture? Try using a light colored slip cover like this one to give it new life.

dirty black couch being cleaned with steam cleaner

Dirty House Reason #17: Lighting is dim and room is dark

A dark and dingy room can make you feel like you are living in a dirty house. 

Add lighting in the form of floor and table lamps in every room.  The more the better. 

And try a different light bulbs.  If you are still using the old “soft white” bulbs that give off a yellow hue, you may want to try something like a daylight bulb instead to bring more light into your home.

dim yellow lighting making everything look yellowy orange

Dirty House Reason #18: Dish towels are stained making your house look dirty

Have you ever had people over and been embarrassed when they try to help you with the dishes?  I have. 

Why? Because my dish towels and dish rags were stained and holey.  And I kept them out where people could see them! YUCK! 

Things like dirty linens can definitely make your home feel like a dirty house to other people…not just you. So invest in some new linens like these and keep them just for when guests come over.

Dirty House Reason #19: Old faded and worn rugs

Remember when we talked about the old furniture and pillows above?  Well, the same can be true for your rugs.  Faded, stained, or worn thru rugs are going to give the impression that you have a dirty house. 

Even if your hardwood underneath is immaculate. 

So replace those rugs.  Try these by Ruggable… they are washable right in your own washing machine!

Dirty House Reason #20: You don’t have a place for everything which can look like a dirty house

If you have not designated a place for everything…and taught the rest of your family to put things away, then it is time to start. 

Because you can clean and clean and clean, but if there is no set place for your remotes guess where they will wind up…on the floor. 

And guess where all the throw blankets will end up…on the floor. 

So all that cleaning you just did doesn’t matter.  Because your family is making it a dirty house by not knowing where things go. 

So set a defined spot for everything and teach your family where things go.

organization of shell collection using glass hurricanes
shop glass hurricanes

Dirty House Reason #21: Collections are taking over

All kinds of people have collections.  But my kids seem to be the biggest collectors of all. 

From shells, to stuffed animals to rocks, I had to figure out what to do with the collections.  Because I learned really fast that there definitely can be too much of a good thing.  

So set out your most favorite collectibles, and store the rest.  Not only will that make your home look less like a dirty house, but it will be much easier to clean and dust that area in the future.

Another option is to find a way to display things in a decorative…non cluttery kind of way (like in the picture above).

Dirty House Reason #22: Lamp shades are old and discolored

Here we are with more old furniture. 

It is not enough that I have told you to fix your old furniture, throw pillows, and rugs, but now I am going to say you need to fix your old discolored lamp shades too

Dust them if they are dusty and buy new ones if they are yellowed. 

This will lighten up your room and make it feel brighter and cleaner by letting more light through the shades. It will also make the lamps themselves just look cleaner.

dirty house with dirty lamp shade

Dirty House Reason #23: Beat up baseboards and corners

And last but not least, we don’t really think much about the baseboards and corners in our homes. But if they are beat up or dirty, they can really make your home look dirtier than it is. 

I can remember my dad caulking and painting the baseboards in our home every year when we were growing up…maybe that is why I am so obsessed with it as well.  Here is a good video you can watch to see what I mean.

A little caulk and paint is all you need!

Related Post: How To Clean Baseboards Without Bending Over : 5 Quick And Easy Tips

Did These Tips For Cleaning A Dirty House Help You?

That’s right! I want to know what you think about these tips and I would also love to know some other tips you have to share to help others get that clean feeling from their home that they want.

Happy Cleaning!

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