7 Filthy Things Your Guests Will Notice When They Come Over

updated Feb 27, 2020
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(Image credit: Alexis Buryk)

I like to think of myself as “casual clean.” I keep my home clean and mostly tidy, but I don’t always deep clean all the time — partly because I’m busy, and partly because when I’m just living my life I don’t notice every little speck of dust.

But as soon as I know guests are coming over, I tend to snap into full-on disaster prep mode—I think I got that from my mom, to be honest. As soon as I know company’s coming, I suddenly start noticing all of the smaller details my brain ignores on a day-to-day basis and I worry that my guests will see them too.

Even though, hopefully, your friends and family wouldn’t judge you for having a home that’s, you know, actually lived in, if you’re like me and turn visits into reasons to go the extra mile, cleaning-wise, here’s what your guests might notice.

Smells You’re Nose-Blind to

It’s true that since you spend a lot of time in your home, you’re used to the way it smells. That means you might not notice if anything smells vaguely off, but your guests certainly will. So when you’re getting ready for their stay, take a little extra time to focus on areas of your home that might produce any weird odors — like the kitchen trash, the bathroom and, if you’re a pet owner, anywhere your furry friends hang out.

(Image credit: Diana Liang)

Gunk on the Bathroom Mirror

You might not always notice if there are toothpaste spots or streaks on the bathroom mirror since you likely pass by it every morning in a sleepy hurry, but a dirty mirror will be noticeable to your guests, so if it’s not already on your to-do list, give it a wipe-down before anyone arrives.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Dirt on the Baseboards

This is especially true in areas like the entryway (since guests will have to bend down or sit near the floor to take their shoes off) and the bathroom. Using a small bathroom tends to mean looking directly at the wall — and thus, the baseboards — in front of you. They won’t notice every speck of dust, but if you haven’t gotten to the baseboards since spring cleaning time, at least do a quick once over pre-visit.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

Dust on the Light Switches

Personally, I forget to clean the light switches all the time; as much as I use them, I don’t really look at them ever. But your guests who don’t have the operation of every light switch committed to muscle memory will spend time actually looking at them, so if there’s any dust or grime built up on them, they’ll be more likely to notice. The good news is, wiping them down doesn’t take much time at all.

(Image credit: Federico Paul)

Smudges Around the Door Knobs

This is more or less for the same reason as you should clean the light switches—you probably don’t spend as much time looking at your doors as you’re going about your day to day, and it’s easy to miss when smudges from your hands build up over time, but your guests will probably see it.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Grime on the Shower Curtain Liner

If your guests are staying overnight or long enough that they’ll plan to use your shower, they will definitely notice if there is any grimy weirdness on your shower curtain liner that you haven’t dealt with yet when they get in. So, before guests arrive, be sure to clean the liner—or replace it, if it’s about that time.

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Any General Fridge Funkiness

Since you probably don’t clean out your fridge every day, things can get kind of lost in there sometimes (I know my roommates and I are guilty of this). Smells tend to be kind of obvious, but sometimes things go bad or leaks occur that don’t smell—they’re just visible to other people searching for things. If you haven’t cleaned out your fridge in a while, now’s the time.