13 Filthy Things In The Home


What is the filth factor in your home? Explore this list of 13 Filthy Things In The Home to learn if changes are needed.

A dirty stove top

We all get busy sometimes and don’t have time to get everything done in the house. The laundry may get behind or dirty dishes may sit in the sink overnight but this list of 13 filthy things in the home are things we saw during our 18 years of owning a cleaning business. Live and learn.

One person’s idea of clean is not the same as another person’s idea of clean

The concept of the Filth Factor was born

Many years ago, one of our customers who lived in a rather large home, moved out of the master suite which she shared with her husband. She simply moved into the guest suite on the other end of their home. Obviously they were working on some marital issue which is none of our business. Marriages are all worth saving so I’m glad they worked it out. Nonetheless, as we were cleaning one day, she stepped into the master suite and stated to us that her husband’s filth factor was much larger than her own. It was an awkward apology for her husbands high tolerance to filth which he did indeed have. I won’t elaborate.

The F9 Filth Factor rating

The highest filth factor I would assign became an F9 after cleaning an apartment with that number one day. The resident had opened the cabinet door under the bathroom sink and used that area as a litter box for her 12 cats! No she did not have a real litter box, she just tossed the litter right inside the wood cabinet. The owner had to replace the cabinet.

My solution to needing a really big litter box for a really big cat? We made this over size litter box and it works like a charm.

13 Filthy Things In The Home

  1. Mold growing on the gaskets of the dishwasher and refrigerator are filthy things.

  2. Leaving dirty underwear anywhere other than the laundry hamper (I could tell you several stories, all of which are disgusting)

  3. Caked up toothpaste anywhere in the bathroom (you know that came flying off the toothbrush, please wipe it up immediately)

  4. Dirty dishes with food debris left sitting anywhere in the home except in the kitchen sink

  5. Carpet or flooring stained from pet accidents, then topped with food and beverage spills. (again, I have stories to tell!)

  6. Nasty toilet seats, rims and/or bowls (If you sprinkle when  you tinkle, please be sweet and wipe the seat, Free Printable on this page) If you have a blow-out, clean that up immediately. You are wrong for thinking that the cleaning lady see’s that all the time. She does not. This is a filthy thing.

  7. Any evidence of rodents or bugs. Yes, they are going to come inside of even the most spotless clean home. Spray for bugs immediately and get rid of them!

  8. Nasty cat litter creates multiple problems. It stays between the cats paws and is tracked all over the house. Litter boxes should be scooped daily. Don’t you flush every time?

  9. Not wiping down the stove and counters after preparing a meal(s). Just think of the many things which are lain directly onto the surfaces in the kitchen. Germs are transferred by the hands which touch those surfaces and the things which were on them. Caked up food debris is difficult to remove.

  10. Not wiping the explosions out of the microwave and therefore allowing it to bake on.

  11. Not cleaning the soap scum out of the shower/tub and walls (we have actually had to use a razor blade to scrap out the soap scum in some homes)The longer you let it go, the harder it will be to clean.

  12. Nasty sink stoppers, especially  in the kitchen. This is such a nasty thing. You can put your kitchen sink stopper in the dishwasher on the top rack!

  13. Dirty dish clothes! Wash dishes one time only with each dishcloth, then replace the dishcloth with a clean one for the next time. NEVER use a sponge for dishwashing!

Microwave cleaning Pro tip


Find a free printable with this song at the end of this post. Contrary to popular belief, the ladies room needs this sign also!

If it didn’t get filthy overnight, it will take time and elbow grease to clean it

My Tips For Washing Dishes by Hand

Do clean the sink prior to making dish water. You can’t clean dishes in a dirty sink.

Do scrap/rinse all food debris from dishes, pots and pans prior to putting them into the dish water.

Wash the dirtiest pans and cookware last. Greasy water does not clean dishes.

If all the soap suds have diminished, drain the dirty water and make clean soapy water.

Do not use sponges for cleaning in the kitchen.

If you insist on using a sponge for cleaning the kitchen, rinse it thoroughly and soak it in bleach water after each use.

Cleaning tips

Greasy frying pans should be washed last.www.intelligentdomestications.com

Two things about those greasy, very nasty pots and pans;

1. Wash them last because you can’t clean dishes with dirty water and this will indeed make the water dirty.

2. If you put your nice clean dishcloth directly onto that surface to wash it, your dish cloth will be permanently stained.

yellow Scrub Daddy cleaner

My favorite kitchen cleaning tool at the moment is the Scrub Daddy. They last a really long time and do a great job scrubbing pots and pans without scratching. I use mine to scrub my glass top stove as well. 

More Home Cleaning Tips

Avoid those filthy things by keeping your house cleaning chores up on a regular basis. I use this Speed Cleaning Kit I made on a regular basis in my home.

We developed this list of Best Bathroom Cleaning Products through trial and error from cleaning homes both filthy and not so filthy. We use the right product for the right chore.

How To Keep Your Dishcloth Stink and Stain Free. Yes, this is a real problem some people have but the solution is simple.

Let your tools do the work for you. Use this list of 20 Cleaver Uses for Vacuum Cleaner Attachments.

You know that Speed Cleaning Kit I mentioned? Here is how I use it. How To Speed Clean Your Home Like A Pro.

This is not a complete list of the filthiest things we have ever encountered but these do rank right up there near the top.

Free Printable If You sprinkle when you tinkle Be a sweetie and wipe the seatie

Grab this Free Printable for your workplace.

If you sprinkle Free Printable


Family Activities To Enjoy At Home

Family activities to enjoy at home for every season

Thank you for sharing!

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  1. Great post! Pinned and tweeted. Please join us tonight at 7 pm, and party with us. I can’t wait to see your new masterpieces or amazing classics! Lou Lou Girls

  2. Isn’t it funny how one person’s filth factor can be so different from another’s? I heard somewhere once that the kitchen sink is the filthiest place in the house, even dirtier than the toilet! Needless to say, I am fanatical about cleaning my sink!!

  3. Um ew about that cat litter! Yuck! Thank you so much for linking up to Merry Monday this week! I am sharing your post today on my Twitter! We hope to see you next week for another great party! Have a great week!

  4. Shirley I love this post. Oh some people do not know the difference between what is normal or not when it comes to cleanliness. I clean motel units and can tell how a person lives at home by the way they leave the rooms. Most are great but every now and then we get the food splattered around, unflushed toilets etc. Thanks for sharing on #wednesdayswisdom.

    1. I’m convinced some people think (falsely) that we see that kind of filth ‘all the time’. They are so wrong, thankfully!! I can only imagine the motel rooms when I know what rental properties look like!

    1. Mommy’s have so much to do, not the least of which is training their families to clean up behind themselves and help maintain the house as well! It’s quite a chore. Mother’s Day should come twice a year!!

  5. Eeek! Some of these things are just so gross I could not even finish reading them all! Yuck! You certainly sounded disgusted by this one! I just can’t imaging – that cat litter one! Great post Shirley!

    1. I didn’t even tell them all…You wouldn’t believe some of the filth we have seen through the years! The cat litter home created the F9 Filth Factor as being the worst. I cannot even imagine living like that myself, ugh!

  6. Okay I was a little scared to read this one (my house isn’t the cleanest, by any means!) but we don’t have nearly all of the problems on this list! If I could just get my husband to put his dirty dishes in the sink we’d be doing good… he tends to forget them and drive me crazy!

    1. That story about your husband reminded me of how my Mom used to wait on my Dad hand and foot. She would not only cook the meal but fix his plate and sit it before him, then remove it from the table also after the meal. Over the years he realized the situation and started tending to himself so she could sit down at the same time he did!
      My hubby frequently picks up my plate when dinner is done so I try to reciprocate often.
      I wish I could say that the dishes ALWAYS make it to the sink immediately but sometimes it make take a little while, the same day though.

  7. Wow there are some nasties in this list. My gripe is that sometimes people are just lazy. I can’t stand dishes that aren’t even rinsed and food is stuck to them. Thanks for sharing this list with us at #WednesdaysWisdom

  8. I’ve seen some houses that would make someone with the strongest stomach roll. But, such is the life of a social worker. Thanks for sharing your tips with us at the #AnythingGoes Link Party.

    1. Sandy, I used to be a social worker. I know what you mean, not even wanting to sit down on the furniture! God bless you for your service as a social worker, a very self rewarding career.

  9. Ewwy, some of these are so gross. Who doesn’t use a real litter box — yuckkkk!!! I’m guilty of using a sponge to wash dishes though, usually just pots and pans but still! I definitely didn’t know those weird little plastic scrubbies can be put in the dishwasher though! Thanks for the tip!

    1. Alex, I’m sure you clean your sponge after each use. They tend to grow germs very quickly due to the length of time they stay wet and dirty. Soaking it in bleach will help. Sponges certainly have their place in the kitchen but they just need to be properly cleaned.

  10. Hahaha! the battle against flith is never done!! Love the sign for little and big boys when in the bathroom!!

    Ursula aka Blueridge Beauty

  11. I admit – the OCD in me was a little scared to read this! But you had great info – I was happy to feel that I “passed,” not committing any of the infractions 🙂 the cat litter story – ugh!!! In pretty sure I can’t un-see that vision in my head!

    1. Karen, I’ve never been able to un-see that vision and it has been many years ago. It’s amazing just how uninformed some folks are about what is considered nasty or filthy.

  12. Great info on cleaning. Thanks for sharing your tips. I hate it when anyone leaves their underwear on the floor in their rooms. I try to clean dishes in the sink every night. I don’t always get every dish clean though. I am toying with the idea of closing the kitchen at 9:00. LOL

    1. That underwear on the floor thing is among the most disgusting things we’ve seen in other people’s homes. We either kicked them out of our way to clean the floor or picked them up using a clothes hanger. We have encountered some with disgusting things in them which we left right where it was. 😉

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