Pull out your calendars, folks. It’s time to clarify just how often you need to be whipping out the rubber gloves.
It’s not just about eliminating unsightly dust and grime. Maintaining a clean home is an important part of maintaining your health.
A build up of dust mites, mold, and other microbial growth can lead to everything from allergies to asthmatic reactions.
Don’t worry, our roundup includes some tips and tricks to help you get the job done.
Wash bed sheets weekly. We shed approximately 2 million skin cells in our sleep every week. You don’t want to sleep in that. Make sure you don’t pack your washing machine too tightly when washing sheets. They need space to get properly clean.
Pillows and comforters
Wash pillows and comforters 4 times a year to get rid of the build up of skin cells, dust mite excrement (yup) and moisture. Thankfully down and fiberfill pillows can go in your washer (make sure you wash two at a time to keep the machine balanced). Foam pillows cannot go in your washer, but they can be cleaned using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
Mattresses should be vacuumed every six months to remove dust and pathogens that can cause everything from skin irritation to runny noses. While you’re at it, make sure you flip and/or rotate your mattress four times a year to help maintain its structural integrity.
Towels should be washed every 3 to 4 uses and always aired out properly after use to prevent mildew and musty odors. To recharge your towels (i.e.: increase their absorbency and decrease odor), soak them in hot water with 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and half a cup of baking soda.
Clean your dishwasher monthly to prevent a buildup of germs and maintain the efficiency of your appliance … and to make sure your dishes are actually clean. Place a cup of distilled white vinegar –right side up –in the top rack of your dishwasher and run the machine on its hottest setting.
Clean your oven twice a year to prevent a smoky kitchen, charcoal-flavored food, unreliable temperatures and buildup of bacteria right where your uncooked food goes. You’re going to have to put some elbow grease into it, though … using your oven’s self-cleaning feature can actually make matters worse.
Soak your shower head annually to remove build up and actually help improve water pressure. If you don’t want to disassemble your shower, just tie a bag of vinegar to your shower head and let it soak overnight.
Clean your toilet once a week, but give it an extra deep clean once a month. This is especially important during cold and flu season. While you’re at it. Keep the lid down, this can help prevent the spread of germs.
Carpets should be vacuumed every two weeks, but deep cleaned (with a steamer) once a year. This can actually improve the air quality in your home.
Bras should be cleaned every 3 or 4 uses, but make sure you alternate bras between wears to allow the elastic to re-form. To help make hand-washing your bras less of a hassle, use a salad spinner and baby shampoo as your personal hand-washing machine.
Clean your jeans as little as possible, but a maximum of every 5 wears. Washing jeans dramatically shortens their lifespan. Try freezing them!
Dogs should usually be washed about once a month, but it depends on the breed. Breeds with thick coats (like chows) only need to be washed 3 or 4 times a year.