Cleaning Basics for Home Health & Safety

Posted: January 14th, 2015 by Brad

Those towels, sheets and other household items may look clean, but are you sure? Good Housekeeping’s Meaghan Murphy is dishing out just how often to clean the basics.

How often do towels need to be cleaned?

Bath towels that are being used once a day to dry off after a shower can be used up to three times before needing to be washed. Hand towels, however, should be changed every one to two days since they are getting used more frequently and might even be drying hands that aren’t completely clean.

To wash, toss towels in warm water in the washer, then tumble dry on low heat. Murphy suggests washing them separately, and be careful to not overload the washer.

How often does the bathroom need to be cleaned?

It’s a dirty job, but one that should be done frequently. Murphy recommends cleaning the toilet seat, handle and rim at least every few days. The shower and toilet bowl interior can be cleaned weekly, if not visibly soiled.

Murphy recommends keeping a stash of cleaning products in every bathroom to make it easier to get the job done. Stock a basket with disinfecting wipes and mirror cleaner, and hang a squeegee from the shower head to help wipe down tiles after the last shower of the day to get rid of moisture and mildew.

How often do bed linens need to be changed?

Swap out your sheets and pillowcases weekly, suggests Murphy, and wash the mattress cover and pillow liners every few months, or monthly for family members with allergies. And don’t forget to wash the pillows one to two times a year. Murphy suggests washing two pillows at a time and using a machine without an agitator to help retain their shape. Consider running the pillows for an extra rinse cycle to get rid of all detergent, and give those pillows a good fluff once they are dry.

How often does the refrigerator need to be cleaned?

Murphy suggests cleaning and organizing the fridge on a weekly basis, but don’t be overwhelmed at the prospect. Here’s the breakdown of what you need to cover:

  • Keep the fridge organized so leftovers don’t linger
  • Wrap food and containers tightly to keep odors from transferring
  • Wipe spills on shelves and in bins with a warm soap solution and rinse

Have those points covered and you will likely never have to rip the fridge apart to get it clean.

How often does a mobile device need to be cleaned?

Phones can be swimming in bacteria, so give yours a wipe down every few days, and wipe the screen down with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol or an electronic wipe to kill bacteria.

How often is sufficient for washing jeans?

It might be trendy to never wash your jeans, but play it safe and gives those a good wash after every few wearings. The fabric absorbs body oils and stains, so it’s best to toss them in the washer. Just turn the jeans inside out before doing so to help maintain the color and use a detergent designed for darks. Murphy recommends tumble drying them on a low heat and taking them from the dryer when they are still damp to air dry.
Tips reported by the Today Show

Posted In: Blog

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