How Often Should You Clean Things?


Wash sheets weekly

 

You should have a protective mattress cover to guard against dust mites that can build up in your mattress.

 

Pillows

 

They have dust mite problems too. In five years, 10% of your pillow’s weight is due to dust mites. Use protective covers, or get new pillows that can be washed weekly with your sheets.

 

Towels

 

Once you dry off from your bath or shower, if you keep your towel open and let it air dry, you can get away with up to four uses. If you fold your towel, where it stays wet for hours at a time, one or two uses and it must be laundered.

 

Scrubbing the Shower/Tub

 

This one is a little tricky. First it depends on how much you use it, but for daily usage, you should scrub once a week. Forget those spray-on cleaners that promise to do the scrubbing for you. They don’t touch that biofilm buildup that only goes away with a mechanical action like scrubbing with a brush or sponge.

 

Toilets

 

Should be cleaned daily, but at the outset, at least once a week. Moisture likes to hang around in bathrooms and bacteria loves moisture.

 

Dishes

 

Really these should be done on a daily basis, but if you do have to leave them for a day or two, at the very least rinse them, or soaking in soapy water to avoid the growth of bacteria. A drop or two of bleach won’t hurt either.

 

Cleaning out the Refrigerator 

 

This is an ongoing job. Any spills should be wiped up immediately, especially if it comes from meat or fish. This will limit your exposure to E. coli or Salmonella. If you have no major spills, then you can get away with cleaning this every two to three weeks or so. Be sure to get rid of all the science experiments while you’re at it.

 

Washing your fruits and vegetables 

 

A lot of folks skip this step, and that’s a dangerous practice. A lot of fruits and veggies are contaminated with E. coli or Salmonella before you even bring them home.

 

They should be soaked for five minutes with a small amount of citric acid, then dried prior to eating. Don’t eat a grape in the store, and don’t let your kids eat them either.

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