Friday, 29 April 2016

Top tips: How Often Should You Clean Home Items

Yvonne Manomano, Cleaning Operations Manager at on-demand DIY and cleaning services company Handy (, comments

Written by Yvonne Manomano
If you don't dry your towel properly, it provides a perfect place for bacteria to breed and will eventually start to smell, which is why you should aim to wash your towels once a week, especially if you don't hang them up to dry properly. I would also suggest not using excess detergent, as that will make your towels less fluffy.

Ideally, you should wash your bedding once a week. When washing sheets, turn them inside out, as that will keep the colour for longer. If possible, try drying them in sunlight to get rid of bacteria, but if that isn't an option, you can run them over with a hot iron once they are dry as that have the same effect. Pillowcases need special attention, as they accumulate hair and beauty products and have to be washed weekly and even twice a week if you are prone to breakouts.

Pillows, duvets and mattresses
Pillows, duvets and throws also require a regular clean, which should be done a few times a year at least. Before you wash your pillows, remember to read the care label: most down and synthetic pillows can be put into the washing machine on a gentler cycle, but memory foam pillows should be cleaned differently, as shown on the label. When it comes to your duvet, always check the label first and if there is a stain, try moving the feathers away and treating it, before laundering it. If you don't think the duvet will fit in the washing machine, fold it in half and move it around – if it moves easily, you have enough space.

Your mattress needs to be cleaned twice a year, as it harbours lots of dead cells and dust, which can irritate your sleep. Make sure you give it a good vacuum with an upholstery attachment, lie it back down and sprinkle with baking soda to remove any lingering odours. I would suggest leaving the baking soda on for 2 hours then vacuuming it off for the best possible result.

How often you clean your curtains really depends on where you live – those living in cities will need to wash their curtains more frequently, aiming to do so at least twice a year. First, read the care label carefully, to make sure the curtains can be washed in your washing machine, then remove all the hardware from the curtain and wash on a cool cycle, taking them out before they are completely dry, as that will make ironing easier. You can also freshen up your curtains by giving them a weekly vacuum with the upholstery attachment, or giving them a gentle shake to remove some of the accumulated dust.

Ideally, you should aim to vacuum your carpets twice a week, at a relatively slow pace– vacuuming too quickly won't produce the results you want. You should also make sure not to miss the harder to reach corners and crevices, as that is where the dust is most likely to build up. It is also a good idea to start your cleaning from the top, first doing the dusting and then the vacuuming – this will save you from going back and re-doing your work. Lastly, remember that vacuuming is often not enough and your carpet may need to be professionally cleaned. In fact, some carpet manufacturing companies will have it in their warranty, that the carpet must be professionally cleaned once a year or once every 18 months.

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