How often should wash your pets, jeans, hair and more?

July 30, 2014

How often you should clean anything generally depends on use and other variables that can change with one's lifestyle. We all know that personal hygiene should be maintained on a regular basis as well as that of pets in the home. Once you get into the routine of maintaining the things in your life, they last longer, and make your life easier.

When professional cleaning is needed, usually outdoor maintenance, money should be set aside to this end. As you know everything eventually breaks, so prevention often is helpful. With climate changes being as drastic as they are now, keeping things clean and safe is not always easy.

When it comes to cleaning, some people are compulsive while others can ignore dirt, mold, etc. until they have to clean it up. Cleanliness may, or may not, be next to godliness, but most of the time it reflects one's psychological makeup - from OCD to hoarding to more.

A while back, asked readers how often you wash your sheets. Turns out, the majority of you strip the bed every 10 to 14 days, while a good many of you go three and even four weeks in between washings! Eek! That got us thinking that perhaps some guidelines about when to wash what might be useful.

Dogs/Pets: As needed

Let your nose be your guide! If your pooch is getting smelly, or if he feels oily to the touch, then it's time to wash. Certain breeds, like cocker spaniels, are prone to oily skin, so definitely suds them up once a month. Dogs with thick hair like chows only need to be bathed three to four times a year.

Your Hair: Every other day

Washing your hair every day strips your strands of natural oils, so it's best to shampoo on alternating days at most. If you're prone to oily roots, spray or sprinkle dry shampoo as a refresher to soak up grease.

Your Face: Every night (and possibly in the morning, too)

Cleansing every night is essential for both men and women in order to prevent clogged pores and breakouts. If you have oily skin, wash again in the morning

Jeans: Every four to five wears

It's ok to wear your heavy denim jeans several times before washing, as long as they're not stained. Over-washing can cause them to wear out prematurely. From Levi's CEO: Don't machine wash your denim

1. Turn jeans inside out and wash in cold water.

2. Drip dry.

Bras: Every 3 to 4 wears

A general rule is that you should never wear the same bra two days in a row, because elastic needs time to reshape. Have a rotation of a few bras, and give each one at least 24 hours to recover before wearing it again. With proper rotation, bras can last several wears between washes.

Sheets: Once a week

Sheets should be washed often to remove a buildup of debris, dust, sweat and other icky things. Use hot water (130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit) and a hot dryer cycle to kill all germs.

Washer and dryer: After washing certain whites

Did you know that 60 percent of clothes washers are contaminated with bacteria? As if that weren't enough, underwear can harbor E. coli, and kitchen towels are prime breeding grounds for salmonella and other germs. So be sure to clean your washer and dryer when you wash certain whites! Zap germs by laundering those items separately in hot water (between 140F and 150F) and bleach - it's the only way to sanitize both your clothing and the machine.

Oven: Every six months

Not all ovens are self-cleaning. If yours isn't, set it up to clean while you sleep.

1. Remove oven racks and submerge them in hot water and liquid or granular dishwasher soap.

2. Soak overnight to cut down on scrubbing. Spray the interior and door with an oven cleaner. (Spread newspapers under the door to protect the floor from drips.)

3. Let set overnight and then wipe clean the next day with warm water and rags.

4. Run removable knobs through the dishwasher. Scrub stay-on knobs with warm water and dishwashing liquid.

Plan ahead when cleaning. If you plan to cook a big meal, schedule the oven cleaning a few days before or after. The process can create a chemical odor that clashes with cooking smells.

Dishwasher: Every month

Fungi and black yeast can grow in your dishwasher. So while it may seem strange to clean the machine that cleans your dishes, we recommend you tackle this task often.

Bed Pillows: Every three to six months

One study found that 16 species of fungi can live in an average pillow, and the stuffing actually attracts allergy-causing dust mites. So to ensure you're only laying your head down in a clean space, wash your pillows a few times throughout the year.

Sink and Drain: Every day

Because the kitchen sink has the second-highest concentration of microorganisms in the home, it should be cleaned daily.

Computers: As needed

Computer keyboards harbor five times the bacteria found on the typical toilet seat, according to one study. And 10% of people never clean their keybord - it's time for a change!

1. To disinfect your desktop, disconnect your keyboard and mouse, then pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a clean rag and wipe down both.

2. For deep crevices, use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

Grout: Once a year

Tackle scrubbing the grout in your shower (or any tiled surface) annually. You can easily brighten the grout with a simple, homemade cleaner.

1. Spray a 50-50 solution of water and chlorine bleach onto the grout (never use bleach on colored grout).

2. Let it sit for 20 minutes.

3. Then, using a grout brush dampened in clean water scrub to remove dirt and debris.

4. Blot with a dry cloth. Want to clean the surface of tiles, too? Dilute this solution by half and use it to get white tiles sparkling clean.

Mattress: Every six months

Believe it or not, the big, bulky bedroom essential is one of the easiest-to-clean items in your home - and it should be done twice a year!

1. Vacuum the top of the mattress using an upholstery attachment.

2. Then, remove stains by wiping down the surface with a cloth lightly dampened with cold water and a small amount of upholstery shampoo. Be careful not to soak the mattress (moisture can create mold and damage the padding). Protect your mattress from dust mites and stains by buying a quality mattress pad. And guess what: There's no need to flip your mattress! Instead, rotate it head to toe every six months for even wear.

Windows: Twice a year

Inside and out, windows are a must-tackle item to keep your home looking squeaky clean! By washing them regularly and using a squeegee, you'll get the best results!

1. Clean first with a sponge and a solution of 5 drops liquid dish detergent in 2 gallons water, plus a teaspoon of rubbing alcohol for extra shine.

2. After that, using a lint-free cloth or a coffee filter, clean a 1-inch strip at the top of the window.

3. Moisten the squeegee blade, position it in the strip and pull down in a smooth stroke.

4. Repeat, slightly overlapping each stroke, until the window is clean.

Get rid of pesky streaks! Wipe vertically on one side of the window and horizontally on the other so you can determine which side a streak is on.

Window Screens: Once a year

When warm weather arrives, it's time to de-grime and let the fresh air in.

1. Take screens out to the yard and spray them with a garden hose. (Remember to mark them so you will recall which windows they fit.)

2. Gently scrub the screens using a nylon-covered sponge and a cleaning solution of one part ammonia and three parts water.

3. Rinse with the hose and leave screens outside to dry in the sun.

No yard? Lay a drop cloth or blanket in your bathtub and place the screens on top. Clean the screens and hold them under the showerhead to rinse. If your tub is too small for the screens to lie flat, rest the bottom edges on the floor, placing them on an old towel. Spot-clean each screen using a nylon sponge and a squirt of window cleaner, then do the reverse side. Let screens air-dry. Before you put the screens back, clean the tracks in the window frame. Wrap strips of soft cloth around the tip of a screwdriver, dip it into soapy water and swab each corner and crevice

Read more ...   CNN - July 30, 2014