laundry basket

5 Common Home Items That You Should Launder Regularly

No matter how hectic your schedule is, you probably reserve at least a few hours of your weekend to do the laundry. After all, regularly washing your clothes is necessary to remove visible dirt and stains. Doing the laundry also prevents the growth and spread of bacteria that may cause diseases and body odors. Whether you use a washing machine with dryer or a traditional washer, you’re essentially taking care of your health when you do the laundry properly.

But if preventing illnesses and caring for your family’s overall well-being are among your top priorities, you shouldn’t stop with regular clothes washing. You also need to develop a separate laundry routine to keep common fabric household items free from dirt and germs. Otherwise, they can collect dirt and dust, become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria, and cause health issues. If you’re unsure how often you should wash your sheets, towels, and other fabric household goods, read on. This piece can serve as your guide in creating a fitting laundry schedule for such items.

Dish Towels

When it comes to drying kitchenware and cleaning up spills, dish towels are essential for your kitchen. Compared to using disposables, these reusable options are great for reducing the amount of waste your home produces as well as minimizing your grocery expenses. While it may not be necessary to throw them in the washer after every wipe, you do need to clean them or replace them with fresh towels at the end of the day. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself and your family’s health at risk.

Dish towels are often damp and warm—the ideal breeding ground for bacteria that cause illness. In one study, researchers found that nearly half of used kitchen towels tested positive for E. coli and staph. If you want to avoid this problem, place your used dish towels in the washer daily. Don’t forget to use hot water for better disinfecting and deodorizing effects.

Bath Towels

Do you hang your bath towel on the towel rack or clothesline after using it? If so, you can use it about three or four times before tossing it into the washer. But if you don’t let your towel dry properly after every bath, you may need to change it daily. That’s because a damp towel, especially one kept inside a dark bathroom, can have a load of bacteria growing on it. Using this can cause you to itch or even contract a skin infection.

Perhaps you often forget the number of times you’ve used your bath towel, so it’s harder to keep track of whether it’s time to wash it. In that case, you may want to rely on your sense of smell. A musty, stinky towel suggests the presence of mildew, which means you have to wash it and use a fresh one.

Sheets and Pillowcases

Because your body is in close contact with your sheets and pillowcases for several hours as you sleep, sweat, body oils, and dead skin cells can accumulate on these items in a few days. As such, it’s best to wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week to prevent dirt and germs from clinging to your skin and causing issues like acne. It’s worth stressing that washing your sheets at least once a week is a must, particularly if any of the following ring true to you:

  • You’re allergic to dust or pollen
  • You sleep with a pet
  • You sweat a lot
  • You have been sick

Blankets

Although your blankets don’t accumulate as much dirt as your sheets, you still need to wash them at least once a month if you use them every night. For blankets made from delicate fabrics, consider placing them in an extra-large laundry bag before throwing them in the washing machine. This will prevent stretching and minimize wear and tear. You may also want to use baking soda and vinegar to keep your blankets fresh-smelling and ultra-soft. Bonus tip: Try mixing salt with the detergent powder to keep the color from fading.

Curtains

When was the last time you cleaned your curtains? If they’ve been hanging for years, you may need to take them down and give them a good wash. While you may not notice it, curtains gather dust and absorb odors from around the home over time. That’s why you need to launder them every three to six months. But if you or a family member suffers from allergies or asthma, consider washing your curtains every other month to prevent the accumulation of dust mites that can trigger allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Hopefully, the tips above give you an idea of how to create a laundry schedule for common household items to keep them clean, fresh, and germ-free. While expanding your washing routine may be a bit daunting, perhaps you can focus on the many benefits to encourage you to keep moving forward. Remind yourself that every load of laundry washed regularly is a significant step toward good health, a better mood, and a more inviting home.

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