We bet spring-cleaning is on your mind right about now: time to tackle every corner of your home until it shines! Still, if spring is the only time you wipe those baseboards or vacuum those crumbs that collect behind the stove, we have some sobering news: Many of those oft-overlooked areas should be cleaned more often. Way more often, in fact.
Curious about what you’re missing? Here’s the dirt on all the places in your house that are crying out for regular cleaning, and how often you should tackle each task.
Your couch and other furniture
How often: Every two weeks
Lift up a couch cushion, and you’ll be stunned at how many crumbs, clumps of pet hair, and remnants of dirt are underneath.
Start by using your vacuum’s furniture attachment to go across the upholstery in an up-and-down V shape, which will help collect dust and hair from the furniture.
Have pets? Don rubber gloves and run them across the surface to gather excess pet hair easily.
Then, move on to spot cleaning. But know “the code” before starting the cleaning. A W on the tag means the upholstery should be cleaned only with a water-based cleaner; an S signifies dry-clean solvent only—either DIY or taking it to a cleaner; and S/W means either method is safe.
How often: Covers once a month; pillows every four to six months
Do you frequently curl up on your couch for a Netflix binge while cuddling that throw pillow? Yeah, this is why you need to wash those pillow covers regularly, and then also wash the pillows themselves to shake off dust mites. In the meantime, it wouldn’t hurt to give them a good vacuum as you do your couch cushions.
Just be sure to check the tag, because many throw pillows may not be machine-washable, especially those with embellishments. You can wipe them with a damp sponge with a mild soap, or purchase new ones and call it the cheapest room makeover ever.
Rugs and carpet
How often: Vacuum once or twice a week, especially in high-traffic areas, and shampoo or steam-clean rugs and carpets once or twice a year
If you are going the DIY route, never use hot water, which could shrink the rug. Do a spot test first by wetting a rag with a little of the solution and dabbing it on a small area of the rug; if the color doesn’t run or transfer to the rag, you should be good to go.
It’s also best to implement a “no-shoes” policy so you are protecting your carpet and not tracking bacteria and dirt across it.
Drapes and curtains
How often: Every six to eight months
Curtains are easily neglected, but while we may not directly interact with them, they can accumulate dust and odors from around the home. While most drapes can be machine-washed on the delicate setting, those that are silk or linen should be dry-cleaned—as always, read the label.
How often: Everyday
Stock up on kitchen towels, because you shouldn’t use them more than once as they harbor bacteria and mildew. And always wash them in hot water to kill all those nasty kitchen germs.
How often: Wipe up spills and food particles weekly
Start by completely emptying the appliance. Store perishable food in an ice chest to prevent spoilage, just in case cleaning takes a while, and then do a thorough cleaning of all drawers and shelves, including the in-door receptacles. And don’t forget to clean those refrigerator coils below.
Washing machine, dishwasher, and other appliances
How often: Annually
Yep, even the things that clean our things need to be cleaned. Got it? We’re talking the dishwasher, washing machine, and garbage disposal. And bless the “self-cleaning” feature on the oven, but you’ve also got the microwave, stove, dryer, toaster, and more.
Check out our appliance cleaning guide, and also realize that this chore doesn’t just make your appliances shine brightly; it also increases their efficiency and life span, making it well worth your time.
How often: Weekly
Germs, sweat, body oils, dust mites … do we need to go on? Throw them in a hot wash, and sink into a clean bed tonight.
How often: Every two days
What is this, a hotel? No, the towel change-out isn’t just because you want extra service. In fact, this frequent washing prevents mildew buildup, and worse. Sorry to break it to you, but nearly 90% of our towels could be contaminated with coliform bacteria, which is found in—you guessed it—fecal matter.
How often: Once a month
Just run your shower curtain and liner through the washer. We recommend you throw in a few towels, which will help scrub away any stains, and then let them hang dry.
How often: At least every six months
Pillows can harbor dead skin cells, bugs, dust mites, and more. However, the good news is that pillows are a lot easier to wash than most people think—almost all types, even down, are machine-washable. Feather pillows can be dried on the “air fluff” or “no-heat” setting; for synthetic pillows, use low heat. Dryer balls will cut down the drying time.
If you don’t have any, substitute a tennis ball wrapped in a clean white sock.
Comforter, duvet, or other blankets
How often: Depends on your sleep style
If your comforter has a duvet cover, but you use a top sheet regularly, you can probably wait to wash it monthly, as the top sheet will shield your body’s oils and grime from the cover.
Otherwise, you should wash the duvet cover every two weeks and then just do the comforter once or twice a year, since the duvet protects the comforter from dust and germs. Wash quilts every few months, but make sure to read the label as some might need to be dry-cleaned.
Have questions about your home? We’re always here to help! Give us a call at (281)912-5582 or click here to speak with an agent today.