We’ve all done it. We’ve all worn the same bra for two weeks in a row or used the same washcloth until it started to become questionable. Even though I’m one of the cleanest people I know, I don’t remember when the last time I washed my water bottle was. So I wanted to really look into when to wash the things we use every day and when to just let them be. I’m not going to lie, I’m not as clean as I thought I was.
I grew up washing my sheets every two weeks and I still do. It’s a hassle to make my bed and wash everything, plus I thought it wore them out. I was wrong. SleepFoundation.org says that if you are sleeping in your bed every night, you need to wash your sheets once a week. They provide a helpful chart that shows when to wash every element of the bed and I am a little shocked because I don’t think I have ever washed my pillows (note: pillows, not pillowcases). The reason you should wash your sheets is because of how much time you spend in your bed and how much dead skin cells can accumulate on those sheets. Very gross, but also very informational!
I wash my towels once a week, but my bathroom doesn’t get any air, so sometimes I feel the need to wash them more often. Healthline confirms this feeling with the report that you should wash your towels after 3 uses if you shower every day. This broke my heart because I shower three times a day and I am not about to wash my towels every single day. So off to the store I go to buy a few more towels! Healthline gets into the nitty-gritty of the towel questions and says that you should always make sure your towels are completely dried out after you use them, so for me, that means putting my fan on for an extra bit. Damp towels create more opportunities for germs to grow and it’s just not a pleasant experience.
I have many more washcloths than towels, so I’m more okay with switching these out pretty often although I forget sometimes. There are mixed opinions on the washcloth washing. The max amount of times you should use one washcloth is 3 times in a row. After that, throw it in the laundry machine and clean it up. If you thought the bacteria that could form on damp towels was bad, just think about the soaking wet washcloths. Also, think of where you focus your cleaning with the washcloth. Most people use it to wash their face, which is a more porous region that is more susceptible to germs. I read recently that you should wash your washcloth every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean you use it once and run a load of laundry, but maybe that you buy a few more washcloths and put them into a daily rotation.
I have silk pillowcases and they have actually changed my entire life. Go buy ten. But I’m also really worried about them because they’re more delicate than regular pillowcases and so every time they go in the wash I have heart palpitations. I try to wash them once a week. Many sources agree with the once-a-week wash. A few say every two weeks, and one said every three days. Understand that certain situations should cause you to wash your pillowcases more often. If you drool or sweat when you’re sleeping, you might want to look into cleaning them every three days. If you’re like me and you end up sleeping on your arm instead of your pillow, you should be fine.
I am so ashamed of this one. I buy a new bra every time I have a small victory because it’s so fun and cute! However, this means I have about thirty bras and I’ve been wearing this one… for 5 days in a row? Embarrassing. You should try to wash your bra about every 2-3 wears. This means a day in the office with light sweating and very little activity. I have bras that I wear when I work out for an hour every day and I switch them out 2-3 times a week. I also have my comfy bra (you thought it was an oxymoron) that I wear when I’m transitioning to and from sleep clothes. Basically, just keep an eye on it. Don’t wear the same bra every day this week because it can get icky. But you also don’t have to change your bra every day — unless you want to, then you’re a queen and I marvel at you.
I am a strict shower before bed gal. I am clean and none of the outside world has touched me when I get into bed. That being said, I still like to change my pajamas about once a week. I will wear the same thing weeks in a row if I don’t keep track, but I usually remember. The American Cleaning Institute says that you should wash them after 3-4 wears. They do acknowledge that if you shower before you put them on, you will have more longevity in them, but just to be safe. That being said, The Real Simple said that you should treat them like daytime clothes and wash them after every wear. I don’t agree with this because I’m not going out in the world and walking around in my pajamas. I put them on the second before I slide under the covers and I take them off the second I get up. But if you’re one of those people who live in their pajamas (you WFH queen), then more power to you — just wash them.
I know it’s summer and jeans season is over, but this has always been a heated debate with everyone. When I say that this had the most across-the-board results I found yet, I do mean it. One source says every six weeks. Six weeks. They said to fold up your jeans and put them in the freezer every two days and avoid washing them until six weeks have passed. Reader. Do not do this, please. I will say that after I saw this, I went down a Google rabbit hole and realized that it is not scientifically proven that freezing your jeans will do anything but make them cold. Instead of moving your frozen meats around, wash your jeans every 3-10 wears. 3 wears if you’re going crazy and doing all the things and 10 wears if you just put them on to run to the store and take them off when you come back. But maybe keep track of them if you haven’t washed them in a bit.
My partner came to visit me last week and he asked for a water bottle. I said no. Not because I didn’t have any. Reader, I had 3. But none of them were clean. I get so confused as to how a water bottle that only holds water can get dirty, but it always does. The answer to this question was sadly the same all around. You should wash your water bottle every day. Wash it with soap and water or a weak vinegar and bleach solution. Many experts equate the water bottle to everyday dishes and that does make sense, but my 5-pound Hydroflask is a lot harder to wash than the cup I grabbed out of the cupboard. You can read on Martha Stewart’s website how disgusting it is to not clean your water bottle (hint: It’s equated to public toilet seats and dog bowls) and now if you’ll excuse me, I need to wash my mouth and water bottle out with bleach.
We are getting into hardcore spring cleaning mode now. But yes, your hairbrush needs to be washed every now and then. Understand that the hairbrush’s job is to clean the dust mites and dandruff out of your hair. While it’s excellent at its job, that means that the dust mites and dandruff just stay in the brush and might even get brushed back into the hair. Gross, right? This means you should wash your hairbrush/comb every 2-3 weeks if you don’t put a bunch of product in your hair. If you do use products, consider washing them once a week. According to Tik Tok, you should clean all of the hair off of your hairbrushes first. After that, soak them in a mixture of baking soda and shampoo (½ cup of both) for 30 minutes.
I know that this is a dreaded topic. Some of my brushes still have theatre makeup from high school productions and it has been a BIT since I was in high school. If you’re like me and really don’t use too much makeup, once or twice a month will do. If you do a full face every day, look into adding makeup brush cleaning into your weekly routine. Different brushes should get cleaned more than others. Your eyeshadow and foundation brushes should be kept pretty clean because they come in contact with the base of your skin.
And with that, we have a list of the most confusing things to clean. I know that it might not always be high on the to-do list or something that is glamorous, but that’s sometimes reality. I am about to move and I will be having a deep clean day of all the water bottles, duvets, pillows, bras, and such. If you haven’t really deep cleaned these objects before this could be a perfect time. Set yourself up with an audiobook or podcast and start to go through your things that have been a bit neglected.
Did we miss any overlooked need-to-clean areas? What are you washing first? Comment below!
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