The Importance of Regularly Washing Your Linen, Towels and Dishcloths
How often do you change your bed sheets and wash them properly? What about your towels? A lot of people don’t wash them often enough, and we’re not just talking about teenage boys! Linen, towels and dishcloths can all carry significant amounts of bacteria and need to be washed regularly for good health and germ protection. Read on to find out more about how often you should wash each of these items, and why.
Our duvets, sheets and pillows keep us comfortable and warm at night, and that feeling of snuggling into them after a long day is as close to heaven as you’ll ever get – but what if you knew that half of the skin you shed (around 15 grams a week!) is lying in your bed? You’d probably be pretty diligent about washing them regularly!
So, how often should your bedsheets be changed? Generally, every week is a good rule of thumb. However, if you sweat a lot, sleep naked, or don’t always shower before hitting the sack after a workout it should be more often. Yep, that means that on those hot South African summer nights you should probably change your sheets twice a week if at all possible. Bed linen and beds are also dust mite hotspots so be sure to wash your linen on a hot wash to get rid of any bacteria and mites.
There’s one fact that you hear over and over again about bacteria, whether it’s a chest infection or mould growing on fruit. That fact is that they thrive in warm, moist environments. Where is likely to be a great place for bacteria to grow in your house? The answer is: on the towels, in your bathroom. There’s regular steam from the shower or bath and you use your towel once or twice a day so it gets pretty damp pretty often!
So what’s the cleaning advice for towels?
The experts say that you should wash them every three days or so, including your hand towels. Yep, really! Not only are they constantly in that bacteria-friendly moist environment, but a lot of people pass through your bathroom and multiple people probably use the towels to wipe their hands and faces, so they really do need to be kept clean. While you’re at it, remember to leave out the fabric softener when you’re washing towels. It builds up over time and makes the towels less absorbent and less fluffy.
If you’re a stickler for home cleaning, you probably have a fairly spotless kitchen. Nobody likes to think of the area they prepare their food or the dishes they eat off being dirty or dangerous, so the kitchen is an area that most of us make an effort to keep relatively clean.
The thing is because of their very purpose, dishcloths can be a hive of activity for nasty germs unless you clean them properly. Much like sponges, the things we use to keep things clean can sometimes be the dirtiest of them all.
So how do you clean them to make sure you’re not just spreading bacteria around the kitchen? You should actually wash after every use, but that isn’t possible most of the time – so experts recommend that you dip them in diluted bleach (a couple of teaspoons in a sink full of warm water will do) after using and let them dry, then run them through your washing machine every week.