When to wash what, and how often

Everyone does things differently and much will depend on where you live and how hot the climate is. As a guide, the following tips will keep your home smelling fresh, and if you are anything like my family, hopping into a clean, freshly made bed after a shower with a fresh towel is one of life's little luxuries. 

The bedroom

  • Sheets both fitted and flat, pillow cases and duvet covers: every 1-2 weeks

Most people spend somewhere between 6 to 8 hours in bed every day. So if you look at your sheets like clothes the question is: Would you wear the same outfit for weeks and weeks at a time without putting them into the wash? 

It is not a hard job as your machine will do most of the work, but for a healthy bed and a healthier you, it is worth the time. For those who have a cleaner, this is a great job to pass on to them. 

Firstly, remove all of the pillow cases, fitted sheets, mattress protector, and covers. If you have a decorative blanket on the end of the bed hang this over the door to air while you deal with the rest of the sheets. To wash everything, put it into a short, hot wash with some lemon essential oils added to the machine. While you are waiting for these to dry either on the line or in the dryer, you can sprinkle some bicarb soda over the mattress. Mix the bicarb soda with a few drops of eucalyptus and lavender oil. Then wait half and hour and vacuum the powder off. This will help remove unwanted mattress odours.

Once you have the mattress clean, you can use a eucalyptus room spray to lightly spray the mattress. I recommend also adding lavender as it has relaxation properties that will help you sleep, but the choices are endless so just pick what you like. Leave this to dry and then remake the bed. In between washing the sheets, if it has been hot you can turn all the sheets back and spray with a eucalyptus room spray and just leave for a few hours to air. Opening the bedroom windows will help air the room and keep things fresh, but just open up all the doors inside the house in the colder months. 

The bathroom

  • Towels: every 3 to 4 days

There is nothing like having a fresh towel every time you have a shower or a bath but we need to be a little realistic on time spent washing and also remember the environment, so every 3 to 4 days or at least every week will suffice. 

It is also recommended that you do not share towels with others, which will help to stop the spread germs. After each use, hang the towel so it will dry completely. This will stop unwelcome mildew smells in the bathroom. If it is sunny outside, it is also nice to hang the towels out in the fresh air and sun for a while. A tip when washing towels: don't use fabric softener as over time, this will hinder the towels ability to absorb water.

Add a cup of white vinegar instead. I promise you this works, and it will not leave your towels smelling like a fish and chip shop. It is lovely to finish drying towels off in a tumble dryer, and if you add a couple of dryer balls they will make the towels fluffy and lovely. You can also add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the dryer balls for added luxury. 

  • Hand towels: every 2-3 days especially the ones in the bathroom

Hand towels are used by multiple people on a regular basis, so the more they are washed the better. Nothing special needs to happen to these other than a nice hot wash, or just throw them in with the regular washing. But remember, they really do need more washing than normal single-person-use towels, and not everyone washes their hands as well as you do. 

  • Bathmats: every week with the towels

Remember to hang this up so it will dry out every time it is used. Damp things hanging about tend to turn not very nice quite fast. 

  • Face cloths: after each use

Treat these like underwear. Remember: you are wiping your face with these so clean is best. 

The kitchen

  • Tea towels: at the end of each day

The best thing to remember is these are next to food, and can often touch things you eat so they need to be cleaned regularly. Also, if you are using them to pull out hot items from the oven they need to be dry in order to avoid a scolding burn. 

The rest of the house

  • Curtains: twice a year

Most people put up curtains and then do not give them a second thought, but it is good to remember that these are a dust collection point and the dust will eventually spoil the fabric as well as encourage damp. It is recommend that when vacuuming give the curtains a quick once-over each week, but also take them down twice a year and have them professionally cleaned, or just wash them yourself. Remember to check the washing instructions to avoid damage. You can also give them a room spray in between washes, just to freshen up. This will not only extend the life of the curtains, but will make for a healthier home.