When to clean your items?

Cuddly toys
Clean: Once a week

Soft toys can act as a breeding ground for all sorts of bugs and bacteria. Although it might be tricky to prise the toy out of your child’s hands, if they take it everywhere they go it’s important to clean it once a week. Lots of soft toys can be put in the washing machine but check the label. If the toy is too fragile pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours, ideally overnight, to kill off any dust mites and bed bugs.

Bath towels
Clean: Once a week
According to research from Henry Hoover, our bath towels need to be washed every week – and that’s only if you’re drying them correctly every day. It’s also worth noting that you should only use half the amount of detergent when washing, as too much soap makes towels less fluffy. The research also suggests washing in warm water and skipping the fabric softener too.

Clean: Every three months
This is where it gets really disgusting. According to Mail Online, doctors have found that up to a third of a pillow’s weight can be made up of bugs, dead skin, mites and their faeces, and the average unwashed pillow can contain a revolting 16 species of fungi. Luckily, washing at 60c should kill most bacteria so chuck them in the washing machine once every three months.

Bed sheets
Clean: Once a week
The truth is, bed sheets can rack up a serious collection of sweat, body oils, saliva (if you drool), dirt from outside, sexual fluids, and even urine and faecal matter! Laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette told ATTN that if you have a scratch or a wound while sleeping in dirty sheets, you can definitely get an infection.

‘Athlete’s foot and other fungi can be transferred from fabrics. Infrequent cleaning of sheets and pillowcases allows the fluids to seep into the pillows and mattresses, and those are much more difficult to clean than tossing sheets in the washer,’she says.

On top of all of this, the dead skin cells that you shed every night can attract dust mites that feed off of the cells, and can affect breathing for people with asthma.

According to a recent YouGov poll, one in 20 of us wash our sheets only every four weeks, and more than a third wait 14 days. Laura Bowater, a microbiologist, recommends washing them once a week at a minimum of 60c to destroy bacteria. ‘Dry sheets and pillowcases in direct sunlight if you can, as UV light is effective in killing micro-organisms. Run a hot iron over pillowcases on the cotton setting (200c) to kill any leftover bacteria.’

Extracted from: https://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/wellbeing/