For me, cleaning is all about finding balance. If I’m not cleaning something enough, it’s dirty, which frustrates me. On the flip side, I sometimes catch myself spending too much time cleaning something that really doesn’t need it. Asking yourself, “How often should I clean this?” helps you be more efficient, rather than just cleaning out of habit. So, how often should you be cleaning things—specifically, things in your bedroom? We’re going to address these items so that you can spend your time doing something else besides cleaning.
I know men might find this really hard to believe but our lady friends tend to sweat as well! That means that our bras need to be cleaned fairly regularly. Now, this is a contentious subject on the interwebs—there is no shortage of opinions! I’ve done a lot of research over the years and I’ve come to this: I wash my bras after every two to three wears. I also leave a one-day gap between wearing them at which time I’ll just air them out. I have a really handy tri-sorter in my bathroom, and I just lean them over the edge to let them breathe.
Bedsheets can definitely affect the way a bedroom smells. I used to own a student property as an investment, and one day I went in for an inspection, and honestly, the bedrooms smelt like nothing I had ever smelled before (and not in a good way)! A key contributor to that smell was probably the fact that the students hadn’t washed their bed sheets since the school year had started! The point is, you need to wash those bed sheets—not only because you’re shedding dead skin cells, sweat and body oils—but your sheets are touching your body on a regular, prolonged basis, and just like clothing, they need regular laundering.
Now, in the summer, you’re going to sweat more. So, you might want to up your washing frequency just to make sure that your bedroom doesn’t start stinking, and in the cooler months, you can slow down how frequently you wash your sheets. Once a week is a good frequency to follow in your cleaning routine. If you’re traveling or just end up being super busy and have to let it slide to two weeks… we won’t tell anyone! And when you’re in-between washes, try out my DIY linen spray to refresh your sheets!
Shower Curtain & Tub Mat
When I was growing up, my mom was adamant that we close the shower curtain and pull up the non-slip shower mat from the bottom of the tub after each use. If we didn’t, we heard about it, and there’s a really good reason why! If you don’t close your shower curtain after each use, that pink, mildew moldy stuff starts to grow in the creases. In terms of frequency, you can look at the inner shower curtain liner and you can see if there’s any chalky white build-up (that would be soap scum), and that build-up eventually starts to feed that pink mold and mildew stuff that starts to grow. So, if you see that stuff it’s a good indication that it needs a cleaning. In general though, if you keep your bathroom well ventilated after each shower, and make sure you close those curtains, a thorough cleaning once a month should be sufficient. We have a whole video on how to clean a shower curtain and mat so be sure to check that out.
I once read that Martha Stewart changes out her bathroom towels every day! That must be nice, but I think that’s overkill. For the rest of us, I think it’s totally fine to change out towels once or twice a week. It really depends on how frequently the towel gets used, and of course, the time of year. In the summer I tend to change my bath towel out more frequently because there’s more humidity in the air—this means that towels tend to get musty quicker. In the cooler months, I generally go a full week before changing it out.
Bathroom Floor Mats
Bath mats are a really nice way to pep up your bathroom, but if they’re not clean, they can get really disgusting. Your bath mat can absorb a lot over the course of a day, or a week, or a month, which is why I think they should be laundered monthly. They can absorb hair, dirt, debris, dust, things from the bathroom—and God forbid—if it’s by the toilet and you happen to stand up while you’re peeing… you get the idea. So, throw it in the washing machine, follow the care instructions, and hang it to dry. You’ll feel so much better, your bathroom will smell fresher, and of course, it’ll look a lot cleaner.
If my pillow isn’t comfortable I cannot sleep, period. There was a time when I struggled so much with finding a comfortable pillow that once I found one, I vowed to take the very best care of it. My sleep is just that important. We get asked a lot about how frequently you should be cleaning a pillow and the general answer is, think about cleaning your pillow three times a year. Now, the really important thing about a pillow is to get a pillow protector. These prevent staining, dust mites, bedbugs, oil, skin cells and any other gross things that you don’t want seeping into your pillow, from getting in there. Then, when you wash your linens, you simply take off that pillow protector and throw it in the washing machine. Oh, and bonus—we have a whole article on how to clean pillows!
Comforters & Duvets
And while we’re on the topic of bedding, we might as well talk about comforters as well. To begin, there are two kinds of comforters; There’s the comforter made up of a duvet and a duvet cover, and then there’s a traditional one-piece comforter. Interestingly, a lot of the one piece comforters are not machine washable, which means they’re a little more high-maintenance, and you have to take them to the dry cleaner to have them cleaned. Your care label will tell you exactly how to take care of your duvet cover or your comforter. What I recommend is, to clean your comforter twice a year, or if you’re like me, and you let your pet sleep on your bed with you, you might want to up that to four times a year.
Now, if you have a duvet cover, you’re in luck. It’s a bit of a pain to take off and put back on, but you can easily launder your duvet cover when the mood strikes. I recommend every month or so so that the actual duvet is well protected.
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