Updated: Jul 15
A Guide To How Often You Should Clean Everything in Your House
How often should you clean? The life span of a germ varies greatly depending on the bacteria and the surface. Teeny tiny bacteria and microbes consisting of viruses, soil, fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, sweat, excretions and skin cells all invade your spaces on a regular basis. So how often should you clean your tub, or wipe down your toilet or change your sheets, before they become something of a biohazard? Probably more often than you think.
Towels: Wash every three to four uses
Why: Nothing touches your bare skin more than your bath towels, and when they don't have a chance to fully dry, it can quickly start to smell. Hand towels should be washed every two to three days because let’s face it, your hands carry millions of germs on them at any given time. Washing your hand towels often will keep you from getting sick.
Wash every one to two weeks
Why: Your sheets are absorbing all that sweat, dead skin, and bodily fluids, and if you don't change them often your skin and social life will suffer.
Refrigerator: Spot clean as needed and deep clean every three to four months
Why: The single most important appliance in your home, your refrigerator deserves consistent upkeep. Give it a deep clean every 3 to 4 months. That means putting all your food in a cooler, turning it off, removing the shelves and drawers and washing them with hot soapy water. In between cleanings make sure to wipe up spills before they dry and remove foods that are spoiled or past their expiration date.
Vacuuming or Sweeping: Do this every week
Why: . Whether you have a carpet or hardwood floors, you'll need to keep a constant eye on this situation. When sweeping or vacuuming, make sure to move furniture, pick up bags, move cables and cords, and get deep into corners.You might want to wash your kitchen floors a little more often, due to food bacteria that can spread around.
Dusting: Do this every three days
Why: Wet a dish towel or microfiber cloth in warm water and ring it out so no drips fall. Next, wipe all surfaces, rinsing the cloth as necessary. Don't forget to dust the tops of framed artwork, high shelves, bedside tables, stereo and TV equipment, the tops of your door frames, and especially all of your lighting (it will make your apartment feel brighter).
Bathroom rug: Once a week
Toss the bathroom rug in the washer. Rugs should be vacuumed weekly (more often if you have pets) to keep dust, dirt and allergens at bay.
Toilet: If you live alone, you can probably get by with cleaning the toilet every few days. If you have kids, the rules change. The outside, handle and seat should get a once-a-day wipe down with an antibacterial cleaner or wipe. Closing the lid when you flush will also keep any dreaded plumes of particles from whooshing up into the air.
Shower curtain: Once a month, you should take down your fabric or plastic shower curtain throw it in the wash.
Shower and tub: You only need to clean your shower and tub once a week minimum, ideally you should everytime you finished showering. To prevent the build up of soap scum and keep the glass looking spotless, use a squeegee to wipe away water after every shower. These few seconds can save you from scrubbing at the end of the week.
Sink: Every day.
The germs from your hands collect on the sink knobs and in the sink bowl when you wash your hands. So, even if you live alone, the sink needs a good wipe down every day with an all-purpose cleaner or antibacterial cleaning wipe. Even if they look clean, sinks can get really gross
Mirror: Like the sink, the mirror needs a daily wipe down to remove lint, dust and toothpaste specks. Simply wipe it down with a microfiber cloth after you step out of the bath or shower.
Hair dryer: Yes, even your hair dryer needs a proper cleaning schedule to prevent it from overheating.
Sponge: Every couple of days
Your sponge is one of the grossest things you own. Microbiologists say you should replace it once a week. Your kitchen sponge gets awfully germy, with billions of bacteria on every square inch. Drop your sponge into boiling water for 2 minutes, putting them in the microwave for 2 minutes while damp every couple of days, and replacing them when they deteriorate.
Door Knobs: Once a week (in some rooms).
Though doorknobs accumulate a lot of bacteria, they need only need to be washed infrequently. Doorknobs in the bathroom and the kitchen are bound to catch a lot more bacteria, so disinfecting them at least once a week might be a good idea, especially if there’s an illness in the house. Doorknobs can be vessels for germs. Wipe the ones in your house down once every week or two. A germy door can spread a nasty virus around an office in mere hours. At home, make doorknob cleaning part of your regular routine. If someone is sick, wipe down knobs even more frequently.
Your phone: Daily wipe down.
Smartphones are with us nearly every waking moment. They often come into the bathroom and fall on the ground. They sit in our palms at almost every stage of the day, regardless of where our hands have been or how clean they are — and then we nestle the phones next to our ears. You can use a wet wipe or a gentle microfiber cloth. For extra cleaning power, add a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar to a corner of the cloth.
Your Jeans: Four to six days of wear
Despite what some denim manufacturers say, jeans do need some washing. Wash them every four to six days to stay fresh. So put your jeans in the wash after four to six days of wear. That will tighten up the fibers that loosen while you wear the pants and keep your neighbors' noses happy, too.
Your Keyboard: Every few days
Your keyboard is another household item that's often dirtier than a toilet seat. It's good to wipe down your keyboard, mouse, and monitor every few days. The keyboard isn't the only thing on your desk that's germy. An Australian study revealed that the average work desk has 400 times the amount of bacteria found on a toilet seat. To wipe your computer down, you can use a q-tip dipped in alcohol or a cloth with disinfectant cleaner. Always shut the computer down and unplug it before you clean.