How Long Can You Really Use Towels?
Fabric towels have become popular for good reason. Not having to replace them every time that you use them is a great benefit for multiple reasons. However, it’s easy to leave a towel hanging and forget to replace it.
After a while, it just isn’t as hygienic as when you first pulled it out of the linen closet. Especially if you dry off after a shower with them, that moisture can attract bacteria. Hang them to dry and wash them every few uses.
Drying Yourself Off
When you get out of the shower, the first thing that you probably do is dry yourself off before you get dressed. If you’re in a hurry, you might just dry off “enough.”
Despite how convenient this might seem, you’ll want to take the time to dry yourself thoroughly before getting dressed. It follows a pretty good rule of thumb: if you trap moisture, there’s a higher chance that you’ll invite bacteria, fungi, and more.
Another Note on Showering
When you hop in the shower, you might have more than just your towel habit working against you. The way you shampoo can make a difference, too. In fact, it’s about how often you shampoo.
Yet, you don’t want to over-wash your hair either. It’s a great idea to do some research on the needs of your hair type to find the balance that works for you.
Don’t Forget Your Hands and Feet
This seems like it should go without saying but it’s actually a more common hygiene mistake than you might think. After all, none of us are infallible.
Still, if you aren’t making sure you wash your whole person in the shower, you aren’t getting as clean as you possibly can. That means you should make sure to take your soapy washcloth to your hands, feet, and every other part of your body when you shower.
Check Your Hairbrush
Once you’ve jumped out of the shower and toweled off your hair, you might reach for your hairbrush and start running it through to get rid of any tangles.
Don’t forget — your hairbrush needs a little TLC too. Of course, you need to start by pulling all that old hair out that gets caught in the bristles. To sanitize it a bit, you can stir a bowl of hot water and shampoo with your hairbrush for a deeper clean.
Brushing Your Teeth
If you’re like most people, you probably brush your teeth twice a day. Usually, the ideal habit is to do this once in the morning and once at night.
However, also like many people, you might be cutting your brushing short. That means that you won’t get your teeth as clean as you could be. If you make sure to brush for two full minutes, you can dodge plaque, gingivitis, and other oral problems between dental visits.
Brushing Too Hard
When it comes to brushing your teeth, you might think the only thing to worry about is brushing too little. However, there’s another consideration to keep here.
When you brush your teeth, time and care win out over brute force. Believe it or not, a lot of people brush their teeth too hard! It might seem impossible but when you brush too hard, you can damage the enamel on your teeth and put your gums at risk.
Skipping Your Tongue
This is one that many people forget and it can really create a haven for bacteria in your mouth. Not skipping this step is great for your oral health and your breath.
When you’re brushing your teeth, it’s important to make sure that you’re brushing your tongue as well. You can even get tongue scrapers for this and many toothbrushes have one on the back for your convenience. A thorough cleaning includes your tongue, too!
Replace That Toothbrush
No matter where or how you store your toothbrushes, they aren’t going to last forever. You’re going to need to get a new one in a reasonable amount of time. Of course, it’s easy to keep your toothbrush around too long.
So, when should you really be replacing it at least every three to four months? On the other hand, if you notice that the bristles are starting to fan out or break down before then, it’s time for an early replacement.
You Have to Floss
There are some things that you’re used to hearing at the dentist. “Do you floss?” is one of the questions that patients probably tell a white lie about most.
Believe it or not, there’s an important reason that they ask that. Flossing helps clean your teeth more thoroughly and skipping it can leave stuff behind. As such, your teeth don’t get as clean if you use mouthwash and toothpaste but skip out on the floss.
Where to Keep Your Toothbrush
Where you keep your toothbrush makes a difference, too. As you might have heard, you probably don’t want to keep your toothbrush close to the toilet.
This is because when you flush the toilet, you really don’t want to get those particles on your toothbrush as they go airborne. However, a cap on your toothbrush does create a dark, damp environment where bacteria can thrive. Closing your toilet when you flush can help a lot here.
Mouthwash is great at killing bacteria. However, it kills all bacteria, so you don’t want to overuse mouthwash and kill all the good bacteria you need in your mouth too.
Does this mean you should throw out the bottle of mouthwash sitting by your sink? No! All you need to do is to use it twice a day in most cases. If you’re directed differently by your dentist or you’re caring for a wound like an oral piercing, you may need to use it more than twice a day for a short period of time.
Just Let Them Soak
When you have tough, stuck-on stains on your dishes, you’re first line of defense is usually to let your dishes sit in soapy water for a while.
The problem with this is that, once again, a damp environment can really call bacteria right to it. So, if you do leave your dishes to soak, you want to make sure that you don’t only give them a sanitizing clean but your sink as well.
Wash Your Sheets
It’s important to keep your bedding clean but, if you’re like many people, it might slip your mind from time to time. Most people just aren’t washing their sheets enough.
For the cleanest room, you’ll want to make sure that you clean your sheets regularly. While some people wait up to a month to wash their sheets, it’s really best to throw them in the washer and run a cycle as a weekly chore.
Clean Your Keyboard
Most people find themselves at their computers at some point during the day. That means your hands are on your keyboard quite a bit.
This means that it’s important to keep your keyboard clean if you want to stay as hygienic as possible. Many people wait until their keyboard is visibly dirty to clean it but it can still have bacteria and germs on it. Using a little disinfectant regularly will help keep your keys as clean as possible.
And Your Mouse!
While you’re at it, there’s another part of your computer or laptop that you’ll want to keep clean. There are other parts that you’ll want to pay mind to.
Another part of your computer you touch just as often as the keyboard, if not more, is the mouse or trackpad you use to control your cursor. If you want to make sure your computer is as clean as possible, don’t miss this step when you’re disinfecting everything.
Don’t Forget Your Remote
Speaking of things that you touch often but might not be clean enough, think about when you plop down on the couch in front of the TV at the end of the day. Like many, you might start your relaxation by grabbing the remote control.
That also means that your remote control can build up bacteria quickly. When you’re going through your monthly chores, take a disinfectant wipe to the remote. It’s best to hit it again if someone in your house has been dealing with contagious illnesses.
Put Down the Q-Tips
If you’re like most people, when you start to notice that your ears are getting a little waxy, you might reach for the cotton swabs in your bathroom cabinet.
If you read the package, though, these are not designed to go into your ear. Using them can not only hurt your ears but pack wax in rather than clean it out. It’s better to keep these tools for keeping the outer part of your ear clean, not the canal.
Switch Out Your Razor
We all know the pain of trying to shave part of your body with a dull razor, whether you’re tackling leg hair or trimming your beard, they tend to pull and tug rather than cleanly cut. You might want to replace your razor before the blade dulls, though.
After all, every time you use your razor, it collects hair and skin cells you can’t completely wash out. Whether you use a single-blade razor or a disposable one, you’ll want to replace it when it starts to get grungy — not just when it stops working as well.
Balance Your Moisturizer
If you want your skin hydrated and soft, you’re going to have to make sure you keep a bottle of lotion around. However, you have to make sure you use it enough.
If you use too much moisturizer on the other hand, you might find that your skin isn’t in peak condition either. You’ll want to give your skin some time to breathe without lotion on it. The best thing to do is put on lotion in the morning and at night.
Doing Your Laundry
Laundry is a task that you have to do regularly and it can seem like one of those never-ending tasks. Odds are that by the end of the week, you will have another full hamper to clean.
This also means that there are plenty of bacteria and germs that transfer from your clothes to the basket as they sit in there. When you do a laundry day, you should make sure that you grab some disinfectant and wipe down the baskets or hampers you use.
The Laundry Machine Too
When you do your laundry, your laundry machine does a lot of work to get your clothes clean. If you introduce something messy to the washer, that mess has to go somewhere right?
This is why you won’t want to skip out on cleaning your laundry machine too. The good news is that it isn’t as daunting of a task as it sounds. They make washing machine cleaner now that you can throw in like detergent and use a cycle to get your machine clean.
Speaking of Disinfectant
If there’s one place that you really touch all the time, it’s your phone. It probably comes with you everywhere too, meaning it can collect bacteria throughout the day too.
Since you also bring this phone to your face and touch it and then touch other things, you’ll want to make sure your phone is clean. Taking a few moments at the end of the day to use a disinfectant wipe that’s safe for your phone screen can go a long way toward hygiene.
A Habit to Break
This is one piece of advice we tend to hear around flu season or if you’re somewhere where there’s a bit of a cold or other sickness going around.
When you want to avoid how many germs you introduce yourself to, try to break the habit of touching your face too much. From scratching an itch to stroking a beard or even just resting your face on your hands, touching your face so much can lead to the introduction of a lot of germs.
Hygienic Reusable Bottles
If you want to stay hydrated and make a bit of an eco-friendly decision, you might take a reusable water bottle with you when you head out.
Of course, the only way that these are reusable is because you can wash them and use them again. However, just because it only has water in it doesn’t mean you should clean the bottle less. If you use your reusable water bottle daily, you need to wash it daily too.
Taking Care of the Office
If you work at an office outside of your home, the company you work for might have a janitorial or custodial staff that’s in charge of keeping things tidy.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t little things you can do around your office that might get otherwise missed. For instance, cleaning out your keyboard as we talked about earlier. Taking a few moments to disinfect your desk or mouse can also go a long way toward staying hygienic.
Wash Your Brushes
When you do your makeup, you probably rely on a set of makeup brushes to get the final touches right. However, these brushes work by collecting makeup.
As you use them every time you do your makeup, the makeup, oils from your skin, and bacteria that these brushes pick up aren’t great as far as hygiene goes. Once a week, use some warm water and shampoo or brush cleaner to give them a refresh.
Dirty Sponges Can’t Clean
Sponges are a great tool to help get your dishes and more clean. However, the fact that they absorb anything they come into contact with can be a problem.
Using soap and hot water between uses can help sanitize your sponge a bit — some people rely on methods like using the microwave to kill bacteria. This only works for so long, though. While this will make your sponge stay hygienic for longer, you’ll still need to replace your sponges regularly.
On Clipping Your Nails
Everyone has a length at that they like to keep their nails. If you notice them getting a little bit longer, you can just reach for your nail clippers and set things right.
If your nail clippers rust, you clearly have to switch them out. To avoid this, though, you can clean them after every use with a disinfectant and make sure they’re dry before you put them away.
Washing Your Bras
Bras are one of those types of clothing that usually see more than one year before they land inside (the delicate cycle) of your washer. That’s okay, too.
This doesn’t mean that you have to wash them every time you take them off but you won’t want to wait a month either. This type of clothing can collect in them and cause quite a mess. Throw them in the wash after two or three wears for the best result.
An Old Myth
You’ve probably heard the term, the “five-second rule” before. If you haven’t, it’s the idea that you have five seconds to pick up food off the ground while it’s still safe.
The truth is that this isn’t actually based on science. There’s no magical barrier or forcefield that keeps bacteria and germs away from your food for those first five seconds. They’ll jump on the food right away as soon as it hits the ground.
Reusing Lash Extensions
If you have lash extensions as part of your makeup routine, odds are that you might use them more than once. That’s not the problem here.
What you need to make sure you’re doing is treating those lashes hygienically between uses. If you don’t take the time to use a lash cleaner on them and remove the glue, you could easily introduce bacteria to your eyes, leading to a reaction you just won’t want to fight with.
Multiple Cutting Boards
When you’re cooking in the kitchen, do you reach for one cutting board for the whole process? It’s a great way to skip out on a few dishes!
On the other hand, if you’re handling raw meat, hygienic safety wins out over ease when you’re doing the dishes later. The rule of thumb when you’re handling raw meat is to avoid cross-contamination by any means possible. That means the raw meat gets its own cutting board to be extra cautious and sanitary.
Exfoliating Your Skin
This one isn’t completely a problem. After all, exfoliating can really help clean your skin, open your pores, and get rid of dead skin cells.
On the contrary, exfoliating too much will overdo it and hurt your skin. It can even strip the oils you need alongside everything you’re trying to get rid of. Try to keep it under three times a week and only limit it to once a week for sensitive skin.
Cover Your Cough
When you cough, you expel a lot of germs. That’s why it’s so important to cover your cough or your sneeze to avoid spreading those germs too much.
The best choice is to use the inside of your arm or a tissue rather than in your hands. At that point, you’ve only transferred those germs to everything you touch after that. If you do it without thinking, it’s a good idea to go wash your hands.
Cleaning Your Fridge
You want to eat your food off of clean plates and with clean silverware. If you want to save it, you probably make sure you grab a clean piece of Tupperware.
So, when you’re putting your food away at the end of the night, that means you want to put it in a clean fridge too. When most people think of cleaning their fridge, they think about clearing out old food but don’t forget to wipe down surfaces like shelves with disinfectant as well.
In the Kitchen
If you like to cook a lot of meat, odds are you also create a lot of grease. However, you can’t just pour a pan full of grease down the drain without risking a lot of trouble.
This leads many people who have cooking grease to precariously keep it in a cup until it solidifies again or dump it outside. You don’t have to do this, though! If you want something a little easier, use some powder made to solidify oil.
Doormats are more than just a quirky way to welcome in your guests they do a lot more than just make your entryway look a bit homier. There’s more to these doormats than that, though!
You’ve probably noticed that they tend to have a thicker, coarser texture than a throw rug or the rug you unrolled in your living room. This is because they’re designed to capture any dampness or muck on your shoes.
Skip the Dryer Sheets (Sometimes)
When you finish washing your clothes, you probably shift them into the dryer to take care of the rest of the work that you have ahead of you. If you want to keep your towels absorbent, you won’t want to throw a dryer sheet in with that load.
The waxy material you feel on a dryer sheet transfers to your clothes which usually helps just not for towels. For that matter, fabric softener will make your towels less absorbent as well.
Replace Your Loofahs
There are plenty of people out there that don’t opt to deal with a washcloth in the shower. Instead, they might reach for a loofah that you keep in the shower.
Loofahs are great but you can’t wash them the same way you wash washcloths and their design traps a lot of water. This means you’ll want to make sure that you switch your loofah out every so often to make up for this.
Use a Pet Cleaner
If you have pets, odds are you have a nasty mess to clean up from time to time whether it’s an accident in training or your pup just wasn’t feeling great one night.
If you clean the mess up on the surface, you might not get it all. Even worse, this can make your pets more prone to accidents in that area in many cases. The best thing to do is to pick up a pet cleaner made to tackle this problem.
Careful Mopping Wooden Floors
There are some things that you do in your home that aren’t necessarily unsanitary or not hygienic. On the other hand, these practices just aren’t best for the surface you’re cleaning.
When you’re mopping, you’ll want to greatly cut back on the amount of moisture in your mop. If possible, skip the mop entirely and rely on a vacuum or cleaner made for wood floors. After all, excessive moisture will cause damage to your wooden floor.
Scrubbing the Carpet
When you spill something on your carpet, you might have a moment of panic. After all, no one wants to look at a stain on their carpet until they can afford to replace it.
In your panic, it’s often your first instinct to start trying to scrub the stain away. However, this is the last thing you should do! Rubbing a stain is more likely to drive it into the carpet further. It’ll work much better if you blot at the stain.
Clean the Lint Out of Your Dryer
When you do your laundry and dry it in the dryer, there’s some evidence that your clothes were once there. You just have to look in your lint trap.
As time goes on, this lint can really build up if you forget to remove it. For one, this might make your dryer start to dry your clothes less effectively. More concerningly, though, this lint buildup can create quite a fire hazard over time.
Wait to Wash Your Pans
When you finish cooking, you have to make sure that your pans get clean before you can use them again. It can be tempting to dunk them right into the sink. This can actually damage your pans.
By not letting them cool down before you use them, you can actually damage them while you’re cleaning. The sudden change in temperature is likely to warp the metal in your pans, so let your pans cool down a bit before running water over them.
Don’t Miss the Corners!
When you’re cleaning your house, it’s easy to miss some of the spots where dust and mess can build up. It’s not out of laziness — you just honestly might not notice!
When you clean anything in your home, you’ll want to make sure that you clean out all the crevices and corners too. Since these spots are smaller and less noticeable, they often build up grime over time. Keeping a small cleaning tool around like a toothbrush is really handy here!