Eight Household Things You're Cleaning Too Often
We're all busy, and that's why we firmly believe that time shouldn't be wasted on anything that's not absolutely necessary—this is especially true when it comes to household cleaning. While we do recommend creating and sticking to a consistent housekeeping schedule in order to keep chaotic clutter and harmful bacteria at bay, you may be shocked to learn that not every item in your home actually requires daily, or even weekly, sterilization.
That wooden dining set you love, for example, doesn't need to be polished as often as you think it does. In fact, overdoing it could be harmful to your furniture, as this could potentially remove the set's shiny coating. Instead, consider giving it a gentle dusting to keep it, along with any of your other favorite wooden pieces, in tip-top shape.
When it comes to your keeping your pillows clean—and we're talking about the actual pillow, not the case, which should be washed more regularly—you can sleep soundly knowing that they only need to be tossed in the washing machine every three to six months. Keep in mind though, that certain factors, like sensitivity to allergens, may require washing your pillows more frequently.
Read on to learn which items in your home actually need to be cleaned and which ones can be saved for a rainy day. Then, after taking notes, feel free to imagine all the other things you'll be freed up to do in your spare time, from finally starting your own garden, picking up a new crafty hobby, or focusing on a little extra self-care. You deserve it!
Kids' Bath Toys
Children's toys are often considered couriers of dirt, detritus, and germs, but those taking up permanent residence in the bathtub aren't quiet as grimy as you may think. Once a month, simply soak bath toys in a mixture of half cup white vinegar and one gallon of warm water to ward off bacteria.
Resting your head on a filthy pillowcase is not the stuff of which sweet dreams are made, but the pillow insert itself requires fewer trips to the laundry. Toss your pillows in the wash once every three to six months for an unsullied repose every night.
Despite your inner neatnik's sentiments toward a soot-dusted fireplace, the hearth is low priority in terms of cleaning. A seasonal airing-out of the fireplace with the assistance of a chimney sweep will keep the space suitable for impromptu entertaining—or Santa's next visit.
The cloth covers used to adorn and safeguard your furniture against wear are resilient. Unless sudden stains occur, laundering slipcovers on a biannual basis—dry cleaning is ideal—is quite enough to preserve their integrity.
Chances are, like many homeowners, you're either cleaning your ovens far too frequently or not nearly enough. While caked-on food scraps require immediate attention, a deep-cleaning will suffice just once each season. A weekly wipe-down will prevent undue grit from amassing, but a vigorous rubdown with oven cleaner should happen only every several months. Additionally, if possible, refrain from lathering up your self-cleaning oven with harsh commercial cleaners.
Discarding dry goods past their prime is a matter of simple good sense, but pillaging your pantry for expired food on a weekly basis is entirely unnecessary. Unlike the refrigerator, the pantry houses edible items that will likely last months, if not a year. Focus your attention on ridding your fridge and freezer of spoiled items, and leave the pantry detox for the end of each season.
Polishing your most beloved wooden furniture is a sign of pride in the piece's workmanship, but doing so too often can actually take the shine off. In lieu of buffing wooden furniture after each and every use, try a gentler feather duster on a regular rotation.
Given the choice, your dog would likely skip the bath entirely. In reality, dogs do need the occasional scrubbing—just not as many as you might expect. Your canine cleanings should occur only every two months to preclude skin irritation, but the occasional rinse in between to remove dirt or odor may occur more frequently.