How of­ten should you clean this?

Jamaica Gleaner - - CLEANING FEATURE -

THERE ARE some items that you use fre­quently that you may not be clean­ing as of­ten as you should. Go through this list to see how well you are do­ing.

KITCHEN COUNTERS: DAILY

Wip­ing down and sani­tis­ing kitchen sur­faces af­ter each time you use them en­sures that stray germs from last night’s din­ner prep don’t end up in your next sand­wich.

REFRIGERATOR: QUARTERLY

Funky for­got­ten left­overs in the back of your fridge can leave be­hind mould spores af­ter you’ve tossed them. To keep germs at bay, empty your refrigerator ev­ery three-four months, and clean the shelves and walls with a ta­ble­spoon of bak­ing soda dis­solved in a quart of wa­ter. Rinse and let dry be­fore re­plac­ing food.

KITCHEN FLOOR: WEEKLY

If you’ve got kids, chances are you’ll need to sweep up af­ter ev­ery meal. But un­less there’s a sticky spill, the mop and bucket can go a week be­tween rounds.

FURNITURE: MONTHLY

Spills should be spot­cleaned right away, but for up­hol­stery up­keep, once-amonth vac­u­um­ing across the cush­ions and into nooks and cran­nies should do. Steam clean­ing once a year or so can also ex­tend the life of your furniture.

CEILING FANS: QUARTERLY

These dust col­lec­tors also gather grease when they’re in the kitchen. You can give them a wipe when­ever you no­tice build-up, but use a damp cloth and all-pur­pose cleaner to clean the blades and body well ev­ery few months.

TOILETS: DAILY

The more ac­tion your porce­lain throne sees in a day, the more rea­son to squirt your cleaner of choice into the bowl and give it a swish with a long­han­dled brush. Save the deeper scrub-down for your weekly round-up.

BATH TOW­ELS: EV­ERY FEW USES

Wash your towel or grab a new one af­ter three or four nor­mal show­ers, more of­ten if you work out a lot. Hang up damp tow­els when you’re done so that they can air out and not give mildew, mould, and bac­te­ria a dark, damp place to grow.

SHOWER CURTAIN: MONTHLY

A plas­tic curtain, or the plas­tic liner for a cloth curtain, should get a bath with warm wa­ter and bak­ing soda once a month to re­move soap scum and pre­vent mildew. You may be able to stretch this to once a quar­ter if your shower doesn’t get a lot of use. Spray­ing it with a cleaner af­ter ev­ery shower and wip­ing it down weekly when you clean the bath­room will also help.

TOOTHBRUSH: QUARTERLY

Be­yond a few months, the bris­tles get too worn to work as well as they should. If you see fray­ing be­fore then, that’s a sign to switch.

BRAS: EV­ERY FEW USES

Whether you give them ‘off days’ to re­gain their shape and elas­tic­ity or go for mul­ti­ple wears in a row, it’s best to give bras a good wash af­ter you’ve worn them about two times. But if you’ve been sweat­ing, don’t wait that long.

SHEETS: WEEKLY

The rule of thumb is to wash bed linens once a week in wa­ter hot enough to kill bac­te­ria (around 140°F) and tum­ble dry. Your shut-eye habits should de­ter­mine your time­line. For ex­am­ple, pets, night sweats, and mid­night snacks in bed mean you’ll need to change them sooner. Al­ter­nat­ing be­tween two sets of sheets can make it eas­ier to keep up.

PILLOWS: TWO TIMES A YEAR

Throw your pillows (and your throw pillows) in the wash on hot ev­ery three-six months to kill bac­te­ria and keep them fresh. Same goes for your com­forter or du­vet. If it’s too big to fit in your ma­chine at home, take it to a laun­dro­mat with ex­tra-large com­mer­cial-size wash­ers, or have it pro­fes­sion­ally cleaned.

Any ap­pli­ance that uses wa­ter is at risk for mould and mildew. Wipe down the door and rub­ber gas­ket of a front loader af­ter ev­ery wash load. Give your ma­chine a deeper clean­ing ev­ery three-four months by adding one cup of bleach and run­ning a hot cy­cle

clothes) to sani­tise.

WASH­ING MA­CHINE: QUARTERLY

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