How often should you clean...

At Classic Cleaners we talk a lot about cleaning.  Mostly it’s about your clothing items or wedding gowns like in our blogs “How often should you wash your clothes“, and “Preserving your fondest Memories“.   But what about all the other stuff laying around the home like your Curtains, carpet, and area rugs?

Do you ever wonder what’s “normal” or “average” for how often you should wash your sheets, pillows or towels?  Here’s a quick run down of when some of your household items need the once over.

Curtains – If your curtains are heavier weight, you can use the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner each week when you vacuum your home.  If your window treatments are more delicate, then simply shake them out on occasion – probably right before you vacuum.  When washing your curtains, be sure to check the care label first.  Most washable curtains will need to be washed in cold water with a small amount of laundry detergent.   If you’re in doubt about your curtains, take them to a professional for dry cleaning.

Carpet –  How often you clean is based on how you treat the carpet, how many people live in the home and if you have pets.   If you take your shoes off, have no kids or pets, and vacuum frequently, then you can go two years easily without needing a professional.  But, if you are a family of 4 and neglect to always take off your shoes in the home, we advise you clean the carpets every season.  Dirt is an abrasive and if left alone, it will slowly grind away at your carpet and vacuuming is not enough to get all the dirt out.  Carpet also collects pollen, pollutants and fungus which can accumulate.  If you have pets and/or are prone to allergies, you may even want to have your carpets cleaned more frequently.

Area Rugs
•    If the area rug is in the bathroom, it needs to be washed weekly if it’s a non rubber backing.  (Unfortunately, rubber backing rugs don’t do as well in warm/hot water so they should be washed every 3-4 weeks).  The rug gets damp many times (especially in kids bathrooms) and may not dry out all the way each day between uses.  Mold and mildew can grow easily if it’s not washed often.  Wash in warm water – maybe even hot water to ensure it gets really clean.  Let the rug  hang dry over the shower or outside on a line.  Only dry the rug in the dryer if it has a non-rubber backing.

•    Other area rugs should be vacuumed regularly and rotated every 6 months.  If the rug is small enough to take outside and “beat”, we recommend doing that when you rotate the rug.  If not, you may want to call a professional to come pick it up and clean it for you.  Do not use the harsh chemicals that are sold for wall to wall carpeted rooms.  Area rug fibers are more delicate, colors can bleed and the excess moisture can ruin the floors underneath the rug.

Sheets – You should wash your sheets every two weeks at a minimum and once a week is ideal.  You shed dead skin, oil, and sweat when you sleep and dust mites have a field day living, eating, and reproducing on your sheets.  For those who suffer from allergies, you could prevent them or lower them by simply washing your sheets more often.  Wash in hot soapy water and let them dry completely in the dryer.  Wash your bedding more often if there is reason to do so.

Duvet Covers – Depending on how you treat the duvet cover dictates how often you should wash it.  For example, if you have pets that lounge on your bed, you should wash the duvet cover weekly at a minimum.  In all other cases,  your duvet cover should be treated similarly to your sheets in terms of laundering.  If you sleep with a sheet between you and the duvet cover, you should wash the duvet cover monthly.  If you do not use a flat sheet and just sleep with the comforter covered with the duvet cover, you should wash the duvet cover weekly.  If you use a flat sheet, a blanket and then the duvet cover, you would be fine washing your duvet cover quarterly (four times a year) bearing there are no spills or stains incurred between washings.

Pillows – Every six months you could throw your down or polyester pillows in the wash.  Washing them monthly could substantially cut down the dust mites and allergens.  Wash them two at a time with detergent on the gentle cycle then select the extra spin cycle to remove excess water.  Tumble dry low, fluffing the pillows every so often.

Towels – Wash bathroom laundry towels every 3-5 uses.  Be sure the towel has time to dry off between uses to ward off mold and mildew.  If you use your towel more than 3-5 times before washing it, remember, each time you dry off (even though you’re clean) you are scraping off dead skin cells that collect in the fibers of your towel.  So you end up with 5 days worth of dead skin cells in your towel on that 6th use.  Yuck!

At Classic Cleaners, we are experts in cleaning your household items.  We specialize in bed linens, down pillow rejuvenation, window treatments, table linen cleaning, and area rug cleaning.   Count on us to help you clean large items like your comforters and duvet covers too!

– S.O.