I’m sure we have all seen articles telling you how much bacteria is kept hidden in your daily household objects. There are some things that seem a little excessive to be changing so frequently, but let me break down the 10 you probably aren’t changing often enough.
- Your loofah. Just thinking about how much bacteria can grow in the prime environment we let our loofahs live in will have you running to the store buying a new one. Assuming most of us are familiar with the fact that bacteria thrives in moist environments, it’s amazing that we become neglectful of replacing our loofahs more often. Typically, two months is the max amount of time you should be using the same loofah.
- Bath towels. Surprisingly, it is recommended to change your bath towels after every 3-4 uses. As with the above reasoning, bacteria adores moist environments, which is also why you shouldn’t let your bath towels linger in a clump on the floor, since we know that doesn’t help them dry any faster.
- Toothbrush. If you use a battery operated one, just because the bristles keep spinning, doesn’t mean you should still be using it. If you’ve been sick, you should replace your toothbrush once you’re over your illness. I don’t imagine you’re ensuring every bristle and food item is off of your toothbrush after each use, so keep it fresh by replacing your toothbrush every 3 months.
- Duvet. As much as you may love your childhood or college duvet, even frequent washes (every 2 weeks is recommended) aren’t enough to get rid of the germs that get in there permanently. After your undergrad, or every 4-5 years, you should completely replace your duvet.
- Beauty blender. It’s proposed that replacing your beauty blender every other month is adequate to eliminate spreading of bacteria, even if you’re an avid cleaner. However, most dollar stores carry bags of 25 or so “cosmetic sponges” that work just as well as most beauty blenders, and you don’t feel like you’re throwing your hard earned money out when you toss one and move on to the next. This solution is more hygienic – reducing acne, and less costly. If you’re adamant about using your Sephora beauty blender, make sure you’re changing it often.
- Underwear. It may seem like a hassle, but you should be bringing a change of underwear to the gym. As with the loofah, bacteria loves to live in moist environments, and after working up a sweat, you can bet that bacteria is happier than ever in your panties. Having a fresh pair can help reduce the risk of unpleasant infections. Likewise, after a long day of moving around, you should change your underwear before bed. Cotton panties are always recommended by gynecologists, especially for those avid thong wearers.
- Pillowcases. As tedious as it may seem, it is recommended to change your pillowcases weekly. For those of us with acne or oily-prone skin, dermatologists recommend even going as far as changing them every day. If you happen to share a bed with someone, be sure to change the pillowcase after they have left, as bacteria you may be sensitive to can easily reside on the pillowcase and possibly effect your skin.
- Bed sheets. After a sleepover, it’s always a good idea to change your sheets. However, if you’re not having sleepovers often, you should change your bed sheets every week or two. As much of a pain as those fitted sheets are to fold after they’re washed, nothing beats the feeling of clean sheets. This hygienic routine can easily become your weekly treat to yourself.
- Earrings. When you first got your ears pierced, you were probably routinely cleaning your new bling with saline solution. If you’re anything like me, that habit died after the piercing healed. However, if you wear the same pair, they should be cleaned with rubbing alcohol or disinfectant every week.
- Electronics. In a world that relies on technology, it’s no surprise that our daily devices collect so much bacteria. You should be cleaning your phone and laptop keys every day to eliminate the amount of bacteria left to reside on them. If you have a job or live with others where you’re constantly sharing electronics, it’s a good idea to give the device a good sanitary wipe-down prior to use. Also, once a week you should remove the case on your phone/laptop to give it a full clean up.
These 10 items are things you likely have access to every day and aren’t cleaning as often as you should. If you’re curious about any other items (such as dish towels or socks), Google is always available to answer your questions with some surprising facts about the proper care and rotation of items. Enjoy not being able to look at your sponges or electronics as normal, non-bacteria-ridden items again.