Evewoman : Everything you need to clean at home but are neglecting from pillows to slippers
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Everything you need to clean at home but are neglecting from pillows to slippers

People who suffer from runny noses or coughs do not know that dust mites can be the cause (Photo: Shutterstock)

While most of us make sure we wash our bed sheets and duvet covers regularly are pillows and duvets are often woefully neglected.

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A recent survey by SilentNight revealed one in five of us sleep on pillows so dirty that a quarter of their weight is made up of dead skin cells and dust mites - gross.

And, according to the research, one fifth of us haven't washed our pillows in five years. Five years!

But how do we know how often we should wash them?

Dr Lisa Ackerley, also known as The Hygiene Doctor says a lot of people who suffer from runny noses or coughs do not know that dust mites can be the cause - and they can even cause asthma and eczema.

Lisa explains how often we should wash our household items to ensure they're not the cause of any potential illnesses and to stop the spread of germs.

Pillows

You should be cleaning your pillows every six months to a year.

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Nobody likes the idea of sleeping on dead skin cells, dust mites and whatever else might be hiding in our pillows.

Simply pop them in your washing machine to clean, or, invest in some pillow protectors that are much easier to wash more frequently.

Wash your pillows and duvets twice a year (Photo: Shutterstock)

Duvet

Wash your duvet twice per year.

Some people might have different tog duvets depending on what season we're in, but others who stick to just the one duvet, will need to be more aware of the dust mites that can build up over time.

Since it's unlikely that your duvet will fit into your washing machine you'll need to take it to a launderette for a professional clean.

Mattress

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Your mattress should be cleaned every single month - which is much more often than we realised.

Whilst using your vacuum cleaner, gets rid of most of the dust mites than can be found lurking there - but for optimum results you should flip it over every month too.

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You can also use a mattress protector which you can wash alongside your bed sheets every week.

Dressing Gown

For people who live in their dressing gowns, they may be surprised to know that it should be washed every week.

This does depend on how often you wear it and what you wear underneath it.

If you wear long-sleeved pyjamas you might not need to wash it as often, compared to if you wear less and wear it every day.

Spray slippers with disinfectant to rid them of germs (Photo: Shutterstock)

Slippers

These should be washed alongside your dressing gown - weekly.

Slippers are a breeding ground for germs since they get pretty warm after wearing them for prolonged periods of time.

If you can, pop your slippers in the washing machine, but, if you can't you can also spritz on some disinfectant.

A spray like Dettol will help get rid of any germs or infections like athlete's foot.

Shower Curtain

The best idea is to have two shower curtains that you can swap in and out when you wash the dirty one.

But after washing make sure not to try and dry it after use as it'll get mouldy.

And trying to rid it of mould is incredibly difficult.

Pop it into your washing machine - you can add a few of your dirty towels too - and put on a gentle wash with half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of baking soda.

Washing-Up Sponge

Your washing-up sponge should be washed daily.

You can either put them in the dishwasher or your washing machine at 60 degrees.

Or, after boiling a kettle pop it in a bowl with the water and some laundry detergent.

And make sure they're completely dry or else they'll go mouldy too.

Wash your tea towel everyday (Photo: Shutterstock)

Bath Towel

Since towels hold all sorts of bacteria, including E.coli and coliforms, especially when they're damp.

To reduce the spread of disgusting germs, try and stick to using one towel that you wash regularly.

Tea Towel

Tea Towels should be washed daily, as most of the time people use tea towels for more than just drying dishes, like wiping the sides or getting food out of the oven.

Especially if you're using them around food, they should be swapped over daily at a minimum of 60C.

The best thing to do is to have seven tea towels that you can religiously swap over every day for an entire week.?

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