Housekeeping 101: 5 Important Things You Need To Replace In Your House As Often As Necessary
Toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for bacteria and other kind of germs, which could build up in time. And so, technically we should replace our toothbrushes every three to four months.
Accordingly, toothbrushes are not very effective anymore in cleaning up our teeth properly after 4 months, wherein the bristles break down and therefore, lose their effectiveness in removing plaque and in cleaning those sticky and tricky stuff in the gum and teeth.
We should also change our toothbrushes after getting flu, colds, sore throat or any other mouth infection. Obviously, because the bacteria and/or germs harboring in our mouth have just transferred in the toothbrush and now hiding and breeding in their new place (from your mouth to the toothbrush bristles and back). However, keep in mind that bacteria and fungus can develop in the bristles of the toothbrush. Therefore, it is recommended that we pay attention and change toothbrush regularly.
How often do you change your toothbrush?
Ways to quickly sanitize your toothbrush:
- After brushing, wash your toothbrush thoroughly in hot water (if possible) and briskly tap or shake to get rid of unwanted germs/bacteria. Store it in an upright position and dry in the open air (away from the loo).
- Once or twice a week, soak your toothbrush in mouthwash. This will also help kill the germs and sanitize the brush, then rinse it well with water, make sure to shake off toothpaste and other debris.
- You can also soak it in baking soda diluted in hot water in a clean glass (or container) and then rinse through tap water;
- Or loosely wrap it in a piece of disposable kitchen towel and quickly pop it into the microwave (10 -15 seconds), allow few seconds before taking it out of the microwave. Again, store it in an upright position and dry in the open air.
This is where we lay our heads in the hope of getting a good, blissful sleep. But, did you know what else are resting in our pillows getting their blissful rest? Dried saliva, dead skin, dandruff, bugs, dust mites and their feces? That is why, it is important that pillows are washed or replaced regularly not only to maintain comfort but as well as to keep it hygienic, specially if you suffer from allergies (like I do). We wouldn’t be comfortable anyway, if our pillows are dirty.
Unlike mattresses, there isn’t a standard for replacing pillows although you can now buy a use-by-date pillow in the market. Practically, replacing our pillows mostly require instinct. If you think, it is time to change it. Then do so, specially, if it’s already smelly or tainted. In general though, it is recommended that we wash our pillows every six months to one year. And for allergy sufferers, it is recommended that pillows be replaced every one to three years.
- Depending on the fillings (feather or down, synthetic like hollow fiber, micro fiber, polyester) to make sure that dust mites are killed, wash the pillows at 60°C temperature.
- If you have a steamer, steam clean your pillows at least once a week.
- Once in a while, it is a good habit to freshen up our pillows naturally by putting them under the sun or hanging them outside for several hours and let it air out.
3. Kitchen Sponge
We use this soft, bright color handy sponge to scrub the dishes, other kitchen utensils and at times even to clean the entire sink. And, while we do that, we are also swiping and gathering germs to harbor in our kitchen sponges. These germs are lurking everywhere in our kitchens and the same germs are causing us to be sick. Remember that most bacteria thrive only in moist places and the sponge is a perfect place for them to do so.
Depending on the usage, it is recommended that we replace the kitchen sponge once a week.
Did you know that a single cell (bacteria) can multiply to millions of cells in less than 24 hour and only a few cells of this bacteria is enough for us to become sick and infected?
To extend the use of your kitchen sponge without actually replacing it and save you some money in the process:
- Soak it in hot water with vinegar for couple of hours.
- Alternatively, zapping it quickly in the microwave will also help.
However, bear in mind that these quickies will only take it so far for the sponge. It’s always best to replace it with a fresh one, again, once a week if possible.
4. Water filter
Replacing water filter in the house depends on many factors. As a guideline, when we buy water filter, it comes with a life cycle measured in liters or gallons of water and since water usage depends on every household, what we should keep in mind when changing water filter is its actual condition.
Whether it is a stand-alone filter or one that is linked to your fridge, water filter needs to be replaced in time to help keep your water uncontaminated and chemical free.
Usually, when we have exceeded the manufacturer’s water usage guideline, the water filter will become clogged and hence ineffective. It is time to change the water filter when you notice a gradual decrease in water pressure; when the taste of the water becomes strange or unpleasant and when the water emits some weird or unpleasant smell.
- Change the filter as soon as necessary.
- Always keep a back up filter in the house.
5. Toilet Brush
Now, this one of course needs a lot of personal judgment and no time frame. However, more often, this is one item in the house that can easily be neglected.
Just like other brushes, toilet brush is made of plastic bristles prone to wear and tear and over time it can get frayed. Once it becomes frayed, it will no longer serve the purpose of scrubbing the toilet bowl. Using loose or frayed brushes will only cause splashing out of water and spreading out dirt- fecal residues, which is obviously unsanitary.
We don’t need to wait until the toilet brush show some signs of wear and tear. Change it as soon as it looks gross and really filthy. Besides, it isn’t that expensive to buy a new one. Think: Dollar Store! So, to avoid further spreading of germs, purchase a new toilet brush as often as necessary.
More from CrisSp on Housekeeping~
- The Rhythm and Blues of House Cleaning~
Household chores, dust the surface, mop the floor, wash the dishes, dispose the rubbish for many is quite a burden but it’s a part of life one cannot escape. Keeping your home hygienic and presentable could sometimes feel like a daunting task...
- At least disinfect the brush every three to six months.
- Use anti-bacterial toilet cleaner.
- Soak the bristle in vinegar or bleach in the holder itself.
- Allow to dry by clipping it under the toilet seat and let drip (see video below).
- Replace it as soon as you see some signs of wear and tear.
Copyright@CrisSp~TM/06-2013. Fearless but not Heartless!
© 2013 CrisSp