Sure, your pillowcases need to be washed once every other week. You just strip them and toss them in the wash with the rest of your laundry. But the pillows themselves can go three to six months without being cleaned. When you’re ready to wash them, throw them in the washing machine and tumble dry on low heat. Two to four times a year should do the trick.
Related: How To: Clean Pillows
You can wash your comforter on same schedule as your pillows. In fact, assuming you don’t have loads and loads of rotating houseguests, it’s fine to wash it just a few times a year. (We’re not talking about your duvet cover, but the actual thick and fluffy blanket that sits within in. You should toss your duvet cover in the wash once or twice a month.)
As tempting as it is to clean your iPhone every day, it’s fairly unnecessary, even with frequent use. Instead, make it a point to wash your hands before tapping away on your touch screen, then clean the phone once a week with an antibacterial wipe.
Auto-cleaning your oven takes it out of commission for a number of hours. Still, you probably do it about once a month. In fact, your oven really needs a deep clean, whether it's a full self-cleaning cycle or a manual going-over with oven cleaner, only once every three to four months. Even so, if any food—say, melted cheese or a rogue French fry—drips or drops, wait for the oven to cool and fish it out immediately to avoid that smoky smell and burned-on spills and splatters.
As tempting as it is to reorganize the shelves every time you grocery shop, you need to purge this area of stored food only once every season. Dry and canned goods last a lot longer than you think. Instead, concentrate your cleaning efforts on the refrigerator, where food tends to spoil…and fast.
You don’t want mildew to build up inside your 2-year-old’s favorite squeaky water toy, but that doesn’t mean you have to rinse it out after every bath. Instead, squeeze out any liquid after a toy has been used, then once a month soak the toys in a bucket filled with a gallon of water and a half cup of vinegar. That should do the trick.
Every time you dust your living room shelves—maybe every other week—you probably run a paper towel over the spines of your books. Take the pressure off yourself and resolve to give them a good wipe down once every season instead. This will help protect the condition of your library while possibly gaining you a little more time to read!
How many times have you walked past that slipcover on your living room chair and decided to throw it in the wash with the rest of your load? Well, stop it! Twice a year should be enough, whether the cover is machine washable or dry clean only.
Related: 8 "Zero Dollar" Laundry Room Hacks
Instead of washing them after every use, stretch the lifespan of your towels by using the same one for a week. As long as you hang your towels up so they can properly air-dry without getting mildewed, you shouldn’t have any problems—and in one fell swoop, you'll reduce the amount of time you spend doing laundry.
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