Washing household material can be a dull task, but a necessary one. However, despite the best intentions, you may not be cleaning your bed sheets, towels, curtains and other linen as regularly as you should.
According to Expert Home Tips over the course of an average night sleep, we sweat 25ml per hour. If you get eight hours of shut eye, this is the equivalent of a whole bottle of perfume drenching your sheets - just without the pleasant aroma.
Rarely a day goes by that a tea towel isn't used to mop up spillages or dry hands after washing up. But in order to keep them bacteria free, they should be washed daily.
The humble duvet, that has probably been washed perhaps once or twice should apparently be cleaned every three months to keep your bedding hygienic.
From bedding to shower curtains, find out how regularly to wash your household linen to keep your family fighting fit and germ free.
We spend one third of our lives asleep, which means a lot of time rolling around under the sheets.
As well as sweating a considerable amount per night, we also naturally shed our skin - creating a warm environment for dust miles.
This soon makes your cosy bed a battlefield of germs and nasty bugs. To keep your bed, and your body clean, it is recommended that you wash your bed sheets every week at 60˚C.
A tip to keep on top of spotless sheets is to avoid making your bed in the morning as it seals in the bacteria and germs.
Instead, pull back your bed linen when you wake and open the windows to air out your bed to reduce humidity and help to kill off mites.
No matter how clean your body, or your towel is - they are dirtier than you would expect. Each time a towel is used, removes a layer of dead skin cells, acting as an exfoliator.
Damp towels are also the perfect breeding ground for germs, the longer they are left, the more the bacteria multiplies. To stop towels smelling musty, add half a cup of baking powder to the wash load to freshen them up.
According to Expert Home Tips, towels should be put in the wash at 60°C and hand towels should be every two days.
KITCHEN TEA TOWELS
They are one of the most-used items in the kitchen, but their maintenance can sometimes be overlooked.
Due to their multi-functional nature, they can be cross contamination culprits. Bacteria from raw meat and dirty vegetables can be easily transferred onto kitchen towels when kitchen utensils are dried. Then if those towels are used to dry hands, this can cause sickness.
By keeping a towel separate for drying hands, this stops the risk of spreading germs and will keep illness at bay. Kitchen tea towels should be washed every day at 60°C.
Washing the shower curtain isn't ever going to be the top of the cleaning rota, mainly because it is already being washed frequently as the shower is used - but this is very misleading.
Shower curtains should be washed once a month to reduce mold and mildew build up, which is caused from being in a humid environment.
Wash them on the hottest possible setting to illuminate the chances of spreading bacteria.
BATH AND PEDESTAL MATS
Bath and pedestal mats are possibly the most dirty pieces of material found in the whole house. Bath mats collect germs straight from your soggy feet, and the material that runs around the outside of the toilet have a far nastier fate.
Due to the disgusting nature, they should be washed at least once a week at a high temperature.
The Food Standards Agency recommends using disposable cloths wherever possible and cleaning all others after every use.
The best way to do that is to hand wash them in 90°C or above with soapy water then soak them in diluted bleach for an hour.
WASHING YOUR DUVET
Washing the duvet is just as important as the bed sheets, just because they have a protective layer doesn't mean that they avoid the germs.
Luckily it's not quite as regular as the sheets, but your duvet should be washed every three months - the easiest way is to take it to a dry cleaners.
Another neglected piece of soft furnishing - the humble pillow. Similar to a duvet, they may have a protective layer, but they still need to be cleaned as much as once every three months.
By keeping pillows and pillow cases clean, skin will be clearer, hair cleaner and will help to keep the colds and sniffles at bay.