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How often should you clean your toilet, your bed sheets, the fridge and your make-up bag?

Mirror logo Mirror 4/04/2017 Zoe Cripps
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From your toilet to the contents of your make-up bag, you’ll be shocked by how often we should be giving them a once-over to avoid nasty germs wreaking havoc with our health.

While there's hundreds of tips out there on how often you should be cleaning these everyday household objects, we've asked the experts for their top tips on how regularly you should change your sheets, clear out your fridge and even wash your bra.

Time to get out the scrubbing brush...

The toilet

Toilets come with dirty reputations – but the average loo seat only has around 50 bacteria per square inch, which is less than most chopping boards. Aim to clean around the toilet bowl every day, and give your bathroom a proper clean once a week. 

Bed sheets

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"It’s a good idea to wash them every one to two weeks," says Jenny. "This is because we shed a million skin cells (accompanied by oil and sweat) each night, which attracts dust mites."

Does your mattress matter?

Mattresses are great breeding grounds for dust mites and bacteria because they hold so many dead skin cells. So, no matter how good the quality of your mattress, you shouldn’t keep it for longer than nine years. 

The fridge

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The average fridge has around 750 times the level of safe bacteria that it should have. Cover all uncooked food, and throw out anything past its expiry date. As for cleaning it, wipe down the inside of your fridge every three to six months, or your food could become contaminated with nasty salmonella bacteria.

Mobile phones

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Studies have shown that your phone carries around 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. Regularly clean it with an antibacterial wet wipe to avoid picking up bugs.

Bras

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We all know we should be changing our knickers every day, but what about our bras?

"As a general rule, wash your bras after three to four wears," says Jenny King from Persil.

Kitchen cloths and sponges

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These cleaning tools hoard between 1 million and 10 million bacteria per square inch. The Hygiene Council says to clean them frequently. So pop them in a 60˚C wash weekly, or replace them with new ones.

Toothbrushes

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Alarmingly, there’s more than 10 million bacteria on your toothbrush. Yikes! Change your toothbrush at least every three months and clean them with a rinse after every use. 

Make-up

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Make-up has a shelf life, and it might be shorter than you think…

● Foundation: Liquids and cream foundations only last between six and 12 months, because bacteria can grow more easily in the water and oils that they contain. Powders can last up to two years.

● Lipstick: These should be okay to keep for up to two years. But occasionally clean the top layer of lipstick with a wipe to remove any bacteria.

● Mascara: You should chuck your mascara three months after opening it to prevent bacteria from causing eye irritations or infections.

● Sponges: Replace these every month and ideally wash them with cleanser after every use, especially if you suffer from acne or have sensitive skin.

Tips from Good Housekeeping, The Hygiene Council, Hairtrade.com.

Travelodge conducted a survey using 2,000 mattresses, in association with The Sleep Council.

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