To wash or not to wash? That’s the question for households across the country...

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If you’ve ever had to smell something to decide whether it needs washing, you probably need to read our ultimate guide to household washing schedules.

How often should you wash your bedlinen?

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We spend up to a third of our lives tucked up in bed, so it goes without saying that the sheets we sleep in can get a little dirty from time to time. Every night, they collect skin cells, bacteria, and other bodily excretions, and all this can quickly build up if left unwashed, particularly if you’re sick. Experts recommend washing sheets once a week and opting for a hot wash of 60C if possible to kill any mites.

How often should you wash your towels?

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Damp towels can be a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria, so it’s essential you hang them up and let them air after every use. When it comes to washing, experts recommend doing so after every four uses. While that might sound like a lot, if you’re sick or have any wounds or cuts, you might want to think about chucking them in the washing machine even more often.

How often should you wash your duvet?

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You sleep under them every night, but many people don’t ever think to wash their duvets. You should. Duvets can harbour all sorts of things you don’t want to be sleeping with, such as dead dust mites and fungus, so wash them a few times a year – or at least once if you swap between winter and summer duvets – and replace them after five years.

How often should you wash your pillows?

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Like duvets, a surprising number of people don’t seem to realise you can wash pillows, let alone do so often. But you should, as experts suggest as much as a third of the weight of a two-year-old pillow is made up of dead skin and dust mite faeces. Yuck. Wash at least three times a year – professionally if feather-filled – and replace every two to three years to keep things fresh.

How often should you wash your tea towels?

Tea towels (or dish towels) are notorious for being a haven for bacteria – and in the kitchen that means nasty ones like E.Coli that can be serious. You should always ensure tea towels are only used to dry dishes and try to wash them as often as possible. When they start getting tired around the edges, it’s time to invest in some more.

Do you have any top washing tips? Let us know in the comments below!