Sheets and pillowcases ought to be washed once a week. It’s a good idea to do it on a specific day; that way it becomes part of your routine.
A 60C cycle is best for cottons, particularly if you have an asthma-related condition (anything below this temperature probably won’t kill dust mites).
Duvets should be washed once a year. A single size can usually go in the washing machine but anything bigger will have to be taken to the launderette. Make sure it’s completely dried before using again, if particularly down- or feather-filled. And dry quickly because if not the feathers can go mouldy, which will give a nasty smell you’ll never get rid of. Avoid dry-cleaning duvets because the solvent will leave a residue on the feathers.
Pillows will be filled with either feather, down or synthetic material. See the label for wash instructions, but normally you’ll be able to wash two at a time. Once or twice a year will be enough. Again, dry thoroughly and as quickly as possible to avoid mould. You may notice a difference in the weight post-wash! Pillow protectors are well worth using between washes.
Headboards can take on marks where a greasy head has been in contact. If it’s fabric, spot clean with an upholstery cleaner, but don’t overwet or you could end up with watermarks. If veneer or vinyl, wipe with warm soapy water and dry with a clean cotton cloth.
The space under the bed will get very dusty so pull out everything about once a month, and move the bed to one side to vacuum thoroughly. This will keep moths and carpet beetles away, and the dustmites under control.
Mattresses can end up looking pretty nasty. Unless the label says ‘Do not turn’, turn it over every three months to extend its life (and your comfort). Vacuuming it will make a huge difference to reducing the dustmite population. If you don’t have one already, use a mattress protector (waterproof for young children or anyone with incontinence problems). To remove stains, use a foamy mix of hand-wash detergent. Don’t overwet. Make sure it is completely dry before making up the bed again (use a hairdryer to speed things up). If there are any nasty smells there, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, leave a few hours then vacuum off.
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Phone (plus case)
Tablet (plus case)
Dishcloths/washing up brushes/floor mops
Backs of chairs
If flies have left marks on lampshades, run a warm bath and add washing powder. Soap the surface and rub stains from both sides with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse, attach string to the holder and drip-dry over the bath. Finish with a hairdryer.
It’s Friday – and whatever you’ve planned for your weekend ahead – here are some easy ways to hold your balance.
Get Ready for Saturday night
Easy ways to hold your balance
If the bottom of your bath has a roughened surface to prevent slipping, clean it by rubbing with a wet pumice stone. You’ll have slurry – just hose it down.
We’re supposed to pull out the fridge regularly to clean behind, but how many of us do? Compromise by covering a broom handle with a damp cloth, secure with a rubber band and have a good old delve – you’ll be amazed at what you unearth.
Pour a little hot water into the dip and, with a fork’s tines, gently tease the pile until it stands up nicely alongside the rest of the carpet.
If you have a piano worth looking after, position it away from heat, and keep the lid closed to stop dust getting inside. Ivory keys naturally yellow over time; newer keys will be plastic. Either way, clean with a just-damp chamois leather.
…place a strip of brown parcel tape over the dust, whip off and you’re left with a dust-free surface.
Heat in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen the wax. Or place in warm water and gradually increase the temperature until you’ve warmed the wax enough to float it out.