It’s probably no surprise that when it comes to cleaning, there are lots of items that the average homeowner doesn’t wash often enough. However, according to cleaning experts, there are some items that they find their clients actually wash too often.
While the consequences of not washing something often enough are pretty self-explanatory (build-up of grime, dirt, and germs), we don’t blame you if the idea of washing something too often has you scratching your head. Isn’t cleaning frequently a good thing?
As it turns out, certain fabrics and materials can start to break down if they are washed too often, compromising the structure, feel, and integrity of the item. Ultimately, it all comes down to finding the perfect balance between cleanliness and preservation.
Here are six items you’re probably washing too often, according to cleaning experts.
Meet the Experts
Lina DaSilva is the founder of Toronto Shine Cleaning, a home cleaning service based in Ontario, Canada.
Katie Lambert is the founder of Clean Queen Cleaning Services, a home cleaning service based in Denver, CO.
Diana Ciechorska is the general manager of general manager of Park Slope Cleaning, a commercial cleaning service based in New York City.
Most experts agreed that towels are the number one culprit when it comes to overwashing, particularly bath towels.
“While it’s tempting to wash them after every use, this can strip their softeness and rapidly age the fibers,” says Lina DaSilva, founder of Toronto Shine Cleaning based in Ontario, Canada.
Instead, DaSilva recommends washing your bath towels after three to four uses, provided they are properly hung to dry between every use.
Another often-overwashed item is blankets. While blankets can get a lot of use, washing them too often will result in stiff, matted fibers and a blanket that is no longer soft and comfortable to curl up in.
If you’re in the habit of washing your bed sheets once a week, you might want to cut back a bit. Experts advise that washing bed sheets too often will dramatically reduce their lifespan.
“Bed sheets are often subjected to weekly washes, but unless there’s a spill or sickness, extending this to every two weeks is usually sufficient,” DaSilva says.
Additionally, she recommends using gentle, natural detergents on your bed sheets which can help keep them fresh for longer and protect the integrity of the delicate fibers.
Denim is designed to break in and fade over time—it’s one of the things people love about it (you can’t beat that worn-in look). However, washing denim too often can speed up the process and result in weak fibers that no longer hold their shape, and once that happens there’s no turning back.
Denim items should be washed every 5 to 10 wears, unless there’s visible dirt or odor, says DaSilva. She advises that spot cleaning any small stains can often do the trick in between washes.
Carpets and Rugs
It’s no secret that carpets and rugs pick up a lot of dirt and debris over time, but experts caution against over-cleaning them. This includes washing them and even vacuuming.
“Over-shampooing carpets and rugs can lead to fiber damage, color fading, and mold growth,” says Diana Ciechorska, general manager of Park Slope Cleaning based in New York City.
Similarly, vacuuming your carpets too often can lead to fiber damage. Ciechorska advises that the ideal cleaning schedule for carpets and rugs is to vacuum once every few days (or at least once a week) and opt for professional shampooing and deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months. In the event of spills and stains in between cleanings, spot cleaning should do the trick.
Cleaning experts agree that overwashing pillows is a big no-no. While it can be tempting to throw your pillows in the wash frequently due to how often they are used, washing pillows too often will cause them to become lumpy and uncomfortable, says Lambert.
Lambert says that pillows ideally should be washed every two to three months at the most.
Remember that the pillowcases protect them from lots of the debris and dirt that would otherwise accumulate in them. That being said, if you feel your pillows need a bit of extra protection, pillow protectors are a great option that can help guard against moisture, stains, dust, and other allergens.
Read the original article on The Spruce.