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10 Things You Don't Need to Wash So Often

 Our society is cleaning-obsessed and germophobic. This could mean that perhaps we are cleaning a little too much. For instance, must we really throw everything into the hamper after one wear? What about our car, furniture, or our hands? How often should we be cleaning certain things? Take a look: 
 
1. The mirror
items you're washing too often

While we all want to look good when we look at ourselves in the mirror, you need not clean your mirror at every sign of a fingerprint. In fact, Harriet Jones of Go Cleaners London says "If you use half of your cleaning solution for only one or two small fingerprints on your mirror, you are overdoing it. Moisture from humidity or over-spraying can get behind the mirror and harm the backing. So, clean your mirror when there are enough spots to justify the use of the detergent.”

2. Carpet

When an accident happens, many people saturate the carpet with a cleaning solution, hoping for the best. But using too much cleanser too often, “can damage the carpet and will be almost impossible to wash and remove. Over time, this soapy residue will attract dirt and your efforts will be in vain. Instead, use less aggressive products—soap, water, and vinegar,” says Jones.

“Remember—blot, do not soak up your carpet with the solution, and always dry it properly after the cleaning.” The same goes for throw and area rugs with rubber backings. Too many washes can cause the rubber to flake off and ruin the entire rug. You can also try these DIY carpet stain removers.

3. Suits and dress slacks
items you're washing too often

Andre Rhodes, owner of Platinum Dry Cleaners in Naples, Florida says “The average American household completes 300 loads of washing a year, at 27 gallons per load in a high-efficiency front-load machine, and an average of one hour of time used per load to wash, dry, fold, and put away the laundry. Educating yourself on proper washing frequency saves the one thing you can’t buy: time.” Rhodes suggests that slacks can be refreshed by steaming them either in the shower before work or using a hand-held steamer or iron.

This enables slacks to go for a minimum of two wears and potentially three depending on the conditions and the color. Darks can stay without being washed longer. And since you don't sweat as much in winter, you can cheat a little. “Suits are typically sent in as a pair. I have never understood this. The jacket can go through three times as much wear as the pants, with only pressing required. Most cleaners offer press-only at a substantial discount. Use this option for all suit jackets and save a bundle while taking less from the environment. What a win-win!” Rhodes adds. 

4. Bras

According to Rhodes, bras are the most over-washed item in the wardrobe. “Frequent washing changes the shape of a bra. Wash your brassieres every three to four wears and in a net bag to ensure it doesn’t tangle with other washing and hang them to dry.” 

5. Car
items you're washing too often

There are some telltale signs which indicate that you are washing your car too much, first is that your wax doesn't last. Secondly, you begin to see small cracks all over the car called spiderwebbing. James Detmer from Behind the Details explains “These microscopic hairline scratches are often caused by over-washing an unprotected surface.” Another sign of over washing is that the car has a generally dull finish. For this reason, Detmer suggests “You should really only by washing your car a few times a month, and that’s on the high end.”

6. Hair

While we all love squeaky clean and fresh-smelling locks, how often should we wash it? According to WebMD, “Only a small group needs to shampoo daily, like those with very fine hair, someone who exercises a lot (and sweats), or someone living in a very humid place.” Shampooing strips the hair and the scalp of its natural oils. Shampooing is recommended for those with oily or dry scalps. But those with thick or curly hair can go longer. 

7. Your hands
items you're washing too often

Most of us are obsessed with antibacterial soaps, washes, and sanitizers. This can cause other issues like dry skin, cracks in your hands, or even resistance to certain bacteria. Piedmont Healthcare says “While it is still crucial to always wash your hands with soap and water after using the restroom and before eating or preparing food, excessive hand washing, and hand sanitizer may do more harm than good. Some researchers believe hand sanitizer overuse may be causing children to lose the ability to build up resistance to bacteria.”

8. Jeans

Jeans should be washed as little as possible. And when you do wash them, they should ideally be taken to the local cleaners to be dry-cleaned. Rhodes says “This will ensure a longer life in those designer fit jeans, and you won’t have to struggle quite so much to get them on your second and third wear! adding that “If you regularly steam this article you should be able to get three wears out of them before sending the old standby in for freshening up.” Freezing your jeans to de-stink them is a great way to use your freezer for non-food items. 

9. Wood furniture
items you're washing too often

It is possible that you care and clean your wood furniture too much, Jones says. “Spraying your furniture too often with a wax-based solution can result in a buildup which will attract more dust and dirt. A thin coat of polisher will do the trick—apply it once or twice a month. Still, you can wipe down your furniture with a cloth between the polishes.”

10. Kitchen towels

It is recommended that you only wash a kitchen towel that has experienced a lot of use around the house. “Before tossing your towel in the washer, check its condition,” she says. “If there is an unpleasant odor or you notice a stain, wash it. Otherwise, leave it for a few more days. This way you will cut down the washing a bit and save some time.”
 

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