As homemakers we often overlook some places we should be cleaning. There may be something lurking in your washer/dishwasher, and it could make you and your family sick. And these often unseen things, are likely hiding in places around our homes, we don't think about cleaning, or don't clean as often as we should. I never gave cleaning the washer or dishwasher a thought, and maybe you never have. But now I see the importance of doing just that.
How do you do your laundry? Do you wash your underwear along with your other clothes? Do you put bath towels/kitchen dish towels in with other clothes? If so, you may want to rethink this after reading the imformation I have given below.
Is Something Living In Your Bed Pillows?
The soft stuffing of a bed pillow makes an attractive home for dust mites. After two years of use, 10% of your bed pillow's weight is composed of dust mites and their droppings. Research indicates that 18 to 30 percent of Americans are allergic to dust-mite waste.
Covering your bed pillows with pillowcase protectors is the best alternative to washing them. The tight weave of a pillowcase protector helps keep dust mites out. Wash the protectors every month.
If you don't use pillowcase protectors, then you should wash your bed pillows every three to six months. Most pillows can be machine-washed ad dried. The label on a pillow should give your wash and dry information.
Wash: on the gentle cycle, using hot water. Wash two regular-size pillows together to balance out the load. For queen and king size pillows, launder one at a time. Use a liquid detergent, as powder can leave a residue. Run pillows through the rinse cycle twice.
Dry: on low heat. Place two clean tennis balls in with pillows for fluffing. Cotton and polyester filled pillows take one to two hours to dry. Down filled will take two to three hours. Remove and fluff the pillows regularly to prevent overheating.
How Dirty Is Your Washing Machine?
You may be surprised finding out that 60% of all washing machines are contaminated with bacteria. Underwear harbor bacteria, such as E. coli. Detergent does not kill bacteria. Kitchen towels are also prime breeding grounds for salmonella, and other germs. When you launder underwear and kitchen towels with your other clothing, in something other then hot water, these germs spread to your other clothing, and cling to the walls of the washing machine.
You can control the spread of germs and bacteria by washing your underwear and bath towels together, using hot water, and non-chlorine bleach. Wash kitchen towels and other cleaning cloths separately, also using hot water and non-chlorine bleach. Make your last load of laundry whites, washing them in hot water and bleach. This will clean and sanitize your washer after washing every thing else.
You should clean and sanitize your washer once a month. Run empty with hot water and bleach.
Wash The Dishwasher "Really" !
Your dishwasher can become full of fungi and black yeast, as they both like a warm, humid environment. These organisms are usually found on the outer rim, where it is warm, yet not hot enough to kill them.
Clean your dishwasher once a month using white vinegar. Fill a dishwasher-safe cup with white vinegar, place this upright on an empty dishwasher top rack. Run on full cycle, using the hot water setting. Deodorize your dishwasher by sprinkling a cup of baking soda on the bottom of the tub, and then run it on a half cycle with hot water. When done, leave the door open for a few hours to air it out.
If you should notice mold and mildew in your dishwasher. With it empty, pour 1/2 to 1 cup of bleach into the bottom, then run on the full cycle. ( Do not use bleach on a dishwasher that has a stainless steel interior,) bleach erodes metal.