We are spending more time indoors now than ever, and as we retreat to our sanctuary, it is vital to keep our indoor environment clean and hygienic all day long. However, germs and viruses known as germumu (lol) have mastered the art of hiding in hard-to-wash fabrics and items. I know this fact very well. I recently bought a vacuum cleaner designed for dust mites and I was shocked, appalled, disgusted, stunned, and astounded at much I collected from my mattress in just my first use.
When was the last time you cleaned your couch? Six months ago? Last year? Never? Bring on the power tools! Here are some ways to keep them clean and what you can do in between washes to keep common trouble spots around the house germ-free:
Couches and sofas
We all love being couch potatoes but lounging on a dirty sofa is a no-no. Did you know that the average sofa has 12 times more bacteria than your toilet seat? As they can easily trap dirt, allergens, and bacteria in their soft fibers, experts recommend having them professionally cleaned every six months. You can also use a hand vacuum to clean debris and dirt from the sofa’s surface. Be sure not to forget the crevices where dirt can accumulate! I’ll be using my new vacuum cleaner on my sofa this weekend and I’m excited at how much dust mites I’ll gather.
Cleaning your curtains might be included in your low-priority tasks but they actually accumulate a lot more grime than meets the eye. Just like the couches, curtains can also trap dust and dirt. Schedule to wash your curtains twice or more a year with cool or lukewarm water and mild detergent.
I used to change my bedsheets once a month until I realized how gross it was. I then changed it every two weeks. Then I thought it wasn’t good enough so now I replace it weekly. Ideally, you should change your bedsheets and pillowcases at least once a week as they can have a buildup of oils, dirt, and sweat from daily use. Compared to the average toilet seat, a one-week-old bed sheet contains 29,000 times more bacteria. On top of that, one-year-old mattresses have 17,400 times more bacteria than the toilet. To clean, check the care label and wash with the hottest water temperature setting indicated.
I don’t use carpets because I have a dog that sheds like crazy and I’m paranoid that she would pee on it. It’s so hard to get rid of the smell and they take it as a sign to pee there more. If you have a carpet, make sure to clean it regularly. Dirty carpets not only look bad but they’re also full of pollutants and grime. The average carpet has 4,000 times more bacteria than the toilet. Experts recommend having them cleaned by a professional at least once a year or every quarter if you have pets or kids. If you can’t schedule a pro, use a sponge or soft-bristle brush and work a cleaning solution into a lather.
Unless your area rug is extremely delicate, cleaning your area rug is something you can easily take on yourself. High-traffic area rugs should be cleaned at least every three months to not only extend its life but also to make sure dirt is regularly removed. Thoroughly vacuum the rug on both sides or take the smaller rugs outdoors and shake them off as much as you can.
Other hard-to-wash fabrics
Any area of your home with high traffic and surfaces that get touched a lot is basically a germ bank. This includes your bags, shoes, pet bed, and even office chairs! You can clean them by vacuuming to remove loose dirt or running the covers through the washing machine (if possible) using the warmest appropriate water setting.
These areas and items are hard-to-wash for a reason. They’re not like clothes where you can stick them in a washing machine and come back to it when it’s done being laundered. So in between cleaning them, either on your own or professionally, what can we do? Others choose to wipe or pound them to dislodge dirt (pagpag). These are not enough.
According to Prof. Joel C. Cornista, the president of the Philippine Society for Microbiology, Inc., “Dusting or vacuuming every few weeks may be helpful but bacteria and viruses can still grow in these items in between your general cleaning days. Exposure to these bacteria and viruses may lead to infections and trigger allergies, and so it will be wise to degerm these items daily.“
Downy launched its new product to help you clean hard-to-wash fabrics regularly. The Downy Antibac+ Fabric Spray penetrates deep into fabrics to remove 99.9% of germs and eliminate odors, making our homes germ-free and smelling fresh instantly! The only mumu I want to see are the ones in books and movies, not in my home. You can use this fabric spray to get rid of germumu hiding in your bed and mattresses, sofas, curtains, and even in your shoes and bags.
Using the Downy Antibac+ Fabric Spray is easy. Simply turn the spray cap on, position your hard-to-wash fabric 20 to 30cm away from the spray, and spray until the fabric is wet. Let it air dry after.
Always make sure to set aside time to clean these hard-to-wash items (or hire a professional if you don’t have the time and/or you have the means). In between, use the Downy Antibac+ Fabric Spray!