If you tackle your home chores every weekend, chances are all of the following items are already on your list. After all, they’re the tasks the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends you accomplish every seven days. But if this news suddenly doubles your to-do list, don’t worry: We’ve identified a few things you’re probably cleaning too often to help you out.
Every Week: Your Laundry
We know, it’s most people’s least favorite chore ever. But to prevent piles of items you’ve deemed dirty (here’s our helpful guide) from growing into an intimidating tower, it’s best to tackle this weekly.
Every Week: Your Bathroom Surfaces
Since your toilet can spray germy water particles up to six feet across the room (yuck!), you should give your counters, mirrors and other surfaces in this room a once over with a disinfectant wipe ($9, amazon.com) every week.
Every Week: Your Carpet and Rugs
Yep, even before you can see the crumbs collect. “If you don’t vacuum, heavy dirt gets ground in and light dust sits on top,” warns Carolyn Forte, the director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. This advice is especially important for high-traffic areas.
Every Week: Your Dusty Furniture
Not only does dust look bad, but it can also damage your furniture if it builds up, according to Forte: “Dust can be abrasive and can put fine scratches in the finish if something rubs against it.” Use a microfiber cloth ($16, amazon.com), which grabs particles, instead of spreading them around.
Every Week: Your Sheets
Think about it: You probably spend close to half of your life in your bed, lying on top of your sheets. Germs, sweat and body oils accumulate quickly, which is why Forte recommends washing them every week if possible.
Every Week: Your Kitchen Appliances
Even though your stove, microwave or fridge might not look dirty, Forte says they’re probably covered in things you can’t see. “Kitchen appliances need to be cleaned of fingerprints and food bits.” Run a disinfectant wipe ($9, amazon.com) over them each week to prevent build-up.
Every Week: Your Tub and Shower
These wet, warm places breed mildew and scum, but you can help them resist stains by cleaning them every week with a bath scrubber ($11, amazon.com). And if you want to make your weekly task even easier, run a squeegee over surfaces after you wash up.
Every Week: Your Toilets
Forte says the fastest way to deep clean your bowl every week is to grab some bleach ($8, amazon.com), pour in a cup, then brush it around the sides and under the rim. “Let it sit for five minutes as you move on to the next task,” Forte advises.
Every Week: Your Kitchen Floors
Chances are, you don’t even notice the bread crumbs that end up on the floor after dinner. To prevent food particles from building up, put running a Swiffer ($23, amazon.com) over the ground on your weekly to-do list.
Every Week: Your Mirrors
Trust us, it’s easier to put on makeup with a smudge-free mirror. That’s why, once a week, Forte recommends you run a microfiber cloth ($16, amazon.com) over this surface, then follow it up with a few sprays of a glass cleaner ($12, amazon.com).
Too Much: Clothes You Wore Once
For sweaty gym gear, shirts, and tights, it’s fine to wash your clothes after every wear. But most other items can (and should!) be worn three times before you drop them into the cycle, according to Forte: “Over-washing and over-drying fabrics can cause fading and wear.”
Too Much: Dinner Plates
Don’t worry about rinsing plates before putting them in the dishwasher — just scrape the food off beforehand. “Pre-washing dishes is a waste of time and energy,” says Forte. “If you aren’t running it right away, let the dishwasher rinse them with a ‘rinse only’ cycle.”
Too Much: Light Fixtures
You might be tempted to climb on your ladder and give the ceiling light a good dusting whenever you do your weekly cleaning, but save your strength. Forte says you can get away with cleaning light fixtures once a month.
Too Much: Jackets
Even though your might don your outerwear every day, it only has to be washed every three months. You see, jackets usually don’t come into contact with your dry skin cells or natural oils, which means they can go longer between washes than other clothes.
Too Much: Curtains
Even though you might think these window coverings need to get thrown in the wash as frequently as other household linens, according to Forte you only have to clean them once a year. But if you do get any marks on them, spot clean as needed.
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