There are many reasons as to why personal hygiene and care is important. For one, good hygiene is vital for both health and social reasons. Good hygiene practices keep us clean and healthy.
However, while we tend to focus on how we smell and look, we sometimes forget about the lifespan of the tools that keep us clean. After all, these tools are directly exposed to germs and bacteria.
To help you get started, here is a list of things you should change after a period of time or even better, get a new set of items.
1. Bed sheets
Based on a poll done by the National Sleep Foundation in 2012, about 91% of individuals stated that they change their sheets bi-weekly.
Rule of thumb: On an average, it is recommended that you wash your sheets weekly. This is because your bedspread accumulates dust mites, pollen, bed bugs and fur if you have a pet that sleeps in bed with you. Dust mites are bad news for those who are asthmatic and have allergies. Therefore, washing your bedding weekly will definitely keep the bedbugs and dust at bay.
2. Towels and Bathrobes
Even if you don’t allow anyone else to use or touch your towel, there are already plenty of bacteria on your towel, especially if you don’t wash it very often. The damp environment on your towel is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. One of the most common bacteria found on towels are mold, yeast and Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Rule of thumb: Wash your towels every two to three days and change it when you notice black spots starts appearing on your towel.
Most of us use the dishcloth to wipe the dishes, stove top, clean the kitchen counter, after the dishes are done and sometimes, when there’s a spill on the floor or table, we will rush to the kitchen and grab the first piece of cloth our eyes lay on.
Once a dishcloth has been used, bacteria from the surrounding area is attached to the cloth and it grows rapidly when you use it for various purposes. Some of the common bacteria that can be found on dishcloth are Enterobacteriacae and Pseudomonas which could lead to infection and eventually make you fall sick.
This is why you should probably change your dishcloth more often than you think, especially if you cook often.
Rule of thumb: Dishcloths should be replaced after 30 uses or about every month. By doing so, the chances of spreading bacteria everywhere is minimum.
Before brushing your teeth today, take a look at your toothbrush and ask yourself whether it is time for a change.
It’s extremely easy to know for sure when you need to replace worn out jeans or shoes, but how do you know when you should throw out your old toothbrush and grab a brand new piece?
Rule of thumb: Be it a traditional or an electric toothbrush, it is best to replace it every three to four months. When you’re in doubt, simply take a look at the bristles of your brush. If it’s frayed, they won’t be able to clean your teeth thoroughly. If you’re using an electric brush, simply swap the toothbrush head instead of the entire brush itself.
Maintaining Personal Hygiene
To minimise the risk of infections and to avoid yourself or those around you from falling sick, you will have to practice good personal hygiene and take extra precautions on ensuring your surroundings are clean too. It may require extra time from your busy schedule but the fact that these good habits can keep you healthy makes every effort worth it.