Could you be under-washing your everyday items?

Neglecting to change your bed sheets often enough or not washing the contents of your make-up bag could have dire consequences.

The Mirror has asked the experts for their top tips on how regularly you should scrub your loo, wipe down your fridge - and even how often to clean your mobile phone.

So ready your brushes, cleaning cloths and sponges (after giving them a good wash, of course) and get ready for a real spring clean.

The toilet

You might think your toilet is one of the dirtiest parts of your house, but the average toilet seat only has around 50 bacteria per square inch. That's less than most chopping boards.

Experts suggest you clean around the toilet bowl every day, and once a week you should give your whole bathroom a proper clean.

Bed sheets

20% of adults change their bed sheets every six months. Are you one of those?

We shed about a million skin cells (accompanied by oil and sweat) each night, which attracts dust mites, so it's a good idea to wash them every one to two weeks.

Many of those dead skin cells gather in your mattress, making a great breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria.

Even the best quality mattresses probably need a change after about nine years.

The fridge

The average fridge has as much as 750 times the safe level bacteria it should have.

You should cover all uncooked food, and throw out anything past its expiry date.

When it comes to cleaning your fridge, a wipe down the inside of your fridge every three to six months is vital, or your food could get contaminated with salmonella.

Mobile phones

Did we mention toilet seats are surprisingly clean?

Well, studies have shown that your phone carries around 10 times more bacteria than a loo seat.

Get some antibacterial wet wipes and clean your most used device regularly to avoid picking up bugs.


Changing knickers every day is one of the most basic hygiene rules, but what about bras?

Jenny King from Persil says you should be giving those a wash after every three to four wears in general.

Kitchen cloths and sponges

Your worktops may be sparkling and disinfected to within an inch of their life, but what about the tools you used?

Cloths and sponges can hoard between 1 million and 10 million bacteria per square inch.

The Hygiene Council says you should clean these frequently, so a weekly 60C wash is a good idea, or you can replace them with new ones.


Similarly, there’s more than 10 million bacteria on your toothbrush.

Your best bet is to replace your toothbrush at least every three months and clean it with a rinse after every use.


Just as our beauty may fade, make-up too has a shelf-life.

  • Foundation: Liquids and cream foundations only last between six and 12 months, because bacteria can grow more easily in the water and oils that they contain. Powders can last up to two years.
  • Lipstick: These should be okay to keep for up to two years. But occasionally clean the top layer of lipstick with a wipe to remove any bacteria.
  • Mascara: You should chuck your mascara three months after opening it to prevent bacteria from causing eye irritations or infections.
  • Sponges: Replace these every month and ideally wash them with cleanser after every use, especially if you suffer from acne or have sensitive skin.

Tips come from Good Housekeeping, The Hygiene Council, .

Travelodge conducted a survey using 2,000 mattresses, in association with The Sleep Council.

So, are you disgusting but you just never realised it? How many of these do you abide by? Let us know in the comments