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A bar of soap on a dish

From hands to hair to clothes to food, keeping things as clean as possible is a very basic, and very essential, part of staying healthy.

But do you really know the what’s, how’s and how often’s of cleaning up?

How Often Should You Wash…Your Face?

Dirt, oil, sweat, makeup and bacteria can prevent your skin from being clear and healthy. In general, you should wash your face twice a day, morning and night, with a cleanser that’s right for your skin type.

How Often Should You Wash…Your Clothes?

This actually depends on the type of clothing. More rugged items, such as jeans and more durable cotton pants and shorts, can be washed less frequently, especially since they’re more germ-resistant, and over-washing can cause them to lose their shape. However, if your jeans are dirty, or you’ve worn them several times, definitely throw them in the washer.

Certain items, such shirts, bras and dresses, can be washed based on how often they’re used.

Other items, such as underwear, should absolutely be washed after each and every use.

How Often Should You Wash…Meat?

Actually, you shouldn’t. Experts say that the risks of washing meat, and thus spreading harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, all over your kitchen, outweigh the benefits of trying to clean it prior to cooking.

How Often Should You Wash…Your Body?

The answer to this depends entirely on you. For overall health, you should bathe at least once a day. However, if you exercise, spend a lot of time outside in warmer climates, or even if you need to relax, you may need to jump in the shower more often.

How Often Should You Wash…Fruit & Vegetables?

Produce needs to be washed very well in cold water to help remove dirt and germs. Also, cut off damaged areas where bacteria can often be found.

The exception? Pre-washed bagged salad. If the bag says it’s already been washed, you can generally trust that it actually has been.

How Often Should You Wash…Your Hands?

If only every single person in the world washed their hands as often as they should, since it’s the number one most effective way to help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs. Hand-washing basics = scrubbing your hands with soap under warm water for no less than 20 seconds.

How Often Should You Wash…Your Towels, Sheets & Blankets?

Let’s see…how fond are you of rolling around in dead skin, sweat, oil, and saliva? Oh yes, and dust mites. That’s what we thought. Wash linens at least once a week in hot water.

How Often Should You Wash…Your Hair?

Stylists, as well as dermatologists, agree that it’s safe for most black women to wash their hair once or twice a week. Unless there’s a heavy buildup of stylist products, more frequent washing can dry out black hair, which tends to be drier and more fragile than other hair types.

This said, it’s very important to actually wash your hair…with shampoo. Many women opt to co-wash their hair, which, essentially, involves using conditioner in the place of shampoo. The problem with this is that  conditioner can’t clear out the bacteria and other contaminates that may have gotten comfy on your scalp. And bacteria does not promote scalp/hair health.

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