How often should you clean your house? We've broken it down for you

The ultimate list of what needs to be cleaned and how regularly

living room with sofa with cushions and curtain
(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

How often should you clean your house? Every day? Once a week? Less than that? More? There are so many conflicting ideas out there that it can be hard to know exactly what we're meant to be doing.

Make sure that you're cleaning rooms, appliances and furniture as often as you should be with our explanatory guide. So get ready to find out if you're cleaning often enough... or in fact, too much! And, for a ready made when-to, check out our daily cleaning schedule and our year-round cleaning calendar, too.

How often should you wash your bedding?

bedroom with purple wall and bed

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Once a week. Air your bed daily by throwing back the top sheets and duvet. Pillow cases and duvet covers should be machine washed at a minimum of 40°C, but it's better to clean them at 60°C if the fabric will take it. That way, you stand a better chance of any harmful bacteria being killed.

It's also wise to clean your mattress with a quick vacuum every fortnight to prevent dust mites from building up.

How often should I clean my washing machine?

Once a month. There are a few different ways to clean a washing machine. Try adding a cup of white vinegar to the detergent drawer and run an empty hot cycle.

How often should you clean your oven?

kitchen with wooden counter top and oven

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Every six months. Use a specialist deep-cleaning spray or cream, but avoid scouring away tough grime when cleaning you oven as you could damage the lining.

How often should you clean your dishwasher?

Once a month. One of the best methods for how to clean a dishwasher is by removing the racks and cleaning them separately with warm soapy water, then run what we call a vinegar wash. This involves emptying the dishwasher and placing a cupful of white vinegar in the upper rack, then running the machine at its hottest cycle. It's a great way to remove any grease or odours.

It's a good idea to wipe detergent drawers and rubber seals after every few washes.

How often should you clean your toilet?

toilet with tiles flooring

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Parmiter)

Once a week. You may think your toilet is the dirtiest thing in your home. But you'd be wrong, as chopping boards and dishcloths are more likely to harbour harmful bacteria. For that reason you can get away with cleaning the bowl properly once a week – although we would recommend giving the seat a daily going over with a soapy cloth or sanitised wipe.

Your toilet brush should be cleaned with bleach once a month, and replaced every six months.

How often should you clean your makeup brushes?

Once a week. This is especially important for liquid foundation and concealer brushes, as otherwise a nasty bacteria called  streptococcus can build up. Not only can this cause skin irritations, but also serious illnesses like scarlet fever.

A dedicated make-up brush cleanser is the best option, or you could use shampoo. If you have beauty blender sponges, follow this ingenious hack!

How often should I clean the curtains?

living room with sofa with cushions and curtain

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

Every three months. Check the washing instructions for how to clean your curtains to see if they'll need to be dry cleaned or if you can put them in the washing machine. At the very least give them a going over with steamer – if it has a vertical steam option, you could use your iron.

How often should you clean your fridge?

Once every six months. In between deep cleanses, clean your fridge using soapy water and a soft cloth.

How to clean your keyboard or laptop – and how often you should do it

Once a week. Take a can of compressed air and spray between the keys. then take a sanitising wipe and go over every surface.

How to clean a lampshade – and how often you should do it

bed lamp

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Clean every three months. Use hot water if the material allows. Otherwise, remove any dust with a lint roller. Ideally, you should also dust them twice a week.

How often should you wash your towels?

Every two days. Hand towels and guest towels should be machine washed at 40°C every two days. Bath towels should be hung to dry properly after your bath or shower, and popped in the wash after every four to five times of being used.

How to clean a toaster – and how often you should do it

Once a week. Start by removing and emptying the crumb drawer. Then tip it upside-down and shake out any remaining crumbs. Finally, wipe with a dishcloth soaked in warm, soapy water.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.