by Jessica Pigza
When it comes to taking care of ourselves, our families and our homes, cleaning certain items are a no-brainer. Washing our clothes, wiping down the kitchen counters or vacuuming the carpet is a must. But there are some items, beauty items specifically, that may have gone under your cleaning radar. Below are some of the items you may not have thought to clean, but you should.
Lint From the Hairdryer
Did you know that your hair dryer collects lint and if left alone can be a fire hazard? Unfortunately, I know this from experience. All hair dryers have a small screen in the back that air travels through and it’s a prime spot for lint to collect. Typically there is a cover that screws or snaps on the back. Remove that to reveal the screen. Using a DRY cloth or old toothbrush, rub the screen until the lint is gone. Start with checking your hairdryer every month, if it’s not too bad you can go longer between cleanings. Not only will your dryer work more efficiently, but it will last longer because the motor will not have to work as hard. More importantly, you are reducing the possibility of your motor overheating and being a fire hazard.
Most of us use a disposable razor and we don’t really think twice about how we take care of it, I know I never did. But the more I thought about it, this tool I use so close to my skin and could possibly cut myself with (yes we have all done it), do I really want it to be full of bacteria? Um no, and thankfully there are some ways to clean and store it that will make it last longer and make it less icky.
After shaving always rinse with warm water to clean out any debris. Take cleaning a step further by dipping your razor into some rubbing alcohol to sterilize the blades. This also displaces any water on your razor and the alcohol will quickly and cleanly evaporate away. Finally, store your razor in an upright position and away from any areas where it will continue to get wet in between uses.
I know I should clean my hair brushes more often, but I never think about it until I finally pay attention to the bristles and realize I can see more hair then bristle. I have lost count of how many brushes are actually in our house because they seemed to have all disappeared. I know we had at least seven at one point, yet I find myself sharing a single brush with my two daughters which means, yes it’s gross, that the hair builds up even faster. We are all familiar with using a rattail comb or pen to help pull all of the tangled hair out of our brushes but to really get it really clean, fill a small bowl with warm water and mild shampoo and swish your brushes around in the mixture. Pulling the hair out of your brush isn’t enough to properly clean it. By using this mixture, you’ll be removing all of the left behind residue, product buildup and dead skin cells that remain in your brush bristles.
Tip: To disinfect your brushes fill a squirt bottle with one part water and one part barbicide. Spray this on your brushes a few times a week if you want to truly disinfect your brushes and combs.
I love the rich lather and exfoliating properties that a bath pouf provides, but they can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. If not cleaned and stored properly, they can do more harm than good, especially on freshly shaven skin. I used to wash my poufs in the washer but they would end up falling apart rendering them useless. Now I’ve discovered a better way to clean them. First, be sure to rinse them out completely after use ensuring that you are removing any debris that may be stuck in the mesh after bathing. After doing this, squeeze out as much water as you can without destroying the tight weave. Now, this is an important step, storage. Make sure to store your pouf outside of the bath or shower. Keeping it away from the lingering moisture will help it dry quicker. Lastly, about two times a week I take my pouf and dip it in a 50/50 water and vinegar mix. This will disinfect your pouf without using harsh chemicals. While you should still replace your pouf monthly, this will help make it last longer and keep it germ-free.
Your makeup bag is another one of those items you don’t really think about cleaning, but it collects its fair share of bacteria too. There are a few different ways to clean your makeup bag depending on the type you have. First, take everything out and give it a good shake, this is also a good time to toss any old products. Then, if your makeup bag is machine washable flip it inside out and toss it in the washer. If it’s not machine washable, use makeup removing wipes to remove any makeup residue. If you don’t have them, a little soap and water will work too. Next, you can take a cotton pad with some rubbing alcohol and wipe down the inside of the bag to sanitize it. If your makeup bag is too far gone it might be time to invest in a new one. Opt for a plastic lined one for easier cleanup.
I use this beauty tool almost daily but it never occurred to me that I needed to clean it more than just wiping it with my fingers. I’m careful about everything else I put near my eyes so why not this. Much like your razor your eyelash curler can be cleaned with warm water and rubbing alcohol. Start by removing the rubber pad. Using some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball or cotton pad, rub it all over the rubber removing any makeup residue. Next, take the eyelash curler and dip it into a small bowl of rubbing alcohol for a few seconds. Wipe off any makeup residue and then dip again for a few more seconds to clean. Wait until both pieces are completely dry before putting back together. This should be done every few weeks or so depending on how fast the makeup residue builds up on yours.
Tip: If you are having a really hard time getting off some of the makeup residue, after removing the rubber pad, use a hairdryer on your eyelash curler to help soften the residue. This will make it easier to wipe off.
Jessica is a military wife, married to her husband Nate of 14 years, and stay at home mother to three energetic and fearless children, Sophia, Brandon and Rachel. Originally from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the military life has given her a chance to live all over the United States and meet many amazing people along the way.