Clothes Smelling Less Than Fresh? Try Cleaning Your Washing Machine

iStock
iStock

You’re probably not washing your household appliances as often as you should be. (That is, if you ever wash them.) You may think of appliances like your washer and dryer as self-cleaning, being as they’re made to, you know, clean things. But sadly, that’s not the case, as The Washington Post and Lifehacker remind us. If you really want to live your cleanest life, you should be giving your washer and dryer a once-over with bleach periodically to rid them of mold and mildew.

Most dedicated laundry-doers know to clean out the lint trap before each drying cycle, but you may not realize there are other steps in the laundry appliance upkeep process. Like anything else that’s frequently subjected to moisture, washers can accumulate nasty mold and mildew. Some newer models have built-in sanitizer settings, but it’s relatively easy to clean an older washer, too.

For either, you’ll need a quarter-cup of bleach, as household cleaning expert Beth McGee told The Washington Post. If you don’t have a sanitizer setting, just run the washer without clothes or detergent on the hottest setting for the largest load with the bleach. (Some cleaning obsessives recommend vinegar instead.) After the cycle is done, open the washer door and let it air dry. You can use a toothbrush to scrub the parts of the washer that the bleach won’t reach during the wash cycle, like the wells where you pour your detergent and fabric softener or the rubber seals around the door. To cut down on mildew between cleanings, leave the washer door open between laundry days, so the tub can completely dry out.

When it comes to your dryer, you’ll occasionally want to not just remove buildup from the lint trap, but clean the whole dryer vent. The Spruce recommends buying a dryer-vent brush kit to do this, detaching the dryer duct from the appliance (don’t forget to unplug it first) and cleaning out the built-up handfuls of lint. You’ll also need a skinny vacuum head to vacuum out the compartment that houses the lint trap. Doing this periodically can help reduce the risk of fire, so it’s about more than just keeping your clothes smelling fresh.

Most experts recommend cleaning your washer and your dryer once a month to keep both your clothes and your appliances smelling their best. And while we’re on the subject of frequent cleanings, we’d like to remind you that you probably need to wash your hand towels ... like, now.

[h/t Lifehacker]

Amazon’s Big Fall Sale Features Deals on Electronics, Kitchen Appliances, and Home Décor

Dash/Keurig
Dash/Keurig

If you're looking for deals on items like Keurigs, BISSELL vacuums, and essential oil diffusers, it's usually pretty slim pickings until the holiday sales roll around. Thankfully, Amazon is starting these deals a little earlier with their Big Fall Sale, where customers can get up to 20 percent off everything from home decor to WFH essentials and kitchen gadgets. Now you won’t have to wait until Black Friday for the deal you need. Make sure to see all the deals that the sale has to offer here and check out our favorites below.

Electronics

Dash/Amazon

- BISSELL Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner $170 (save $60)

- Dash Deluxe Air Fryer $80 (save $20)

- Dash Rapid 6-Egg Cooker $17 (save $3)

- Keurig K-Café Single Coffee Maker $169 (save $30)

- COMFEE Toaster Oven $29 (save $9)

- AmazonBasics 1500W Oscillating Ceramic Heater $31 (save $4)

Home office Essentials

HP/Amazon

- HP Neverstop Laser Printer $250 (save $30)

- HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1 Flatbed OCR Scanner $274 (save $25)

- HP Printer Paper (500 Sheets) $5 (save $2)

- Mead Composition Books Pack of 5 Ruled Notebooks $11 (save $2)

- Swingline Desktop Hole Punch $7 (save $17)

- Officemate OIC Achieva Side Load Letter Tray $15 (save $7)

- PILOT G2 Premium Rolling Ball Gel Pens 12-Pack $10 (save $3)

Toys and games

Selieve/Amazon

- Selieve Toys Old Children's Walkie Talkies $17 (save $7)

- Yard Games Giant Tumbling Timbers $59 (save $21)

- Duckura Jump Rocket Launchers $11 (save $17)

- EXERCISE N PLAY Automatic Launcher Baseball Bat $14 (save $29)

- Holy Stone HS165 GPS Drones with 2K HD Camera $95 (save $40)

Home Improvement

DEWALT/Amazon

- DEWALT 20V MAX LED Hand Held Work Light $54 (save $65)

- Duck EZ Packing Tape with Dispenser, 6 Rolls $11 (save $6)

- Bissell MultiClean Wet/Dry Garage Auto Vacuum $111 (save $39)

- Full Circle Sinksational Sink Strainer with Stopper $5 (save $2)

Home Décor

NECA/Amazon

- A Christmas Story 20-Inch Leg Lamp Prop Replica by NECA $41 save $5

- SYLVANIA 100 LED Warm White Mini Lights $8 (save 2)

- Yankee Candle Large Jar Candle Vanilla Cupcake $17 (save $12)

- Malden 8-Opening Matted Collage Picture Frame $20 (save $8)

- Lush Decor Blue and Gray Flower Curtains Pair $57 (save $55)

- LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser $25 (save $5)

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Want to Fall Asleep Faster? Try This Breathing Technique

Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels
Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels

Struggling to fall asleep can feel like a hopeless battle. It often seems like the harder you try turning your brain off, the less likely it is to happen. One way to trick yourself into falling asleep fast is finding something to concentrate on other than how long you've been awake. For nights when your thoughts just won't stay quiet, try the 4-7-8 technique.

According to Simplemost, the 4-7-8 breathing method is meant to combat anxiety, restlessness, and other enemies of a good night's sleep. The actual technique is simple: Just inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale for eight seconds. Like counting sheep, measuring out your breaths gives your brain something to do that isn't obsessing about your hectic day or the day ahead.

Taking slow, deliberate breaths has also been proven to reduce stress. Neurons that influence calmness have been found in the breathing control centers of mouse brains. In humans, deep breathing has long been central to mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation. The 4-7-8 breathing technique functions as both a distraction from your thoughts and a way to combat any anxious sensations that may be keeping you awake.

The next time you find yourself tossing and turning at night, try anywhere between three and eight rounds of this breathing technique to calm your body and mind. And to get the best rest possible, make sure you're settling into the best sleep position for your health.

[h/t Simplemost]