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10 items you probably wash too much -- or not enough!

Here's the scoop on when to wash jeans, sheets and other items.

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Alina Bradford
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1 of 13 Alina Bradford/CNET

Whether you are a neat freak or a I'll-clean-it-when-I-get-to-it type, you probably don't know when you are actually supposed to clean things in your home. Here's a quick list of items that you may not be cleaning enough... and a few you may be cleaning too much.

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Bras

Bras should be washed around once a week, according to Good Housekeeping. Of course, if you're sweating a lot, you should wash more often. Hand-wash your bras with a mild detergent and then hang them to air dry.

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Sheets

Did you know humans shed 1.5 grams of skin a day and that's enough to feed 1 million dust mites? Gag. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, you should be washing your sheets weekly in water that is 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius) or hotter to kill the dust mites.

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Pillows

Wash your pillow cover at the same time you wash your sheets. Then, you need to wash your pillow at least every six months to get rid of sweat, skin cells and other gunk. Here are some instructions on washing your pillow.

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Comforter

Your comforter can skip most washes, since your sheet protects it from most of your skin flakes and sweat. Try to wash it two to three times a year, though. Here's how to get your comforter to dry twice as fast.

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Mattresses

You should be cleaning your mattress once every six months or so, according to Consumer Reports. Start by giving it a good vacuuming, paying particular attention to the nooks and crannies. 

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How to clean mattresses

Next, lightly mist your mattresses with water using a spray bottle, then dust the surface with baking soda. Let the powder sit for a couple of hours, then vacuum again. Your mattress should look and smell fresh. Here's how to get rid of stains on your mattress

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Washing machine

Your washer may wash your clothes, but it doesn't wash itself. It needs some tender loving care, too. How often it needs cleaning varies, but if your clothes start smelling not-so-fresh, it's time to give your washer a wash. Here's how to give your washing machine a deep clean to remove mildew and pocket junk.

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9 of 13 Chris Monroe/CNET

Clothes dryer

Don't forget to clean your clothes dryer, too. Every 18 months or so, your dryer's motor and other mechanics need a deep clean to prevent lint fires and malfunctions. Here are some tips on getting your dryer squeaky clean

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Microwave

You know that you should wipe down your microwave every time there's a spill, but let's be realistic. That doesn't always happen. Once a week, give your microwave a deep clean. 

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Quick deep clean

Soak a kitchen sponge in lemon water. Then, place it in the microwave for 1 minute and let the steam from the sponge attack and soften the muck for 5 minutes. After that, just wipe the inside of the microwave down. So fresh. So clean.

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Jeans

In 2014, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh said you really shouldn't wash your jeans. He recommended just cleaning any dirty spots with a sponge or toothbrush and a little detergent. Then, let your jeans air dry instead of popping them in the dryer.

If you do choose to wash them on a regular basis, zip the zipper, wash them with like colors and let them air dry.

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Toys

You should sanitize your kid's toys after they come in contact with other children or when your kiddo gets over a nasty virus. Otherwise, a good weekly cleaning is good enough. You can throw plastic toys in the dishwasher for a good scrubbing. Put plush toys in the washing machine on the gentle cycle and wash with hot water.

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