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By Karen B. Gibbs

When was the last time you cleaned your silk scarf? If it wasn't in the last few months or even years, listen up.

Daily essentials are often way past due for a good washing. Keep these items looking fresh and lasting longer by following these easy cleaning tips.

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Washable silk scarves

Depending on use, silk scarves should be cleaned every month or two. This not only keeps scarves looking fresh but it also rids them of the germs and grime that come with everyday wear. Duane Schumann, a specialist at Twisted Thread in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers these simple steps for cleaning washable silk scarves.

First, make sure your silk scarf is washable. Next, place the scarf into a mixture of lukewarm water, a few drops of dish detergent and ½ teaspoon of salt. (The salt usually reduces the loss of color.) Gently squeeze water through the scarf, taking care not to rub. Rinse under cool water. To remove any soap residue, place scarf into a mixture of one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar and two quarts of cool water. Squeeze solution through scarf then rinse under cool water until all trace of vinegar and soap is gone. Roll scarf in a towel to remove excess water, then spread flat on a clean towel to dry.

Hairbrushes

The cardinal rule for hairbrush care is to remove hair from the bristles after every use. This keeps bristles from matting down over time. A comb is a quick way to sweep out those extra strands. Then, once a month, wash the brush to remove any buildup of hair products, dirt, oil and bacteria. For best results, wet brush in warm water, then scrub between bristles with a toothbrush and a few drops of shampoo. Rinse well and dry overnight with bristles down on a towel.

Makeup brushes

Dirty makeup brushes spread more than just old makeup — think germs, dead skin cells and body oils. To keep your brushes fresh, wash them every month with warm, soapy water. Rinse well. Remove excess water by gently blotting with a towel. To speed up drying, use a hair dryer on low while fanning the bristles with your fingers.

This article was originally published on March 26, 2015.