While many of us have no problem getting into a habit of regularly cleaning our clothes, studies suggest that most of us aren’t cleaning our sheets nearly enough and the consequences are damning.
A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that 91 percent of participants washed their sheets every other week. Meanwhile, a study performed by the Mattress Advisor showed even worse results – an average of 24 days between sheet washings.
Experts recommend washing your sheets regularly to avoid the accumulation of dead skin cells, dust mites, allergies, and much worse. Read on to find more about how to keep your sheets clean, how to wash them, and the consequences of infrequent washing.
How Often You Should Wash Your Sheets
Are you washing your sheets once a week? If not, then you aren’t washing frequently enough. Experts recommend washing sheets once a week to wash away dirt, oil, dead, skin cells, and bacteria that accumulate on our sheets while we sleep.
Some people are even advised to wash their sheets more frequently than once a week under certain conditions like having allergies, sweating excessively, failing to bathe before sleeping, sleeping naked, or having a pet sleep in your bed. All of these activities introduce more bacteria and dirt into your bedsheets.
Consequences Of Not Washing
The consequences of having long periods before washing your bedding are pretty gross and unsavoury. Failure to wash frequently will cause a buildup of bacteria, animal dander, sweat, dead skin cells, and dust mites to pile up where you sleep.
That’s right, failure to wash frequently means you’re potentially sleeping with millions of dust mites (and their faeces). Because they feed off of dead skin cells found in dust and the longer you wait to wash, the more they had to feed on. Dust mites can worsen allergies and asthma, contributing to itchy eyes, a runny nose, cold-like symptoms.
You’ll also have a buildup of bacteria that can worsen acne. Did you know a pillowcase can harbour more bacteria than a toilet seat if you don’t wash your sheets often enough? Bacteria and fungi in dirty sheets can also lead to other medical issues, such as an athlete’s foot or jock itch.
Even more serious, staphylococcus aureus (staph bacteria) can build up in your sheets, as they thrive in warm and moist areas of our bodies. A staph infection can be deadly if it enters the bloodstream.
How to Wash Your Sheets
You should be washing your sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding materials in hot water and refer to the care label on your sheets for further instructions. However, hotter water more effectively kills bacteria. For this reason, we also recommend drying your sheets in a tumble dryer and ironing them.
How to Keep Your Sheets Clean
While there’s no getting around frequently washing your bedding, there are some tips to keep your sheets as fresh as possible between washings. You can prevent the formation of dust mites by showering before bed which will remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. You should thoroughly clean your face to remove makeup, dirt, and oil.
Don’t let pets on your bed to avoid animal dander and never eat or drink in your bed. You can keep your pillow clean with a pillow protector which reduces the number of bacteria that your pillow is exposed to. Other bedding materials like duvets and blankets need to be washed about every 2 weeks. Replace your pillow every 1-2 years.
Leave It to the Experts
Does frequently washing your bedding sound like a lot of work? Don’t have a big enough washer or dryer to accommodate large duvets? At My Butler Service, we take all the labour out of washing and drying your bedding.
We offer expert linen cleaning service as well as doona dry cleaning service. We’ll clean any type of bedding and use eco-friendly detergents to expertly clean and dry your bedding and return them to you in pristine condition. Book a collection directly from your phone or give us a call at 1300 288 537 to find out more.