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How Often Should You Wash Bed Sheets?

February 16, 2023

Bed sheets act as barriers between you and the mattress. To understand their importance, however, we have to talk a little more about the latter. As you might be aware, these pads can become a host to allergens such as dust mites, which can greatly affect your quality of sleep. Luckily, we can minimize our contact with these microscopic bugs by using a bed sheet.

how often should you wash bed sheetsThat’s not all that they’re good for, though. As it turns out, bed sheets also protect your mattress. “From what?”, you might be wondering. The answer is simple, really—the perspiration that escapes your body. By taking in the moisture, the sheets will prevent your mattress from being soaked.

Trust me, a soaked mattress is not a good thing; it can lead to the development of spores, molds, even mites! The worst part of all is that they can be difficult to wash. Can you imagine trying to scrub your mattress clean? It’s definitely not fun.

The Importance of Keeping Your Sheets Clean

Ideally, you want to wash your sheets every week so that they’re kept clean. As you can imagine, they tend to get dirty quickly—after all, they’re in constant contact with sweat and allergens. Who wants to sleep on icky linen? Not to mention it’d also defeat the purpose of having sheets in the first place.

Not just that but it can lead to a number of other consequences as well. Let’s take a look at some of them below.

Dead Skin Cells Lead to Odor Growth

Dirty sheets often contain sweat and body oils—but did you know that you can also find fecal matter in the fibers? You can easily see how this would lead to the presence of contaminants.

To make things worse, contaminants love dead skin cells and sweat, both of which can be found on your sheets. This often leads to rapid multiplication. Assuming that your linens are not regularly washed and that you have an open wound, the contaminants can enter and cause an infection.

In some cases, fungi spores can also grow on the sheets, which can lead to icky things like ringworm. Fortunately, you can prevent those issues with frequent washing.

Issues with Dust Mites

dust mites in bed sheetsDust mites are commonly found in bedding and can cause allergies that can impair your sleep health. This has to do with the fact that every time we go to sleep, dead skin cells go onto the sheets.

Dust mites feed on our flakes of dead skin, and the longer you sleep on a particular sheet, the more dead skin cells there will be.

At the end of the day, however, it’s their excrement that’s responsible for causing the allergy symptoms (especially those with sensitive skin). For example, they can cause skin irritation, sneezing, wheezing, or coughing throughout the night.

That’s why it’s so important to wash sheets regularly.

Chance of Infection and Skin Irritation

If someone in the bed is sick, chances are, there will be bacteria or viruses on the sheets. More often than not, it will be soaked into the fibers.

As you can imagine, this can make it easy for the infection to spread to others. Given that, you always wash your hands with soap before getting into bed if you’re sick.

Development of Odors

Sheets can get smelly. This isn’t surprising, though, when you consider the fact that they’re often covered with sweat, dirt, body oils, and other grime. What’s worse is that the odor can easily transfer onto you or your clothes during your sleep.

How Often Should You Wash Bed Sheets?

how to wash bedsheets in the washing machineAs a general rule, you want to wash your sheets weekly. That will help keep sweat, allergens, and grime at bay. Sure, it might be a bit tedious, but your health is worth it—especially if you have pre-existing allergies to dust mites.

And anyway, it’s not that difficult to wash sheets if you have a washing machine.

Washing Sheets in the Summer

As the temperatures get warmer in the summer, it’s a good idea to wash them more frequently. After all, you’ll likely be sweating more at night. The same goes for when you’re sick—washing the sheets more often will help to prevent the spread of infection.

How Often to Wash Your Sheets in the Winter

During the cooler months, you might be able to get away with washing your sheets once every two weeks. Having said that, it’s a good idea to stay with the once-a-week rule; that will for sure, keep them fresh and clean.

How To Properly Wash Your Sheets, Comforters & Other Bedding

best way to wash bedding in the machineWashing your sheets requires a bit of effort, but it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to enjoy freshly cleaned linens!

Note: Be sure to read all of the care labels before you begin. While most sheets are machine washable, some might require special care that you might not be able to provide at home.

Washing Sheets in the Washing Machine

First things first, take the sheets off of the bed. Seeing as how they take up a lot of space in the washer, it’s a good idea to wash them separately from other laundry. That’s not to say that you can’t add a couple of pairs of socks or underwear in, if there is room, however.

Carefully place the sheets in the washing machine—make sure that they do not bundle too much. Never wrap them around the agitator; not only will that cause them to tear, but it might damage or break the motor.

Once the linens are in the machine, add an appropriate amount of detergent (we recommend using ACTIVE detergent). Do not use too much otherwise it will be difficult to rinse off when you wash your sheets.

how to dry cotton sheetsWash your sheets with warm water on a regular cycle (some washers might have a setting specifically for sheets). Hot water can be used if the sheets are excessively dirty. Do note, however, that the warm temperature will cause the fabric to wear out faster.

Best Way to Dry Your Cotton Sheets

Remove the bed sheets from the washer once the wash cycle is complete. Do not leave them inside for long periods of time—that will only invite odors to form. Shake them out gently before hanging them on a clothesline.

Avoid putting it under direct sunlight as that can cause the colors to fade. As an alternative, you can put them in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.

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Ava Thompson

Ava Thompson is a cleaning specialist and home organization guru. Her profound knowledge, honed through years of experience, is thoughtfully shared in her thorough walkthroughs here on our blog. Ava’s pragmatic tips and innovative strategies empower individuals to transform their living spaces into models of cleanliness and order. She’s a go-to source for those seeking to enhance their home environment efficiently and effectively. She has become a key contributor on the ACTIVE blog.

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