How often should we wash our sheets? It’s one of life’s most hounding questions – no, we’re not talking about “what should we have for dinner?” – it’s something a little more serious and (if we are honest), more deserving of some time in the spotlight. It’s a question that not only affects our health, but the quality of our sleep too. For some, it might be a question that we don’t ask enough, and for others, something that drives us into a detergent-soaked frenzy.
Our beds, usually a sanctum of comfort and rest, can lead to nasty allergies, infections, and breakouts. Why? Because our linen harbours germs and dust mites. Shocked? Here’s how to bust those mites and ensure uninterrupted (clean) sleep.
While there is no magic number, Microbiologists and Dermatologists suggest that you wash your bed linen once a week, at least. However, the frequency could increase depending on how much you move in your sleep, and the amount of clothing you wear to bed. There are also other factors that come into play – how much you sweat, how the seasons affect the moisture in your skin, whether you wear makeup to bed… the list goes on! Now, you might be wondering why you need to wash your sheets frequently if it’s just you that climbs into bed each night. Well, we have some news – and it’s not pretty.
Why you should wash your sheets
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, we (humans) lose between 30 000 and 40 000 skin cells every day. Considering we spend five to nine hours in our bed each day, most of our skin cells gather in our linen; and where there are skin cells, there are dust mites. Additionally, our linen is also subject to the moisture from our bodies. This combination of fluids, skin cells, and dust mites can amass in bacteria that can wreak havoc on your skin’s ecosystem, such as acne and eczema. It can also put you at risk of allergies, a compromised immune system, and pink eye. The best way to combat this (or avoid it completely), is to wash your linen and sheets as regularly as you wash your undies! That’s right – whenever you do your weekly loads of washing, it’s important to make some time to wash your sheets too.
Perplexed? Vexed at the idea of spending more time doing the washing? Here’s how to simplify the chore –
- Separate your duvet cover, sheet, and fitted sheet from your pillowcases. Bed linen needs room to get clean, so avoid jamming everything into the washing machine at once.
- Don’t forget to add them inside-out! Depending on the washing instructions, wash your sheets on a warm cycle with hypoallergenic detergent – if you have sensitive skin, ensure that you select an additional rinse cycle so that there is no residual detergent.
- Once your duvet cover, sheet, and fitted sheet are hanging up to dry, add in your pillowcases – keep in mind that these might need two cycles due to the oil on our skin, and any skincare products that you may use.
- Don’t forget to let your sheets dry completely before folding them away or putting them back onto the bed – the last thing anyone wants is a mouldy mattress.
If you are a little worried about the state of your mattress, make sure to pop your mattress protector into the washing machine too. While it’s in the wash, you can use a mite-free spay on your mattress, followed by a vacuum and some time in the sun.
We guarantee that a clean set of linen will help you sleep like a baby!