Why You Really Should Be Washing Your Bedsheets More

How often do you wash your bedsheets? [Photo: freestocks.org via Pexels]

Ok so we’d like to be washing our bedsheets more, but what with juggling a job, social life and Netflix subscription CONFESSION! it can take us a while to get round to it, like a few weeks while.

But turns out we’re not alone in our grubby little bed habits. According to a recent YouGov poll more than a third of us wait 14 days to wash our sheets, while a super slothy one in ten of us only get round to sticking them in the washing machine every four weeks. Yikes!

Not reaping the benefits of super fresh sheets aside, there’s actually a far more scary consequence of slipping behind on the laundry. Because failing to regularly wash our bedclothes can have some seriously icky effects on our health.

Laundry expert (yes, that’s actually a thing!), Mary Marlowe Leverette revealed to ATTN that when you don’t wash your sheets, lots of unpleasantries start to build up in our beds. We’re talking sweat, dirt from the day, body oils, saliva, sexual fluids and even urine and faecal matter. Where’s the bucket we need to barf?  

Not washing your bedsheets regularly can have some horrible consequences on your health [Photo: jaymantri.com via Pexels]

Wait, it gets worse. According to Mary, if the person sleeping in those unwashed sheets has a scratch, cut or wound, all those yucky substances can actually end up giving them an infection.

“Athlete’s foot and other fungi can be transferred from fabrics,” explains Mary. “Infrequent cleaning of sheets and pillowcases allows the fluids to seep into the pillows and mattresses, and those are MUCH more difficult to clean than tossing sheets in the washer.”

And the dead skin cells you shed while you’re sleeping can also attract dust mites, which can cause breathing problems, especially for anyone suffering from Asthma. Plus, it turns out the more slovenly we are, the harder it is to get back on the cleanliness path because the longer you go without washing your sheets, the more difficult it becomes to remove skin cells, mites, and other fluids, as they become more deeply embedded in your bed.

If all this has had you reaching for the washing powder, Mason Jones, cleaning expert for Handy has some advice for keeping the bed nasties at bay.

“Ideally, you should wash your bedding once a week,” explains Mason. “When washing sheets, turn them inside out, as that will keep the colour for longer. If possible, try drying them in sunlight to get rid of bacteria, but if that isn’t an option, you can run them over with a hot iron once they are dry as that have the same effect. Pillowcases need special attention, as they accumulate hair and beauty products and have to be washed weekly and even twice a week if you are prone to breakouts.”

Time to get a wash on! [unsplash.com via Pexels]

And it’s not just bedsheets that require a good cleaning, pillows, duvets and mattresses need to be considered too.

“Pillows, duvets and throws also require a regular clean, which should be done a few times a year at least,” says Mason. “Before you wash your pillows, remember to read the care label: most down and synthetic pillows can be put into the washing machine on a gentler cycle, but memory foam pillows should be cleaned differently, as shown on the label. When it comes to your duvet, always check the label first and if there is a stain, try moving the feathers away and treating it, before laundering it. If you don’t think the duvet will fit in the washing machine, fold it in half and move it around – if it moves easily, you have enough space.”

As for your mattress this needs to be cleaned twice a year, as it harbours lots of dead cells and dust, which can play havoc with your sleep cycle. “Make sure you give it a good vacuum with an upholstery attachment, lie it back down and sprinkle with baking soda to remove any lingering odours,” says Mason. “Leave the baking soda on for two hours then vacuum it off for the best possible result.”

Ok, so all this does require a bit of effort, but what’s a slightly shorter binge watching session if it keeps bed bugs and other nasties at bay?

How often do you wash your bedsheets? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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