fter a long day at work, many of us would just like to crawl to bed and doze off. But what happens if you get awakened by some dust mites or perhaps some unwanted odor creeping from your bed? That’s probably the most visible sign to wash your sheets ASAP.
Why cleaning your sheets is important?
Bed sheets are sleeping essentials that are pivotal for a good night’s sleep. These serve a variety of purposes, from keeping you warm to making you comfortable all throughout your sleeping cycle. And just like most of your daily wear, sheets may amass dirt, dead skin cells, sweat, dust mites, and other bacteria over time.
Dust mites, in particular, are microscopic organisms that can cause irritation and skin rashes. These tiny, bug-like pests easily replicate. Hence, if you do not regularly clean your bed, it won’t be long for your mattress and bed to be filled with these nasty creatures.
More than that, washing your sheet regularly is crucial, especially for people with asthma or eczema. It is also pivotal for pet owners who allow their furry friends to sleep on their beds.
So, how often should you wash and change your sheet?
As recommended by experts, you should wash the bed sheets at least once a fortnight. But if you don’t sleep on your bed every day, you can possibly stretch it once every three weeks.
Some prefer to change sheets once per week, especially if they sweat a lot or if they have skin conditions. And if you have been sick lately, just nestling on your bed all day long, then you might need to consider washing your sleeping essentials more frequently than usual.
In addition, you should take into account your current environment as well as your personal habits. Do you just sleep without taking a shower or do you love eating midnight snacks on your bed? It could also be that you share a bed with others or your pets.
When you share a bed, this means that the bed and other sleepers get twice the wear―and of course, twice the dirt. Sleeping with your pets, on the other hand, is something that you also need to consider as these adorable four-legged pets easily bring dirt and bacteria into the bed.
To sum it all up, these are key factors that help you decide the frequency of washing the sheets:
- going to bed without showering
- sweating a lot
- with existing allergies or sensitivity to dust
- sleeping together with your pet
- eating in bed and other personal habits
While the frequency largely depends on your personal circumstance as well as preference, the main thing is that you have to wash sheets regularly to ensure that microbes and other bacteria are removed.
What are some tips on washing your sheets?
1. Read the care instructions beforehand.
As fabrics come with different properties, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s care tips. This is a crucial step because some sheets have more delicate nature than others. Following the specific care guidelines not just ensures the comfort of the product but also maximizes its lifespan.
2. Separate the sheets from other fabric colors.
This is important as some fabrics may bleed, causing colors to stain on your sheet. Also, other fabrics with rougher textures should be separated to avoid friction that could lead to piling issues and even damage to your sheets.
3. Use a gentle wash cycle with lukewarm or cold water.
Bed sheets like bamboo or lyocell are typically on the more delicate end. So, it’s highly recommended to use water temperature that would not exceed 30 degrees. Washing sheets in hot water may also induce severe shrinkage issues.
4. Avoid bleaches and other harsh chemicals.
Bleaches are a no-no when washing delicate sheets because it easily damages the fabric. You may use milder cleaning agents like baking soda instead.
5. Tumble dry on low heat or sun-dry.
If you opt to use a dryer, be sure to set it on low heat to avoid excessive heat which may damage fabrics and exacerbate shrinkage issues. A more eco-friendly and natural way is to line dry the sheets in the open air. If your sheets come with colors, it is advised to leave them away from direct sunlight as that may fade away the colors.
How often should you wash comforters, duvets, and other sleeping needs?
Aside from bed sheets, make sure you also keep an eye on other sleeping essentials. For pillowcases, these should be washed once a week as you use them regularly - just like sheets. For those with skin concerns such as acne, washing pillowcases more frequently also helps keep dirt and bacteria level at its minimum.
There are also bed items that have minimal direct contact with your skin such as comforters and duvets, if a duvet cover is used. You may clean these once a month or once in two months, depending on the key factors mentioned earlier. Meanwhile, you should consider deep cleaning your mattresses at least once a year.
Now that you have an idea of when to wash your sheets and other sleeping stuff, it’s easy to create a cleaning schedule that you can follow. Truly, there's nothing more comforting than being wrapped in fresh, clean sheets!