Q: How often should you wash your sheets?
A: You should be washing your sheets, at a minimum, once a week.
It’s a contested topic where it seems everyone from your neighbour, co-worker to friends, has a different opinion on it – how often should you change your sheets?
While the answer can really depend on your lifestyle, bedroom activities (ahem) and hygiene habits, according to experts you should be washing your sheets once a week, at the very least.
While there’s no better feeling than hopping into bed with fresh sheets, the countless hours spent washing and drying them (made even worse if you don’t have a dryer) makes it easier to slack off in the chore department.
According to a UK survey released earlier this year by Love 2 Laundry, 55 percent wash their sheets once a week, 21 percent do it every 1-2 months while a shocking 4 percent do it only once a year. And it seems the dudes are even worse – Ergoflex UK polled Britains on how often they change their bed linen and a whopping 55 percent of single male respondents waited till over three months.
If you can’t remember the last time you washed your bed sheets or are confused on when to schedule laundry day, listen up (warning: it ain’t pretty).
We hate to break the news to you but every time you slip into bed and drift off to a peaceful sleep, you’re bringing with you a whole host of sweat, dead skin and bodily fluids alongside the pollen, pet dander and dirt picked up during the day. Avoid laundry day, and this cocktail of bacteria will only keep growing bigger.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how clean you think you are we naturally shed about 500 million skin cells per day.
According to experts, it’s not just your own body’s grime and gunk you’re dealing with, but you could be potentially sharing your sheets with some creepy crawlies.
If you have woken up sneezing or coughing, it’s highly likely your bed linen has attracted dust mites.
Dust mites, tiny little arachnids, thrive in warm and moist habitats and, we hate to break it you, your bed is one of them. Not only do they feed on our skin cells, sweat and bodily fluids, they leave behind droppings. Studies have shown that exposure to dust mite allergens is a significant risk factor for the development of asthma and hay fever.
New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno, Jr. revealed to Business Insider that the proximity of your mouth and nose to foreign microbes while sleeping can trigger sniffing and sneezing. He added that just one to two weeks of this build-up can leave anyone with a scratchy throat, particularly for those with significant allergies or asthma.
“Even if you don’t have allergies per se, you can have an allergic response.”
However, washing sheets too often can also have its drawbacks, according to Sydney-based professional organiser Susanne Thiebe.
As told to ABC Life, Thiebe believes frequently washing bed linen out of habit rather than need can lead to even yuckier habits, “A lot of people like the washing, but they don’t like putting the sheets on and they don’t like putting them away.”
She recommends scheduling a day when you enough time to not only wash the sheets but also dry them and put new sheets on.
So, the verdict? Wash your sheets once a week and it is highly recommended you put them on a hot wash to kill the germs and bacteria.