As a kid, did you fear the things under your bed? Well, as an adult, you should worry what’s inside—especially if the bed goes unwashed.
The average bed holds thousands of skin cells and hair follicles. They fall off us when we roll in our sleeps. Unfortunately, these things attract dust mites. You can’t always see them, but they’re often there.
Your body also produces oils at night, mixed with sweat and other fluids expelled onto the sheets. These accumulate over days and can irritate the skin after prolonged exposure.
Add food to the mix if you’re a late night snacker. Plus, anything carried by pets in the home. When you start to think about it, there’s plenty of things that can get into bed with you at night.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a strict answer on how often you should wash your bed. Many things determine the dirtiness of sheets:
- The amount of time spent in bed;
- Whether you shower before sleep;
- What you wear (or don’t wear) to bed;
- The pets in the home;
- Recent illnesses or allergies;
- And those who gets invited into the bed.
Other than the above, there are other convenience factors to weigh. For example, how accessible the laundry is and how much money it costs per cycle.
Despite the variables in play, we can safely assume the following timeframes.
- Pillow Cases and Sheets: Wash at least once a week; no less than once biweekly.
- Comforters and Duvets: One to three months, depending on the cleanliness of the environment.
A recent CNN report covered an AllYou.com survey, where the majority of respondents claimed to clean the bed every 10 to 14 days. A minority admitted to stripping the sheets every three to four weeks. Into which category do you fall?
How to Clean Your Sheets
Aside from mites and dirt, a soiled bed poses a risk to your respiratory system. Similarly, open wounds may fester overnight. In the worst cases, you may even develop allergies from sleeping in filth.
To avoid such things, wash your sheets in warm water at approximately 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not use water hotter than 150 degrees Fahrenheit; it may shrink the cloth or run the colours.
Watch for wearing cosmetics to bed, too, as this is a common source of discolouration. Should this happen, do not treat the stains and put all the sheets together. Doing so could make matters worse. Separate your laundry and dry according to the labels.