How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets


The last thing you want to think about when you settle in for sleep at night is what could be lurking in your bedding. Your ignorance is very likely bliss, since beds are hotspots for microscopic life. There are all kinds of bacteria, spores of fungi, pollen, animal dander, lint, soil, coloring material, finishing agents of what the sheets were made from, plus all kinds of excrements from the body like sputum, sweat, anal and vaginal excretions, skin cells and urine milieu. Plus, all of the cosmetics we use on our bodies such as creams and oils, are in that milieu. If you eat in bed as many people do, that definitely provides a great environment for all these organisms.

Can it affect out health?

The environment of your home is so nice in fact, that scientists all over the world are attempting to quantify and identify the vast array of allergens and pollutants that shack up in your bed, but also spread out across your entire home. These domestic microbes can negatively, or even positively sometimes, affect our health. The nasty bacteria from raw vegetables and meat, for instance, can live on surfaces for days, even years, causing horrible cases of food poisoning. In the bathroom, mold on surfaces and cloths that are damp can exacerbate or create asthma and allergies.

Even if you think you are a clean person, think again. On average, humans naturally make twenty-six gallons of sweat each year in bed alone. At high humidity, this moisture is an ideal place for fungi culture to grow. Researchers, after assessing the level of fungal contamination in bedding, found that synthetic and feather pillows that are one and a half to two years old have between four to seventeen different types of fungus in them. Over time, the amount of bacteria, fungi and a lot of other debris dramatically accumulates.

We still have not gotten to the dust mites. Your bedding is also full with dust mite debris and dust mite feces, which are both allergens. Even if you don’t have a known allergy, you will react to it like a normal person. These allergens can cause you to have a stuffy nose when you wake up, cause or worsen allergies, or even aggravate asthma. It is therefore very important to keep your bed quite clean so you won’t overexpose yourself to these allergens.


So, just how often should you wash your bedding? All of the things above usually accumulate to a significant amount within a week or two. Your bedding should be washed therefore on an average of one time per week. Even though there are no formal studies on the frequency of washing your bedding, the weekly washing schedule is a safe bet. On the other hand, you should only have to wash your duvet cover twice a year unless it becomes soiled. Plus, if there is a sick bed in your home, you should be washing their bedding much more frequently, or at the very least changing their pillow cases each day. Pillows should be fluffed once a day to shake out the dust and washed a couple of times per year as well per the instructions on the pillow. In the meantime, always have a pillow cover on your pillows, along with a pillow case, and wash them each time you wash your sheets.

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