It may sound like a lot, but the average person spends a third of their life in bed. That means your sheets are used on a nightly basis and sometimes even during the day. During your slumber, you leave behind dead skin cells, sweat, and body oils. If you don’t just use your bed for sleeping and study and eat or allow pets on the bed, you probably have even dirtier bedding. Keep food and drinks off the bed to prevent spills and crumbs. You should also consider keeping your bed off limits to your pets. Even those of you who do not suffer from allergies can be affected by pet dander and hair. Washing your sheets on a regular basis will help you get a better night’s sleep and keep your sheets looking and feeling great!
How Often Should You Wash Bed Sheets?
You should be washing your sheets every week. Doing so will keep your sheets free of dust mites and other allergens. However, you may need to wash your sheets on more often, or every few days, depending on these factors:
- Do you allow your pet in the bed? If you let your pet sleep in the bed with you, chances are you will need to wash your sheets more frequently. Your pet has body oils just like you, which will make your sheets feel greasy. They also shed, produce pet dander or could even have an ‘accident’ on your bedding.
- Do you wear pajamas? If you sleep in pajamas, your body oils will not absorb into the sheets. Less skin to sheet contact will keep your sheets clean and oil-free.
- Are you showering before bed? If you take a shower prior to bedtime, you will be helping keep your sheets cleaner, longer. Get rid of the dirt and grime on your skin and in your hair, before slipping in between the sheets.
- Do you perspire heavily? Some of you may run hot, especially during slumber. If you perspire heavily, you should be washing your sheets no less than once a week.
- Is your bed only for sleeping? Beds are for sleeping, not eating or studying. Keeping food and drink off limits will save your bedding from spills, crumbs, and stains.
- Are you ill? If you or someone in your home is sick or under the weather, you should be changing the sheets every day or two. This will keep your bedding free from bacteria and viruses that are causing the sickness.
- Do you suffer from acne or other skin issues? If so, you should be washing your sheets and pillowcases every few days. This will lower the possibility of outbreaks and skin irritation.
How to Wash Bed Sheets in a Washing Machine
Almost every sheet has a fabric care labels or tag. This is a guide that tells you exactly how to care for your sheets. Everything from fiber content, water temperature, wash setting, and detergent suggestions can be found on the tag or care label.
Loading Your Washer
- It can be tempting to toss all your sheets in at one time. However, your sheets need plenty of room for the best results. If your sheets are overstuffed in the washer, they won’t wash properly and won’t be as clean as they could be.
- Avoid “wrapping” your sheets around the agitator in your washing machine. If you don’t, your sheets may tear and wrinkle; it also could cause damage to your washing machine.
- Do a load of only sheets and pillowcases. This will allow them to wash properly without other linens getting balled up or tangled in them.
Choose the Right Setting
- Some sheets such as flannel, satin or silk may need special care. However, most cotton sheets can be washed on any cycle. Always check the washing instruction on the tag, as a reference, before washing.
- Over washing your sheets will cause additional wear and tear. Select the proper wash cycle to preserve the life of your sheets.
Proper Water Temperature
- Darks and lights need to be washed at different water temperatures. This is why many people separate their laundry before washing.
- Wash darks in cold water to prevent fading and shrinking.
- Light colored or white cotton sheets can be washed with both cold or hot water.
- When washing your sheets during flu season you can clean and sanitize them by selecting the hot water cycle.