How often should you wash your sheets?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of slipping into fresh, clean sheets after a long day, but it can be all too easy to forget to ensure those sheets are fresh and clean!

So just how often should you wash your sheets? And why should you even worry about it?

Why you should care about your sheets

If you’re a little squeamish we suggest you skip this paragraph and just trust us when we say you need to wash your sheets!

We shed about 500 million cells every day (dandruff, flakes of dead skin and hair!) We also sweat and produce oils which we leave on what we touch. Add in a partner to the mix or a pet and you’ve doubled the daily amount of debris!

There’s also external factors like traces of makeup or hair products that can get left on sheets or crumbs from sneaky bedtime snacks.

According to Dr Joshua Zeichner “Not washing your sheets regularly puts all of this in close contact with your skin for several hours at a time while you sleep. This can lead to a variety of problems ranging from skin irritation to acne to possibly even infections in a worst-case scenario.”

If you’re sensitive to dust mites or suffer from asthma or eczema it’s even more important to stay on top of your bedroom hygiene.

Finally, if you still need more convincing The Sleep Council estimate that up to a tenth of the weight of a pillow that has never been washed is made up of human skin, mould, dust mites (both living and dead!)

So how often should you wash your sheets?

The general recommendation is about once a week, plus whenever there’s visible mess on the sheets. They should also be washed if anyone sleeping in the bed has recently been ill and more often if pets sleep in the bed too.

Despite this advice, one UK study found that 21% of people sleep in the same sheets for 1-2 months and 7% of people were sleeping in the same sheets for 6 months to a year! So if you’ve been slumming it in the same old sheets, you’re not alone! Keep reading for our tips to stay on top of bedroom cleaning and keep your bed fresh and clean!

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How to effectively wash your sheets

Before reading any of our tips, make sure you check the washing instructions that came with your sheet set as different fabrics may need to be handled differently.

  • Always wash your sheets on the highest possible temperature. Although it’s more environmentally friendly to do general washing at lower temperatures, washing your sheets hot will help kill bacteria and dust mites more effectively.
  • Use a fragrance free or allergy-friendly detergent (and don’t use too much!) your skin comes into close contact with your sheets every day, so it’s best to avoid harsh chemicals and strong fragrances.

  • Drying in sunlight will help kill mites, if you’re washing on a rainy day try using a tumble dryer or ironing your sheets to help kill bugs.

  • Consider taking large doonas and pillows to a laundry service a few times a year for a thorough clean. These can also be hand washed at home if necessary.

Don’t forget to wash teddy! If your child sleeps with a special blanket or teddy in bed, this will need regular washing in hot water too.

Top tips

There are simple, every day steps that we can take to help make it easier to stay on top of your bedroom hygiene.

  • Keeping a spare set of sheets in the cupboard means you can easily refresh your bed without having to wait your load of laundry to dry.

  • Invest in a high-quality mattress protector and pillow protectors. These don’t need to be washed as often and will help lengthen the life of your mattress and pillows. They also make cleaning up after spills or accidents a lot easier!

  • Don’t always rush to make the bed, our beds are warm and can be slightly moist – immediately making the covers after waking traps the warmth and moisture and creates the perfect habitat for dust mites.

  • Although it’s tempting, avoid eating in bed as this can very easily lead to messy sheets!

As a bonus, did you know that you can unzip the cover of your Zeek mattress and hand wash it? Perfect for when you want to give your bedroom a thorough deep clean!

Got a favourite bedroom cleaning tip? Share it with us on Instagram @zeek.sleep

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