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How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

Woman holding laundry basket of bedsheets
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There’s nothing better than stretching out in bed after a long day, especially when you’ve got clean, crisp sheets waiting for you. Unfortunately, life gets busy, and we don’t always wash our sheets regularly. But should we?

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Absolutely. Aside from that clean-sheet-feeling, there are many reasons to throw bedding into the wash as part of your laundry routine. Read on to learn how often you should wash your bedsheets and why.

Why Should You Wash Your Bedsheets Regularly? 

Even if you only average five hours of sleep a night, that’s still 35 hours in bed weekly. Now think of all the dirt, skin cells, and bodily fluids sheets can collect over that time, creating the ideal environment for germs and dust mites. If you don’t remember to wash your sheets occasionally, that’s an extra 35-plus hours of build-up each week.

Related: 8 Cleaning Secrets From Four Seasons Hotel Toronto

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

Laundry day depends on several factors including how often you use your bed and in which way you use it. Do you eat in bed? Do your kids sleep with you? What about pets? You should also consider whether you sweat a lot at night or if you have been sick recently. Same goes if you lounge on it with your outside clothes on.

If you’re only washing bedsheets once a month or even every two weeks, it’s probably not enough. Most research indicates that you should wash your sheets every week. If you have pets that sleep with you, you might want to wash them even more frequently, every four or five days.

Don’t have time to do laundry that often? Rotate between two or three sets of sheets so that you always have a clean set on hand. That way, you can easily change your sheets without doing laundry immediately.

Related: 15 Things You Should Be Cleaning With Baking Soda

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Can You Get Sick From Dirty Sheets?

If it’s been a long time between sheet washes, you could potentially get sick. One study revealed that bedsheets that haven’t been washed for one week have almost 25,000 more bacteria than a bathroom doorknob. The same study explains that after four weeks without washing, pillowcases and sheets could contain millions of colony-forming units per square inch.

Some of those bacteria could lead to health problems like respiratory illnesses and other infections. Dirty sheets can also cause acne, breakouts, skin inflammation, eczema, allergies, and breathing problems. They can also trigger asthma and create an inviting environment for bed bugs and lice.

Related: 10-Minute Cleaning Routines: How to Clean a House Fast

What Is The Best Way to Wash Bedsheets?

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, especially if you have special sheets like cooling sheets or silk sheets. Otherwise, a regular wash cycle and detergent can do the trick. Don’t just throw everything in together, either. Although it’s enticing to be done with laundry, you don’t want to crowd the machine with all the things. Throw fitted and flat sheets in with your pillowcases, and wash comforters, covers, and throw blankets separately.

If you have any stains, do a minor spot treatment with a store-bought stain remover or a concoction of baking soda, dish soap, and water.

As for water temperature, you can go hot with cotton sheets like percale and sateen, but polyester likes warm water. Wash silk, satin, and bamboo sheets in colder water.

Allow all bedding to dry completely before making the bed. It can be tempting to put damp sheets on your mattress so that they dry without wrinkles; however, that creates an ideal environment for the growth of mold and mildew — two things you probably don’t want to sleep in.

Related: 7 Signs You Might Have Bed Bugs (Plus Tips for Travelling)

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How Often Should You Replace Bedsheets?

Most bedsheets should last two to five years, depending on the make, material, and frequency of use. Rotating through several pairs will prolong their shelf life since you’ll use them less. At some point, the material will break down, and they won’t wash the same, so you’ll know it’s time to invest in a new set.

Related: How to Make Your Bed Feel Like it Belongs in a Hotel

Five bedsheets we love:

  • Cooling Bed Sheets Set, $100 at Benji.
  • Sateen Sheet Set, $229-$269 at Parachute.
  • Hyperlite Sheet Set, $139-$219 at Casper.
  • Organic Cotton Sheets, $115-$150 at Endy.
  • AmazonBasics Microfiber Sheet Set, $19.47-$36.94 at Amazon.

 

 

All products featured on hgtv.ca are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we earn an affiliate commission.


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