If your sheets don’t look dirty, it might seem safe to assume that you don’t need to wash them for another few weeks. However, your bed sheets can accumulate bacteria and particles that you can’t see with the naked eye. You might want to start washing your sheets once a week if you suffer from allergies or frequent infections.
How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?
Some people wash their sheets once every two weeks – or worse, once a month. Your sheets might not have visible stains, but they could harbor bacteria, allergens, dust, skin cells, pollen, and even microscopic insects that might compromise your health. Washing your sheets regularly kills the bacteria and helps you sleep more easily at night.
What’s the Best Way to Wash Your Sheets?
To wash your sheets, throw them in the washing machine on the hot water setting. Hot water kills most of the germs that might be lurking in your bedsheets. You can do this at home or take your sheets to the local laundromat.
How Do You Keep Your Sheets Clean Between Washings?
Even if you wash your sheets once a week, your bedsheets can still accumulate dirt, allergens, and bacteria. Here are a few ways you can keep your sheets clean between washings:
- Don’t eat while sitting in bed. The crumbs can cause bacteria buildup and attract pests.
- Don’t let your pets get on your bed, or place a protective sheet over the covers.
- Change your sheets if you get sick or suffer from a skin condition like poison ivy.
- Take a shower before you get into bed, especially if you’re covered in sweat.
- Don’t get in bed while wearing makeup.
- Avoid using your pillows or bed sheets in different areas of the house.
- Don’t get in bed while you’re wearing your “regular” clothes.
Can Your Sheets Make Your Allergies Worse?
During the day, you can accumulate pollen, dust, and allergens without realizing it. If you get into bed before you shower, you might contaminate your bedsheets. As a result, you suffer from allergies even when you’re sitting indoors.
Washing your sheets could ease the symptoms of your allergies. Additionally, you should avoid getting into bed before you’ve showered and changed clothes. Most allergens are microscopic, so you won’t know if you’ve contaminated your sheets until it’s too late.
What About Viruses and Infections?
You might contract an infection if someone gets blood on your sheets or lies on your bed with an open sore. Similarly, a person with a virus or infection could contaminate your bedsheets. If you get poison ivy, you could recontaminate yourself if you don’t wash your sheets.
Even if you have to do it multiple times a week, it’s important to wash your sheets when they might be contaminated. Otherwise, you could put yourself and the rest of your family at risk.
Can You Let Your Pets Jump on the Bed?
Ideally, it would help if you didn’t let your pets on your bed at all. However, it’s hard to keep an enthusiastic dog or cat off your bed. When your pets jump on your bed, they could contaminate the sheets with pollen, dirt, allergens, sweat, fur, and even fungi. If your pets don’t stay off the bed, consider draping a protective sheet over your bed during the day.
When you need to wash your sheets, take them to the local laundromat for a thorough cleaning experience. Many laundromats have “drop off” services where the employees wash and fold your bed sheets for you.