What happens when you don’t wash your sheets?
A third of your life is spent in bed. So clean sheets should be a must. Think of the drool, sweat and dandruff you leave behind. Wash them weekly or every two weeks.
Mite-y gross: The daily loss of skin cells is 500 million. When you roll around in your bed, many lose. Between washes, dead cells accumulate on sheets. The mites eat the lost cells. Their droppings can trigger allergies, asthma, and eczema. Wash bedding weekly in hot water if you are allergic to dust mites.
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The pet peeves: Sleeping with your pet? Dust mites love pet hair and dander on bedding. Your skin may itch and become irritated if your dog has mange, also known as animal mange. Pets can also spread ringworm of the scalp. Change sheets weekly.
Bacterial bed buddies: Dead skin, sweat, and saliva can turn your bed into a germ incubator. The unwashed pillowcases harbored 17,000 times more bacteria than the toilet seat samples.
Breakouts in the bedroom: why is your acne getting worse? Maybe a dirty pillowcase. Dirt, dead skin and bacteria clog pores. If you have rashes, change your pillowcases every 2-3 days and your bedding every week.
Sick sheets: If you or your partner are sick, wash your sheets to kill germs. Germs can live on soft surfaces for minutes to hours. Microbe-specific duration. Flu viruses live on tissue for 15 minutes, but stomach bugs live for 4 hours.
Pillow throwing: Sleeping on mushrooms can be dangerous for asthma patients. Wash your pillow twice a year if possible. Follow label instructions. To avoid mildew, rinse and dry well. Wash the pillow protectors with the pillowcases.
Sheet swaps: Certain other things can add to the icky factor between your sheets. Strip the bed weekly (or even more often) if you:
• Sleep naked
• Snack in bed
• Sleep with your children
• Sweat a lot at night
Let Your Sheets Breathe: Making your bed is supposed to be the best way to start the day. But don’t rush. Every night, moisture builds up in your sheets. When you wake up, remove the covers to dry the bed. It is less attractive to bacteria and mites.
Washing Tips: Use the hottest water recommended on the care label. Then dry it. Some germs that survive washing can be killed by the dryer, studies show. Use bleach on your sheets if it is safe for the color, especially after someone is sick.
Dirty duvets and more: Some duvets or duvet covers are not machine washable. So check the labels before washing. Stick to this cleaning schedule for a cool room:
• Duvets, blankets and duvet covers: once every 1 to 2 months. (If you don’t use a top sheet, wash it when you do your sheets.)
• Mattress topper: wash four times a year
• Bed skirt: every 3 to 6 months
• Vacuum your mattress when washing the bed skirt to pick up dust and dirt.
Bedbugs: They like warm, populated places like your bed. Bed bugs bite at night. Bite marks can be itchy.
To ensure your bed always looks its best, consider washing it more frequently.