So how often should you change your bedding?
The quick answer is:
...that is a lot of washing! But if you want to keep proper hygiene you have to!
According to microbiologist Laura Bowater Ph.D., dozens of different types of bacteria and viruses can survive on your bed sheets, including E. coli, ringworm, salmonella, herpes, norovirus, athlete’s foot, and the flu. Are you grossed out yet? Especially if you allow your furry pets to snuggle with you, if you eat, drink or skip an evening shower. The situation becomes even worse when you use hair and skin products, share the bed with someone or have the flu. The problem is we can't see all these nasty bacterias and so we allow ourselves to sleep one more night in the dirty sheets. And no linen spray can fix this.
People with skin conditions should be extra careful and should definitely change their sheets more often.
How do you know it is time?
We can't see the bacterias but there are some visible signs your bed sheets are due for the washer. Stains, discoloration, odor to name a few. But even if you are not bothered by those obvious signs, think of this: we drool, sweat (almost 50oz a week!) and do other activities in bed that make our linens dirty very fast.
It is like changing your underwear or t-shirt - do you go a whole week with the same pair?
And one last factor to consider is that by washing your bedding regularly, it will last you longer. Keeping multiple sets of bed sheets and rotating them will also help you keep them for years to come.
Let's get to business!
Washing your bed sheets once a week can become a chore especially if you have, say three or four beds to take care of. So here are some tips for better and easier washing.
Do it on Saturday or Sunday - it seems like a terrible idea to waste your precious weekend for this but the truth is you have more time and you are less tired so you are more likely to get it done. I change mine on Sunday and I love the feeling of starting my week in clean sheets!
Make it fun! - it has to be done so might as well start loving it. Involve the kids, grab a glass of wine while waiting, put a face mask on and enjoy some "me" time, read a book and try to make the whole thing relaxing.
Wash them as they come - avoid piling them with the idea that you will wash them...soon...tomorrow...the day after.
Wash your bed sheets on the gentle cycle with warm water. The sheets really don't need much agitation to be cleaned. Hot water will wear the fibers much faster and again modern laundry detergents are very advanced and we don't need hot water to clean them properly. Which is also good for your electricity bill. Use high-quality softener - it makes a difference. Softeners also help for faster drying.
Never overload your washer. Bed sheets are large items and they need space to turn inside the machine. Cramming them can cause tear which nobody wants!
The best way is to line-dry your bedsheets. This will preserve the fibers and colors. This is how grandma's linens still look amazing! And it is better for the environment!
But let's be realistic - the drier is a genius invention so, please use low temperature and the least amount of time. Putting extra time "just in case" is a mistake most people make which causes the sheets to shrink and wrinkle more. So we encourage you to experiment and find the best setting - it is worth it.
Ironing - if you are one of those people who iron their bed sheets, our greatest respect! Just use low temperature to preserve the fabric.
Ideally, you should replace your bedsheets every 2 years. With proper care, they can last a little longer.
The best sheets are made of natural fibers that need to breathe. Keep your sheets in a well-ventilated space, never in a plastic box which can cause mildew and yellowing. Speaking of...
How to get sparkling white bed sheets - white bed linen tends to get yellow over time. But you can fix that by adding 1/4 cup of baking soda directly in the washer and 1/2 cup white vinegar in the fabric softener well. Don't worry your sheets will not smell of vinegar!
And if non if this sounds convincing, do it for better sleep. According to a survey conducted by The National Sleep Foundation, 75 percent of people reported they get a better night’s rest when their sheets are freshly cleaned because they feel more comfortable.