How often should you clean your bed sheets? If you’re hoping the answer is once a month or once a year, prepare to be disappointed. For a little perspective, it’s first important to think about the amount of time you spend on and inside your bed sheets. If, on average, you spend eight hours a day sleeping with a little bit on either end for reading, talking and whatever extracurriculars you might participate in, you spend more than one third of every day in contact with your bed sheets. If bed sheets were clothing, you would probably wash them daily. Luckily, the answer to our initial question is not quite that drastic either.
The frequency with which you should wash your bedding is actually dependent on a number of factors. However, for the average person, bedding should be changed once every two weeks. Of course, the composition and quality of your linens, the time of year, your general level of cleanliness and how much you sweat all impact how much dirt builds up in your sheets. In addition, if you are sick or have allergies, changing your sheets once a week is optimal.
When it comes to cleaning your sheets, there are a number of simple ways to get your sheets smelling and feeling like new. We’ve put together a list of handy tips and products to make the process as simple as possible. Basically, washing on high temperatures and drying on high temperatures removes a high percentage of the nasty things living in your sheets. (Trust us, you don’t want those little ickies sticking around any longer). However, adding detergents, softeners, scents and more into the mix will maximize the washing process and give you the cleanest sheets possible.
Cleaning your bed sheets on a regular basis doesn’t just make you a cleaner person. Ridding your bedding of things like dust mites, allergens and dirt can actually help allergy sufferers and provide cleaner air for a more pleasant environment. It’s also clear that the average person would choose sleeping in a clean environment over one filled with old skin cells, odors and allergens. In this recent study, most respondents believed a clean bedroom environment delivers a better night’s rest.
Check out these handy cleaning tips and enjoy cleaner sheets, and therefore, deeper and more enjoyable sleep.
1. Use a Detergent Specifically For Sheets
If you’re going to wash your sheets every two weeks, you need a detergent specifically designed for sheet washing so as not to wear out your bedding too quickly. This Le Blanc Lavender Linen Wash is made to deal with fine household linens. It works without using harsh chemicals or requiring hot water, which helps to preserve the integrity of your linens. In addition, the detergent has a wild lavender scent, which includes hints of bergamot, rosemary and eucalyptus, to leave your sheets smelling divine.
2. Try a Laundry Sanitizer
In addition to using a detergent, it’s a good idea to add a laundry sanitizer into the mix to further clean your sheets. Products like this Lysol Laundry Sanitizer Additive can be added to your rinse cycle to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria not removed by the detergent alone. The sanitizer works in both warm and cold washes and is completely free from bleach. In addition to being useful on bed sheets, this laundry addition is an effective answer to stinky gym clothes, underwear, towels and children’s clothing.
3. Kill Dust Mites
If you really want to make sure your sheets are clean, you’re need to ensure you get rid of unwanted residents living in your linen. Dust mites are a major cause of asthma and allergies, so dosing your sheets with a treatment of this DeMite Laundry Additive Allergen Eliminator is a smart idea. The treatment can be added to your normal laundry detergent for minimal hassle. It can also be used on clothing, and the bottle even comes with a free ebook with additional information on controlling dust mite allergens in your home.
4. Don’t Forget Fabric Softener
Make sure you maximize that clean sheet feel by adding a fabric softener to your laundry routine. The All Liquid Fabric Softener leaves your fabrics feeling soft to the touch and gentler on your skin. Plus, this softener can be used by those with sensitive skin, as it is free from fragrance or dyes.
5. Add a Nice Scent For Better Sleep
Did you know studies show fresh smelling sheets lead to better sleep? To complete the sensory enjoyment of your newly washed sheets, it’s definitely worth making your sheets smell nice. Where softener completes the feel of the sheets, a dose of these Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster Beads will leave your laundry with a vibrant and airy scent for your nose to enjoy. The delightful fresh scent booster can be used in all kinds of machines and on all kinds of fabrics. You can also choose between a number of alternative scents, including the original and lush options.
6. Sun Dry For Added Disinfection
By drying your sheets outside in direct sunlight, you add an additional stage of disinfecting to your sheet-cleaning process. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and hours spent under its rays will further add to the cleanliness of your sheets. Plus, sun drying saves tons of energy over tumble drying. Try this GENE Laundry Drying Rack. It features a larger size than the average drying rack, making it easier to hang your sheets out to dry. In addition, the foldable design makes it possible to store this rack without issue.
7. Use a Hot Iron
If you don’t have the space to let your sheets dry outside to take advantage of the sun’s disinfecting powers, an alternative is to use a hot iron. By passing an iron over your sheets, it doesn’t just give you wonderfully flat and crease-free sheets, it also helps to remove a lot of the germs harbored inside your fabrics. The Beautural 1800-Watt Steam Iron is a well-reviewed option, which includes a handy LCD display to make switching between settings and selecting the right temperature simple.
8. Wash Your Pillows, Too
There’s little point ensuring your sheets are clean if you never clean your pillows. Luckily, most pillows are actually machine washable. Whether you have a front or top loader (a little more difficult because pillows tend to float), you can wash your pillows one by one with a mild detergent. You can even dry them using your tumble drier. One pro tip for drying pillows is to add a couple of tennis balls into the drum. Try two of these Penn Championship Tennis Balls to decrease drying time and keep your pillows fluffy.
9. Wear Pajamas
There’s really no polite or less disgusting way to write this. If you sleep naked, it is far more likely your sheets are home to an outrageous number of dead skin cells and even dried fecal matter. While that sounds terrible, sleeping sans clothes is not quite a hygiene emergency. However, by wearing pajamas, you put an additional barrier between your body and your sheets. Pajama options like the Jockey Men’s Flannel Sleep Pant and Jersey Top Pajama Set not only cover your body, they are also amazingly comfortable, too.
10. Buy New Sheets
As linen sheets require less frequent washing that cotton sheets, investing in linen sheets like the Echelon Home Washed Belgian Linen Sheet Set will cut the frequency with which you need to wash your sheets. Why is linen better? Because the fabric is more durable, it’s capable of repelling dirt and preventing bacteria from entering the fabric. That means it’s even possible to brush dirt and material off linen sheets with your hand rather than throwing them in the washing machine.