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Question: How often should I wash my sheets?

After yesterday's bed bug post, I thought this would be quite fitting. But first - how grossed out were you last night going to bed knowing that bugs could be swarming all over your body? Ok. Sorry. Let's not go there. Anywayzzzz - after the how often do you wash your towels post, I was asked - how often should I wash my sheets? While doing some research I came across this mind-blowing article that claims that over half a million British people wash their sheets only three - yes 3 - times PER YEAR!!!!!! Time-out. I need to go vomit. I'm hoping that my faithful readers don't fit into this bucket of filth. If so, you might need to seek help beyond this post.

As I researched some more, there is nothing that says you must wash your sheets every X days but here are some pretty gnarly facts by Philip Tierno, Professor of Microbiology at New York University School of Medicine that will encourage you to wash your sheets sooner than later -

Every night we shed one and a half million clusters of skin per hour. Multiply that by 7 or 8 hours and you wake up in 12 million particles of dead skin. These discarded skin particles make for a delicious meal for dust mites that leave behind feces and when they die, leave their bodies too. After five years dust mites make up 10% of your pillow. Isn't that inviting to think you are laying amongst harmful bacteria AND bed bugs crawling on your body???? I think I might just sleep standing up now.

In addition, beds are full of bodily fluids; sweat, oil, saliva, snot, etc, that seep into the sheets. After 10 years of dead dust mites and bodily discharge, your mattress will double in weight from all the debris. Yum.
I grew up in a household where our sheets got washed every week. Praise the Lord for moms! I can honestly say that when I went off to college, this wasn't the norm. I hated, and still do, changing the sheets. It's a process and to this day I despise washing the sheets. It's not so much the washing, it's the making the bed part. But I have to look at it this way...if I only washed my sheets once per month, that would be 8 hours per night for 30 days totalling 240 hours in the sheets. That's like wearing the same clothes for 10 days straight without taking them off or washing them. I would NEVER do that!

Here's what I propose - pick a day every week that works for your life & routine and wash your sheets on that day. Yes, every seven days. Make sure you set your cycle to super HOT and dry them in a HOT dryer to ensure that you're killing any living creatures lurking.

Now sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!!

6 comments

  1. I have ALWAYS washed my sheets weekly and now I'm thinking every 3 days sounds better.

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  2. Every 7 day is ridiculous. First of, it's bad for the environment and completely useless. I wash mines once a month and they feel ans smell fresh until then. Also, the shedding skin part does not make sense unless you sleep naked. In that case I want to say this: don't sleep naked, you're grosss, ewwwww, you loose skin all over your bed! And it's probably going through microscopic holes right into you matress... How often do you wash your mattress??? And please, go get a shower before going to bed, it so does not make sense to bring your daily dirt with you to bed, and sleep in it too!

    Really though, I don't care what you do, but if you're grossed out by sheets older than a week, your sex life must be quite boring.

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  3. I am sorry you didn't enjoy the post. I get questions emailed from readers and this was one I answered. I honestly would think that if your sex life was thriving, you'd want to wash your sheets quite frequently.

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  4. Bedsheets should be washed at least once a week and preferably twice weekly. Everybody sheds skin cells, looses hair and for those who are having sex, skipping nighttime showers or those who drool, twice weekly is best.

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  5. Good post!! I think once a week is best .

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  6. Interesting post, although I agree with an above post about the environmental impact. Line drying your sheets would have a better antibacterial effect than hot water/dryer owing to the UV radiation coming from the sun. And using hot water and the dryer uses so much energy when the same results can be gained in other ways.

    Besides that great info.

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