What happens when you don’t wash your sheets
A third of your life is spent in bed. So clean bed linens should be a must-do. Think of the drool, sweat, and dandruff you leave behind. Wash them weekly or every other week.
Mite-y gross: Daily skin cell loss is 500 million. As you roll around in bed, many shed. Between washes, dead cells accumulate on sheets. Dust mites eat shed cells. Their droppings can trigger allergies, asthma, and eczema. Wash bedding weekly in hot water if you are allergic to dust mites.
Pet peeves: Sleep with your pet? Dust mites love pet hair and dander on bedding. Your skin may become itchy and irritated if your dog has mange, also called animal scabies. Pets can also spread scalp ringworm. Change sheets weekly.
Bacterial bed buddies: Dead skin, sweat, and saliva can turn your bed into a germ incubator. Unwashed pillowcases harboured 17,000 times more bacteria than toilet seat samples.
Bedroom breakouts: Why is your acne worsening? Possibly a dirty pillowcase. Dirt, dead skin, and bacteria clog pores. If you get breakouts, change your pillowcases every 2-3 days and your bedding weekly.
Sickly sheets: If you or your partner is sick, wash your sheets to kill germs. Microbes can live on soft surfaces for minutes to hours. Microbe-specific duration. Flu viruses live on tissues for 15 minutes, but stomach bugs for 4 hours.
Pillow toss: Sleeping on fungus can be dangerous for asthma patients. Wash your pillow twice a year if it can be. Follow the label's instructions. To prevent mildew, rinse and dry well. Wash pillow protectors with pillowcases.
Sheet swaps: Some other things can add to the icky factor between your sheets. Strip the bed weekly (or even more often) if you:
• Sleep in the nude
• Snack in bed
• Sleep with your kids
• Sweat a lot at night
Let your sheets breathe: Making your bed is supposedly the best way to start the day. But don't rush. Every night, moisture accumulates in your sheets. When you wake up, remove the covers to dry the bed. It is less appealing to bacteria and mites.
Wash day tips: Use the hottest water recommended on the care label. Then dry it. Some germs that survive the wash can be killed by the dryer, studies show. Use bleach on your sheets if it is safe for the colour, especially after a sick person.
Dirty duvets and more: Some comforters or duvet covers are not machine washable. So, check labels before you launder. Stick to this cleaning schedule for a fresh bedroom:
• Comforters, blankets, and duvet Covers: Once every 1-2 months. (If you do not use a top sheet, wash them when you do your sheets.)
• Mattress pad: Wash four times a year
• Bed skirt: Every 3-6 months
• Vacuum your mattress when you launder the bed skirt to suck away dust and dirt.
Bedbugs: They like warm, populated places like your bed. Bedbugs bite at night. Bite marks may be itchy.
To ensure that your bed is consistently in its best, consider washing them more frequently.