LIFESTYLE

How often should you wash bed sheets?

Leaving it too long can turn sheets into 'botanical park of bacteria'.
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The summer heat means more sweating during sleep. When was the last time you washed your bed sheets? 

Watch: How to make homemade dryer sheets

Considering humans usually spend about one-third of their lifetime snuggled up and asleep in bed, it stands to reason that our sheets, pillows and duvets are probably a whole lot filthier than we imagine. So according to the experts, how often should you wash your bed sheets? 

A study in the UK has found that nearly 50% of single men only wash their sheets once every four months! 

how-often-wash-sheets
(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

According to New York University microbiologist, Philip Tierno, leaving your sheets too long in between washes can turn them into a “botanical park of bacteria”.

In an interview with Business Insider, Tierno recommends washing your sheets at least once a week.

“Humans naturally produce roughly 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year. When it’s hot and humid outside, this moisture becomes what scientists call an “ideal fungal culture medium.”

When should washing sheets be done more often? 

If there are external factors, such as sickness or change in weather conditions, then washing your sheets should be done more frequently as well. 

Good Housekeeping Institute recommends if you’ve been sick with a virus or infection, you should change your sheets as soon as you start to recover. This ensures that you aren’t rolling around in your own ‘sickness’ germs, which can be detrimental to building your immune system back up. 

Bed sheets
(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

During the summer months, when you are prone to sweating more often during the day as well as when sleeping, washing your sheets should be done (at the very least!) every two weeks. 

Similarly, if you suffer from night sweats, it’s better to wash you sheets a little more often that once a week, up to once every 4-5 days. 

Bed sheets
(Credit: Getty) (Credit: Getty)

A pillowcase should be changed every 2 days according to Koala Product Manager Stephanie Roberts-Baxter. A recent study found that even after a week of washing, the average pillowcase still has over 170000% the number of bacteria as a toilet seat. 

In a nauseating revelation, the technical director of Gabriel Scientific, said ‘if you had to come up with a medium to cultivate bacteria, a pillow is pretty much as good as you can get. It is a wet sponge that absorbs bodily fluids of various kinds providing nutrients. It is kept at the ideal temperature by the warm body lying on top.”

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