Our bed sheets are one household item that should ideally be changed daily, but that’s not often the case. Surveys have shown that the rate most households change bed sheets range from once or twice per week to once a month. How often people change sheets would depend on their personal level of cleanliness, whether they have allergies or are suffering from any illness. Aside from bed sheets, blankets, comforters, pillows and other bedding items should be changed often too.
Why Bed Sheets Get Dirty
No matter how clean a person is or how careful they are with the bed sheets, it will inevitably end up just a little bit grimy. A body’s natural oils, fluids like drool or sweat and dead skin cells are left on the bed sheets every time they’re used. Plus, if we don’t take a bath before going to bed, the dust we accumulate during the day, the lotions, perfume or make-up that we used will also be transferred to our clean sheets. Eating or drinking in bed is another factor that contribute to having dirty linens. Our pets are also big contributors to stained sheets. They shed hair and also track dirt all over the linen.
When’s the Right Time for Changing the Sheets?
There are several important reasons why changing bed sheets should be a regular thing. Oil and other body fluids left on bed sheets can turn our beds into a breeding ground for bacteria. Food particles left behind is a beacon for ants and cockroaches. People suffering from allergies can alleviate their symptoms by changing their bed sheets regularly as dead skin cells attract dust mites. It also makes sense to use new bed sheets especially if you’re ill.
Countless experts have weighed in and said that while using a new bed sheet weekly is acceptable, it’s not a good idea to use the same sheet for longer than 2 weeks. Using the same bed sheet for a long period will make a person susceptible to breathing problems or mite allergies. However, changing sheets once a month won’t really be a big problem if you’re healthy and are not prone to allergic reactions. But do wash linens immediately if it’s been stained by incontinence, food or night sweats.
Owning a good mattress cover and a number of bed sheets readily accessible is a good idea. A mattress cover and fresh, clean sheets will help extend your bed’s life. Experts say that owning even just 3 sets of bed sheets is good as you’ll be able to use one set immediately while one is sent to the laundry and the other is on standby.
How-to’s on the Proper Way of Washing Bed Sheets
Bed sheets are ideally washed in water that’s about 120-140 degrees F (49-60 degrees C) to ensure that bacteria and mites are eliminated. However, hot water can ruin delicate and fragile bed sheets, like those made from silk. For delicate sheets, dry or steam cleaning is the best choice. If you don’t have the means to go for dry cleaning, you can use a portable steamer and do a home steam cleaning.
Don’t forget that blankets, pillows and comforters should also be laundered regularly if you want to maintain good mattress hygiene. This is especially true if you or a loved one has been suffering from allergies or have recently been ill. Ideally, pillows should be washed 1 to 2 times a year and comforters and blankets once a month at the very least. Keeping your bedroom accoutrements clean don’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Bed sheets, blankets, comforters and pillows can be cleaned at your very own washer and dryer. But they have to be completely dry before they are used to prevent molds from developing. For thicker comforters, a commercial washer and dryer are needed. Use covers like duvets to keep comforters cleaner longer and thus save you from laundry duty. It’s easier to wash duvets than those bulky comforters. You don’t always have to use thick or bulky comforters, using several layers of light blankets will do nicely and has the advantage of being easier to wash.
Getting Rid of Pests from Bed Sheets
There are a number of pests that thrive on dirty bed sheets and the bed bug is the worst of them. They are known to infest furniture and clothes as well. If you suspect your home has a bed bug infestation then it’s best to hire the services of an exterminator. You can also try to get rid of these pesky pests by washing blankets, bed covers, pillow cases and clothes in water that’s over 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). They are also known to thrive on mattresses which unfortunately can’t be washed. Doing so would likely result in molds. One option you can look into is to enclose a mattress with bed bugs in a high-quality cover for a year. This would cut the bed bugs’ oxygen supply and kill them.