Sad Statistics Will Make You Change Bad Habits
A study based on a survey of 2,000 people by Hammonds Furniture found that British people lag behind when it comes to washing. One in three admitted that they wash bedding only once a year, which, according to experts, can lead to the accumulation of bacteria, the appearance of mites, and an itchy reaction on the skin. And their gross habits are not limited to sheets. 36% of Britons wash blankets once a year, and 18% admitted that even jeans are washed only once a year. Woman Hit explains why this can be dangerous to your health.
How often to change or wash your sheets
According to a 2012 survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 91% of people change their sheets every two weeks. While this is a generally accepted rule of thumb, many experts recommend weekly washes. That’s because a lot of the invisible can accumulate on your sheets: thousands of dead skin cells, dust mites, and even feces (if you sleep naked, which can be useful for other reasons as well).
Factors that require more frequent washing
You should wash your sheets more often if:
You have allergies or asthma and are sensitive to dust
You have an infection or lesion on the part of your skin that comes into contact with sheets or pillows
You sweat excessively
Your pet sleeps in your bed
You eat in bed
You go to bed without a shower
You sleep naked
What if you don’t follow these rules?
If you don’t wash your sheets regularly, you are exposed to the fungi, bacteria, pollen, and animal dander commonly found on sheets and other bedding. Body secretions, sweat, and skin cells can also be found on the sheets. People with asthma and allergies can cause or worsen symptoms if they sleep on dirty sheets. Even if you are not in this group, you may experience nasal congestion and sneezing after a night’s sleep if your sheets are not clean. You can also transmit and contract infections through contaminated laundry, according to a 2017 study.
The best way to clean your sheets
It is recommended to wash sheets and other bedding in hot water. Read the care instructions on the label and wash the sheets at the hottest recommended temperatures. The hotter the water, the more bacteria and allergens you remove. It is also recommended to iron the sheets after washing.
The rest of the bedding, such as throws and duvets, should be washed every week or two. A 2005 study evaluating fungal contamination of bedding found that pillows, especially feather and synthetic-filled pillows are a major source of the fungus. The age of the tested pillows was from 1.5 to 20 years. Pillows should be changed once a year or two. Using a protective pillow cover will help to minimize dust and bacteria. Blankets can last for 15 to 20 years when used with a cover and regularly washed or dry cleaned.