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Everything You Thought You Knew About Washing Your Sheets Is Wrong

Probably more than you suspect.

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Some might say it's OK to wash them once every few months...

you know you're in college when you spill coffee all over your sheets and decide to use your Tide stain stick instead of washing it

...while others enjoy the clean comfort of freshly washed sheets.

Every week after washing my sheets I just lay down for a good 30 mins and take it all in

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According to these experts, you should be washing your sheets once a week.

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"As a general rule of thumb, the closer the fabric is to the skin, the more frequently it should be washed," Zeichner says. "It also depends on how much time is spent in the bed, how much oil is on the skin, and how many people sleep in the bed. The issue is the dirt, oil, and bacteria accumulate on the skin and are transferred to your bedding."

Otherwise, you'll be lying in all that dirt, bacteria, and allergens, which obviously isn't great for your health.

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"You have a combination of body oils, skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, and mold culture that can grow on unwashed sheets. Allergens are the more prevalent adverse exposure potential," Reynolds says. "Some people are more allergic than others, and as more time goes on without washing you can develop a higher risk of allergies."

And don't forget about your pillowcases! They could be the cause of your acne.

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"Unclean pillowcases can contribute to acne breakouts. Your skin is directly in contact with the pillowcase, which can promote blocked pores," Zeichner says. "Especially for people who wear makeup. Sometimes makeup isn't completely washed off before bed, and that — along with dirt and skin oils — is transferred to your pillow."

Reynolds recommends definitely washing your pillowcase at least once a week.

Good news, though! If you don't have direct contact with your comforter, you can get away with washing it every two to four weeks.

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"If you have a sheet in between your comforter, you could stretch this out to two or possibly even four weeks since presumably the comforter is not getting soiled with body fluids and dead skin cells, but would still attract dust and mold spores over time," Reynolds says.

Save your laundry quarters by sleeping with a sheet between you and your comforter!

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Oh, and if you have a furry friend? You *really* need to wash weekly.

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"Pets are another source that enable bacteria, mold, and allergens to grow," Reynolds says. "Oftentimes they go inside and outside and they don't bathe as frequently as we do, so they present a higher risk of carrying germs."

Feeling frisky? Remember to change your sheets every time you get down and dirty. Yes, EVERY single time.

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"Because sex is not a sterile activity and because bodily fluids can contain bacteria in them, it can promote bacteria growth in the sheets," Zeichner says.

Live in a more humid climate? You better get to washing your sheets after reading this.

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"Bacteria and mold are more comfortable growing in higher humidity," Reynolds says.

"During the summer, more dirt, oil, and sweat tend to be transferred since the temperature is higher," Zeichner adds. "If you sweat a lot at night, I suggest changing your sheets often."

Oh, and if you care about your friends' and family's health, wash your guest sheets BEFORE they arrive.

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"As far as storage goes, it depends on what condition they've been stored. Attics and basements aren't ideal," Zeichner says. "They can accumulate mold and mildew, in which case you'd want to wash before making up your guest bed."

One last thing: You should always wash your sheets in HOT water, not cold, and don't overdo it with the detergent!

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"Washing your sheets at a high temperature will help get rid of those oils, dirt, and bacteria," Zeichner says. "Certainly you'll want the washer on hot at a temperature greater than 100 degrees. And if you use too much detergent, it can be deposited between the fibers of the sheets, which can lead to skin irritation."

  1. So, there you have it. You should wash your sheets once a week. But how often do you ACTUALLY wash yours?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    I wash once a week because I am not a filthy human.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Every two to three weeks 'cause WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Once a month.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ummm I do not remember the last time my sheets saw the inside of a washing machine.
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So, there you have it. You should wash your sheets once a week. But how often do you ACTUALLY wash yours?
  1.  
    vote votes
    I wash once a week because I am not a filthy human.
  2.  
    vote votes
    Every two to three weeks 'cause WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT.
  3.  
    vote votes
    Once a month.
  4.  
    vote votes
    Ummm I do not remember the last time my sheets saw the inside of a washing machine.
 
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