Why You Should Wash Your Sheets Weekly


I don’t know. Maybe my parents raised me to be a clean freak, but they would be proud to know that even when I was in college, I still washed my bed sheets once a week. I remember the people in my freshman year dorm hall keeping their bed sheets on all semester, which cannot be sanitary!

Your bed is the place you retreat to every night. If we actively use our linens as much as we use our clothes, why do people skip changing their bed as much as they should? I don't know about you, but wearing the same t-shirt for a week seems to be pretty unpleasant.

You have spores of fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, and other excrements from the body like sweat, sputum, skin cells, and even other gross secretions living in your bed sheets, according to microbiologist and pathologist Philip Tierno. And for people that eat in their bed, there is also food remnants that provide a great environment for all of those little organisms. We spend about one third of our life in bed. And do you know what else lives in that bed with you? Probably not.

Gravity brings down all sorts of debris and it settles in your pillow and mattress, which you are rolling around in and inhaling for eight hours of your day. The allergens that thrive in your bed may cause you to wake up with a stuffy nose, and even aggravate asthma. It is imperative to keep your bed relatively clean. All the dust and nasty things accumulate to a significant level on average, in one to two weeks. So the bottom line is that your bed sheets should be washed on average, once per week. Your sheets should be the main concern. Things like duvet covers and comforters can go for about six months before you should throw them in the wash, being that you do not directly use them as much as your sheets.

If sheets are not washed regularly, and if you have scratches or wounds, they can easily become infected. Athletes foot and other fungi can be transferred from fabrics. Infrequent washing of pillowcases and sheets allows the fluids and microbes to sink deep into the mattress, and a mattress is not something that you can throw in the washer!