It's more often than you think...
You sweat in them, dribble on them and do *you know what* in them but the average person only washes their sheets every two weeks (at most!).
If you're in this camp or *gasps*, go longer than a fortnight before popping your bed sheets in the washing machine, you might want to heed this expert advice.
"The average person washes their bed sheets once every two weeks, but in the summer months, twice a month is not enough to keep allergens at bay," said Sealy UK's Chief Sleep Officer, Neil Robinson.
"In hayfever season, consider washing your sheets once a week to keep sheets free of pollen, as well as dust and other particles that might make symptoms worse."
As well as allergens, your sheets accumulate a tonne of dead skin cells lead, which dust mites feed on, plus dried fecal matter if you sleep naked. Gross.
According to the experts, popping them in the wash weekly isn't quite enough; it's vital to select the optimum temperature, too.
"A hot wash will also help," adds Neil. "In a study, scientists found that washing items at hotter temperatures was more effective at removing traces of tree pollen, so when you wash your sheets, make sure it’s at a temperature of 40C or above - ideally at least 60C."
To ensure you keep your sheets and pillow cases super clean, allergen-free and in peak condition, Jo Ross, General Manager of Design at Sheridan, has curated the ultimate guide.
1. Reduce wear and tear by rotating your sheets for a fresh set every week.
2. It’s recommended using a eucalyptus-based detergent on your linen as they are more gentle than other detergents.
3. If using a top loader washing machine, wait until the detergent is fully diluted in the water before putting sheets in the machine. Undiluted detergents can cause staining on the fabric.
4. Do not use bleach and optical brighteners. They’re too harsh on linen and will damage the fibres of the material.
5. A warm, gentle machine wash (40 degrees) is the best way to clean your linen.
6. Don’t overfill your washing machine – allow enough space for plenty of water to rinse through the sheeting.
7. Always wash on a full cycle with a full rinse. This prevents any chemicals building up on the fibres.
8. Do not tumble dry on a hot setting and avoid overloading the dryer – allow enough space in the dryer for the sheeting to circulate. Linen is designed to become softer with every wash.
9. Ensure your linen is completely dry before placing in your linen cupboard.
10. Wash your pillows in warm water to prevent the build-up of allergens more effectively.
11. Place your pillows in direct sunlight and allow them to air. The sun is a natural antibacterial agent which will keep your pillows hygienic and fresh, assisting to kill any germs in between laundering your products.
12. Place a pillow protector on your pillows to ensure they last longer and will keep your pillows stain free and fresh.
13. Wash your pillow protectors regularly to keep your pillows clean and hygienic to sleep on.
14. Replace your pillows every 18 months to two years to ensure they stay fresh and clean.
[Via GLAMOUR UK]