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Unwashed Sheets Can Do More Damage to Your Health Than You Think–Here’s What You Can Do to Avoid That

There’s nothing quite comforting and relaxing as getting to snuggle in a bed of freshly washed sheets. And as it turns out, this little hygiene and self-care habit can also spell good news for one’s overall health. According to some health experts, sleeping in sheets that haven’t been washed in quite a while, may not be the best idea.

The Dangers

Are your allergies flaring up more than usual? Dirty bedding may be the culprit.

Humans typically shed about 200 million dead skin cells in just an hour totaling to more than a billon a night. Thus, it’s not surprising that bed sheets can get pretty icky in a matter of a few weeks or days.

What more, this shedding attracts tons of eight-legged dust mites that may cause health issues. While they don’t really carry diseases, mites can trigger allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American (AAFA). People who don’t wash their bedding regularly may then experience wheezing or a runny nose.

Sheets can also get dirty as people often take dirt they’ve acquired throughout the day to bed. This includes environmental pollutants, makeup residue, lotion, and many others. There’s also the built-up body oils, sweat, and even pet dander. All these can contribute to a variety of skin problems like irritation and acne breakouts.

How Often to Wash
Sharing a bed with another person can get sheets dirty faster.

To counter these negative consequences, people are recommended to wash their sheets more often. P&G Fabric Care’s Laura Goodman, M.S. particularly advises changing and washing bedding every one or two weeks.

However, she emphasizes that those who have a habit of sleeping in the nude or with pets might want to do their laundry at least once a week as these habits can dirty one’s bed at a faster rate. Another tip is for acne-prone people in particular. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), those who experience breakouts might want to clean their pillowcases, in particular, at least two to three times a week.

Wash Tips

Be sure to follow the correct washing instructions for specific bedding material when doing laundry.

While washing sheets more often is a simple enough solution, not everyone has the time to do so. What more, many people rely on laundry shops that may be a good distance from home to clean their clothes and sheets.

So, instead of washing one set of bedding over and over, experts suggest people keep at least three sets of sheets on hand to avoid sleeping in a dirty bed. It’s also advisable to do laundry at the hottest washing temperature setting as this will kill dust mites. Lastly, refrain from putting too much cleaning detergent in a wash load as residue soap can actually become stuck in the sheet’s material and also cause skin irritations, later on.

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