How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

Updated 06/21/19
a closeup of an unmade bed and pillows with a cup of coffee
Courtesy of Cultiver

How often do you wash your sheets? Twice a month? Once a week? If you can’t remember the last time you tossed those sheets in the wash, then the information in this article might have you racing for the detergent. As it turns out, most Americans aren’t washing their sheets often enough, and the consequences of that can range from allergies to breakouts.

Consider this: One survey by Women's Health found that 44% of women wash their sheets every week, while 31% wash theirs twice a month and 16% wash once a month. So, how often is enough? Keep reading to discover just how often your favorite bedding should be cleaned.

How Often Should Sheets Be Washed?

The experts agree: Sheets need to be washed every week. It’s a pain, but it’s a must. Sheets collect dust mites, dead skin cells, dirt, pollen, pet dander, sweat, and even mold. The average person spends a full third of their life in bed, and nobody wants to spend that time marinating in dirt and bacteria.

Bacteria found in sheets can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts. Dirty sheets can also contribute to eczema flare-ups and dust mites can exacerbate allergies and cause respiratory and other health issues. Fortunately, these scourges can be prevented with regular cleanings.

Although a few experts say it’s okay to wash your sheets every two weeks, this is pushing it. One study found that even after a single week, a bed sheet has 24,000 times more bacteria than a bathroom doorknob.

Cleaning Those Sheets to Perfection

Now that you know why you need to clean your sheets on a weekly basis, the next question is how? First and foremost, give the sheets their own wash cycle. They should never be thrown in with a load of clothes, as they need room to breathe.

Use the highest heat setting when washing and drying to kill off any lingering bacteria. Mild detergents are best for the wash—just make sure to dilute the detergent inside the machine before inserting the sheets. In addition to your favorite detergent, a bit of fabric softener will leave those sheets feeling fresh and inviting.

While the sheets are in the wash, discover how you can take things one step further and clean your mattress to perfection.

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