Sheets provide your mattress protection from dust, dirt, and body oils, while giving you a silky-smooth surface to sleep on without direct contact with the mattress. As the sheets are what comes in contact with your body the most, it is essential to wash your sheets often for a good night's rest.
Sheets can be a source of allergens as it gathers dust, which may cause skin irritation, soreness, and other allergy symptoms, especially for people with sensitive skin.
But just how often should you wash your sheets? Ideally, you don't just wash your sheets once they are visibly dirty, as dust mites, pet dander, and other dirt can stick to the fibers of the sheets. Take note that fabric materials in sheets and other bedding typically emit a slight static force, especially as you toss and turn at night.
This static charge attracts small particles like a magnet, and these particles can transfer to your skin - you might as well be sleeping on your own dirt and sweat! Learn how to properly wash your sheets through our definitive guide below.
How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?
Ideally, you should wash your sheets weekly. Washing sheets gets rid of dead skin cells, grime, and general dust. If you have bed bugs, washing your sheets will kill these pests as well a kill dust mites, especially when you wash them in hot water. You'll have a more comfortable sleep with fresh new sheets too!
If you tend to sweat a lot at night, you should be washing your sheets pretty often. The same way you wash your clothes after a full day's workout or a hot, sweltering day, sweat is the most common form of moisture that gets on your sheets. Wash sheets every 2-3 days in this case.
Otherwise, if you don't typically sleep on that mattress, such as the case of guest rooms, you can go ahead and wash the sheets as you see fit. Once every other week or so should be fine, especially if the sheets are unused most of the time.
How to Wash Bed Sheets
Washing your sheets is easier than you think! Most bedding and sheets are made with fabric material, which can be cleaned in the laundry machine. Yes, even those waterproof beddings that your kids use can be cleaned in the washing machine after a nighttime accident.
Gather your Supplies
You'll need a couple of things before you get started on cleaning your sheets. You may opt to hand wash sheets, but using the washing machine in the laundry room makes cleaning much more convenient! Stained sheets can get a spot cleaning treatment before washing. Here are the tools you'll need:
- Baking Soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Scrub Brush (for Stains)
- Laundry Detergent
- Fabric Conditioner
- Laundry Machine
Step 1: Dry Cleaning
Before you strip those sheets off the bed, consider where all that dust and dirt will fall to when you remove the sheets. That's right, all that dust will fly right on your floors and tabletops, creating a layer of dust you'll have to clean off later on.
Start off with a good dry cleaning to remove the loose dust from your sheets. Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, and go over the entire sheet before removing it from the bed. Keeping the sheets on the bed helps provide you an even area to vacuum properly.
Step 2: Strip the Sheets off the Bed
Now that the dust has been vacuumed up, you can proceed to strip the sheets off the bed carefully. Try to keep the surface of the sheets folded inwards, as to not allow the dust to fall onto the mattress or the floor. If the sheets are wet, you may use a towel to blot out the moisture first before removing the sheets.
Step 3: Wash Sheets
Wash the sheets as you would regular laundry. If the sheets are soiled, then you may want to hand wash the sheets first as to not contaminate other pieces of clothing. Otherwise, go ahead and toss the sheets together with the rest of your laundry to save up on time, effort, and resources.
If you have stains on your sheets, it may be helpful to use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to remove the stains first before you toss the entire thing into the laundry machine. After all, laundry detergent can only do so much to remove stains. A baking soda paste should be able to get rid of deep-seated stains.
After a wash cycle, use a fabric conditioner on your sheets to give them a silky-soft feel afterwards, as well as a pleasant aroma and to protect the fabric material from becoming brittle.
Step 4: Dry Sheets
Place your sheets in the tumble dryer, or hang them up on a clothesline to allow them to fully dry. As most bedding is relatively thin, these should dry within a few hours on a hot day. If you know that your sheets will not dry in time for you to use them again, consider getting several sheet sets to use while you wash your previous ones.
Step 5: Iron and Replace Sheets on the Bed
If necessary, iron out the sheets so you get a nice, smooth surface while you sleep. However, many beddings are now made with non-creasing fabric, which removes the need to iron the sheets before replacing them onto the bed.
Optional: Wash the Mattress
An optional step is to dry clean or wash your mattress while you clean your sheets. Washing a mattress may take more time to dry, however, so we recommend letting a professional do it, or stick to dry cleaning using a vacuum cleaner and a sprinkling of baking soda.
The Importance of Washing Your Sheets Regularly
Fresh sheets are essential to sleep health. If you sleep naked, then chances are whatever is on the sheets can transfer to your body, and vice versa. From pollen and dust to fecal matter, these particles can harbor microorganisms that can disrupt your sleep, or pose dangers to your health.
Sheets are fairly simple to wash, and can be cleaned alongside your regular load of laundry. There is no reason to keep sleeping on dirty sheets, especially as most bedding would come with full care instructions on how to properly clean the fabric. Washing sheets also helps to keep the texture of the fabric smooth and comfortable!
For those days where you just can't seem to get to cleaning, opt for our home cleaning services that will get your house spotless in no time! Our experienced cleaners are more than happy to tackle those chores for you while you take on hobbies and tasks that you now have time for.