Getting into bed at the end of the day is one of the best things, especially when you’ve just put a clean set of bedding on. Your bed sheets keep you snuggly and warm at night, but they also collect dead skin, sweat and dirt! So what’s the best way to keep them as clean as possible?
The (Scary) Facts:
- We spend about a third of our lives in bed (source)
- Our bodies shed around 500 million skin cells each day (source)
- A 7-year-old mattress will have around 16 million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch! (source)
What temperature should you wash bedding at?
Because of all of the contact your bedding has with your skin, hair and bodily fluids, it is very important that your wash actually cleans the sheets as much as possible!
The NHS website suggests that bedding, towels and underwear be washed at 60 °C to help prevent the spread of germs. Some may choose to wash bedding at cooler settings for the sake of cutting costs and to being more eco friendly, but 60℃ is the recommended temperature.
Using a cooler temperature can be more effective when using a stronger detergent or a brand that has antibacterial properties. Persil Small and Mighty is a great choice for a cooler wash with the most impact. If you’re unsure about which detergent and fabric softener to choose, then always have a read of the labels and check online for reviews.
What about the pillows and duvet?
It’s not just the covers that need a good wash, duvets and pillows absorb the sweat and dirt that is created by our bodies. You would not want to know how much of the weight of your pillow is dead skin and even dust mite droppings!
You should wash your pillows every 2 to 3 months, and your duvet at least once every six months (see our article on how often to wash bedding). If your washing machine’s capacity will not take your duvet, you may have to take it to a laundrette where you can also dry the bedding after washing. You will normally need a washing machine with a 9 kg capacity or more to wash a large duvet.
If you can wash at home it can be a pain to get all of your bedding dry, especially if you live in a flat with no means of hanging washing outside or no access to a dryer. Hanging the duvet over a drying rack and turning and shaking it during the drying process is the best way to make sure your bedding gets dry and you can always run an iron over it to help kill germs. A steam iron would be very helpful for this.
How often should I change the bed?
This is often a question that people ask, as everyone will give you a different answer. Some people swear by changing the bed weekly (daily even in some cases) yet others will say monthly is fine. It is all down to personal preference really, but it is recommended that bedding be washed every week or every fortnight, as skin shed during sleep creates a very inviting environment for dust mites and sometimes even bed bugs.
So now you know the best way to get your bedding clean, you’ll be able to sleep easy and enjoy a great night’s sleep in a sweet smelling, bug free, clean bed!
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