How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

According to a recent survey most single men change their sheets once every three months. Ugh! It's closer to every two weeks for the average couple. And Oprah supposedly gets fresh linens every single day. So what's ideal for most of us? How often should you wash your sheets, really?

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We talked with housekeeping consultant Leslie Reichert, the Green Cleaning Coach, to get the lowdown on maintaining a fresh and healthy bed for you and your family.

First, the short answer: You should wash or change your sheets once a week. Reichert points out that you're sweating throughout the day, and that rubs off on your bedding. Not only that, washing once a weeks gets you into a routine that's fairly easy to stick with. "You know that Monday, for example, is washing day," she says.

Of course, in the winter you're sweating less, so Reichert says you could get away with changing your bed linens every two weeks if you don't suffer from allergies. But that's not her preference.

That takes care of when you should wash your sheets. Here are some of Reichert's insider tips on how you should wash them.

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1. Use your washer's hot setting (around 150 degrees). "That temperature kills dust mites," she says. It's especially important if you suffer from allergies because "hot water sanitizes."  

"Warm water will work with detergent to break down the oils from your skin," Reichert adds, in case for whatever reason you can't use hot water. It's not as good, but it's better than washing with cold water.

2. Use your dryer's hot setting. "I always recommend this," Reichert says. "You're not guaranteed to get everything in the hot wash," she says. Hot air can help further sanitize. Again, this is especially helpful for people with allergies.

3. Sanitize your down pillows and comforters in the dryer once a week. You can wash your down in the washer using the maker's instructions, but not too often because it can cause feathers to go lumpy. "They'll never be the same once you do that," Reichert says. It's good to sanitize your covers regularly, though, and you can do that by putting them through a hot dryer cycle alone. 

4. Don't dry clean your bed clothes. Reichert never dry cleans her comforters or pillows because of the chemicals involved. But she does air them out in the sun once every spring and every fall.

5. Wash your blankets, too. Don't forget your non-down blankets and covers. Reichert suggests washing them quarterly unless you have pets. If animals ever nap or sleep on your bed you need to wash your covers once a week.

clean sheets

Image via VGstockstudio/shutterstock and Sakda tiew/shutterstock

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