Disgusting reason you really should wash sheets every week

Kristine Tarbert

Turns out the average person changes their sheets once every 24 days, but that’s not nearly enough.

A recent US survey of 1,000 people revealed both men and women, married and single, tend to be a little lazy when it comes to doing laundry and changing the sheets on the bed.

According to the results of the MattressAdvisor survey, single men are the worst culprits – surprised? – and only change their sheets every 45 days. That’s over six weeks.

People aren't washing their sheets enough. Photo: Getty

Married folk tend to do it within 20 days, while single women get it done in 19 days.

But it’s not enough and the reason why is completely disgusting.

Microbiologist Philip Tierno explains that when you are sleeping, gravity draws everything from sweat, dribble, hair and skin cells into the sheets.

Source: Giphy

And that stuff is a feast for dust mites who then love hanging around in your bed leaving faeces and parts of their little microscopic bodies everywhere.

Completely grossed out yet? Thought so.

Add to that people that eat in bed or have pets they share the covers with.

“The environment in that mattress becomes akin to a botanical park," Tierno told the New York Post.

Wash your sheets every week. Photo: Getty

“And what happens is, you kick up that material when you toss and turn in bed and you breathe in that material for eight hours or so at night and then you wake up with a stuffy nose or other issues.”

So, he suggests we should be washing our sheets every week – two weeks tops. The doona can be done every six months given that it’s generally left on top.

If this is making you question how often you should be washing all your linen, here is a quick roundup for you.

Towels – after every fourth use
Towels definitely have the short end of the stick. We wipe our entire bodies with them daily, and they never seem to dry properly either, especially in winter. That makes them smell and can lead to mould, so you should really be washing them twice a week.

Wash towels after every 4th use. Photo: Getty

Handtowels – every third day
Especially if you have multiple people in your house. Hand towels are used by EVERYONE - for their hands, faces and mouth. Think of all the germs floating around from that. Even worse, if the rack is near the toilet.

Pillows – every six months
To be clear this is the actual pillow we’re talking about, not the pillowcases (which should be washed every week with your sheets). Experts say up to 16 different types of fungi can build up on pillows – gross! To wash them without wrecking them, wash on a warm, gentle cycle and lay them flat in the sun to dry.

Bath mats – once a week
Bath mats never seem to dry - especially if you have more than three people in your house. Washing them once a week gets rid of odours.

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