There is often a certain amount of controversy as to how often you should wash your hair, change your underwear, and, of course, change your bed sheets. There will always be some obsessive compulsive person speak up and tell you “every single day” or some outrageous thing, but the science behind it doesn’t recommend it be done that often. Here are the facts from the experts on how often you should wash your sheets.
What The Dangers Are Of Not Changing Your Sheets
Luckily, the linen material that we humans use for bed sheets isn’t a very good home for most bacteria, fungi, bed bugs, or lice. Most of these parasites need more than just the linen material itself to survive very long without a host. The host in this scenario is, of course, the human that sleeps in the bed every night.
If that person maintains a clean body, by showering regularly, then there is even less of a possibility of there being any organic matter for any bugs to feed on. However, the human body is constantly sweating, emitting bodily oils and fluids, so eventually sheets will become soiled no matter what.
And, if your favorite pet, be it a dog or cat, likes to sleep on your bed, you’re in for a LOT more bacteria, dirt, dander, and other contaminants than you want to know. Many times, even people that shower regularly, don’t shampoo their dogs as often, and their dog might spend all day outside digging holes. So what do the experts have to say about changing your sheets?
Every Two Weeks Or More Often
Assuming a basically clean environment, a person that showers regularly, changes their underwear, socks, and pajamas, every two weeks is about right for washing the sheets. On the other hand, someone that comes home from the bar, half liquored up, already dirty from their day job, and then plops down on the sheets, should consider changing the far more often. People that work in dirty environments, especially around food or garbage, should also consider changing their sheets more often as well. When you work around any organic matter, whether it’s French fry oil, or sawdust, it will get on your body, and eventually end up on your sheets, so that should be considered.
The dangers of not changing your sheets multiply depending on how dirty you and your clothes are when you hit the sack. Lots of people just sleep in the same clothes that they wore all day long, and that’s not a clean way to live. Some people don’t shower very often, wear the same under wear for days, and have dirty pets that sleep with them too.
- If You’re Really Concerned, Buy An Extra Set
This seems to be one of the major sticking points of changing the sheets on the bed regularly. Lots of people only have one, or maybe two sets. After all, they can be expensive, and washing them is time consuming too.
If you live near a Goodwill store, you can almost always pick up a set of high-quality bed sheets there for less than $10. Go for the percale type of linen, it lasts longer and has a tighter weave than the muslin. Get several sets if you need to so that all you have to do is take one set off and replace it with a clean set, then you can launder them at your leisure.
If you’re getting athletes foot, infected scratches, acne, or dandruff more that usual, change your sheets. Increase the frequency to once a week and see if your problems don’t go a away. And remember, if the sheets look dirty, they’re way past the time that you should have already changed them.