What Happens When You Don’t Wash Your Sheets

The bed we sleep in should be our sacred place, the place where we take the very needed rest, the place where we experience some of the most exciting love moments, and the place where we keep dreaming.

However, if you don’t wash the bed sheets on regular basis, that place is far from special.

Each week, we are spending from 49-63 hours between those sheets, leaving a lot of germs, bacteria, dead skin, dirt, sweat and oil behind.

Dr. Lisa Ackerley, Dettol Expert and Hygiene Doctor, claims that we become prone to some serious viruses and infections, unless we wash our sheets every week:

Just think about all the things you do in bed. Besides from being the place where we sleep, it can double up as the tea room, home office, dining table, or even the cat or dog’s bed.

Depending on what you use your bed for, and how clean you are when you use it (and whether you wear pajamas), your bed can get pretty dirty, and actually cause some damage to your body.

Here are a few reasons why washing the bed sheets should be a regular routine:

1. Dust mites, tiny organisms that can cause allergies, aggravate asthma, and lead to eczema flare-up, feed on dead skin cells, that we are constantly shedding throughout the day and pile up in the bedding.

2. The thousands of dead skin cells, saliva, and sweat we leave on the sheets are a perfect environment for bacteria and viruses.

According to one study, unwashed sheets had between three million and five million CFUs (colony-forming units) per square inch for just one week. Pillowcases had over seventeen thousand times more bacteria than on a toilet seat.Acne might be caused by bacteria, dead skin cells, and dirt accumulated on the pillowcase.

4. If you wake up with itchy bite marks, they might be caused by bed bugs, blood-sucking insects, that can be killed by washing the sheets with hot water.

5. If you have a pet, you must be very vigilant when it comes to changing bed sheets, since the hair of the pet makes the bed even more attractive to dust mites.

Now, here are some tips to help you sleep on a bug-free, safe and clean bed every night:

  • Turn back the covers, in order to let the moisture dry for a couple of minutes, before you make your bed.
  • Wash the bed sheets once on weekly basis with hot water to disinfect them.
  • Vacuum the mattress a couple of times a year.
  • If you are sick, if you sleep nude, or you go to bed without having a shower, you should wash the bed sheets more often.
  • Wash the pillows every six months, as well as the duvets and other coverings.
  • If you sleep with your kids or your pets, if you eat in bed, and if you sweat a lot throughout the night, change the bed sheets more often.
  • Aside from the utilization of hypoallergenic cleanser, Joshua Zeichner, MD, the executive of restorative and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, proposes the utilization of aroma free cleanser, yet just in the suggested sum, as overdosing ” implies that the cleanser particles themselves can become held up between strands of the textures” and lead to irritation responses.


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