Maintaining proper cleanliness and hygiene in the home has a positive impact on lifestyle, as a simple act such as regularly changing sheets allows for deeper and more restful sleep. Experts say so!
Many agree that there is an estimated average period: you need to change your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week or, at most, do it every 10 days. This would be ideal, but why is it important to do it so often?
Changing sheets, how often to do it to maintain good hygiene
Bedding, particularly sheets and pillowcases, are the fabrics we use the most and, unfortunately, they are the fabrics that can harbor the most harmful microorganisms. For example, did you know that bed sheets accumulate all the bacteria and mites present on the skin and from clothes? In summer, these factors are added to the natural sweat that the body produces.
Do you wake up with irritated skin? Do you suffer from allergy attacks as soon as you wake up? Do you constantly have a stuffy nose? It could be due to your bed sheets, as they attract all kinds of allergens. Even the dust in the air settles on the sheets! Even worse, if we spend an average of 8 hours a day in bed, that means we spend all this time with all kinds of microbes.
Dirty sheets that haven’t been changed in a long time can contain fungi, bacteria, animal hair (if you have pets), pollen, and residues such as sweat, saliva, dead skin cells, makeup–it’s a very long list.
Philip Tierno, microbiologist and pathologist at New York University School of Medicine, in an interview for El Confidencial newspaper, indicates that an average man can release up to 26 gallons of sweat a year on his bed and pillows and up to 17 different types of fungi. Did you know that a dirty pillowcase can cause pimples to appear on our face and can even soil our hair?
Mites, a serious problem!
Other organisms present in the bed, besides fungi and dead cells, are mites! In fact, the bed is their favorite place. Among their harmful effects, mites are known to aggravate asthma and can cause rhinitis and hives.
These three diseases have a solution, but it is best to avoid the root of the problem: change the sheets at least once a week!
Important: If you usually sleep in the nude, sweat a lot, or are sick, sheets should be changed two or even three times a week to maintain proper hygiene. Now, in addition to changing bedding, you should also know how to wash these fabrics without wearing them out and eliminate, as much as possible, all microbes present.
Washing bedding: how to do it to eliminate bacteria, fungi and mites
To properly clean sheets and pillowcases, the first thing to do is to carefully read the washing label to know which products can be applied and which cannot. If they do not have a wash label, take the following instructions as a reference: wash sheets and blankets on a 140 ºF centigrade wash program. This is in case they are sheets and covers made of cotton or synthetic fabrics. If they are white, you can use bleach in their laundry. Otherwise, you can add a cup of vinegar to each wash.
If they are satin or linen sheets, consider washing them on a medium wash cycle at 86ºF, as this will prevent wear and tear on this type of fabric. Also, if you want to ensure complete disinfection, you can steam iron the bedding, as the heat will ensure complete disinfection. If you do not want to iron, be sure to hang these garments in the sun. The sun is a good ally in killing mites.
What about the comforter?
Once you get into the habit of changing sheets and pillowcases, don’t forget that you also wash blankets and comforters. In the case of comforter covers, you can wash them once every two weeks to prevent the development of fungi and bacteria.
Fine quilts, typical of summer, should be washed every three to four months. If it is a quilt, wash it every six months. If you do not use it much, washing it once a year will also be sufficient. For bedspreads or quilts, on the other hand, wash them every three to four months.