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Posted on by Alex Wood
It’s a topic everyone seems to have a different opinion about: how often should you wash your sheets? Some say a week, some say every other week, but what is the right answer? A lot depends on extenuating circumstances but there are general rules that will help you to decide when is a good time to wash your sheets and when you can get away with one more night.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal, the average length of time for Americans to wash their sheets is about a week. Younger people seem to leave the sheets on the bed longer, which if you’ve spent any time with college or high school kids, you’d have proof of that. Surprisingly, most experts do agree with the average, that once a week is a good amount of time to wash your sheets. By washing your sheets and pillowcases once a week, you’ll eliminate that debris that has accumulated in the bed for that week. You’ll be safer from breathing in that material.
Human skin cells become food for dust mites. That is one of the biggest problems associated with bedding. Mites accumulate, along with their feces. But there is also animal hair, dander, fungal mold, fungal spores, bodily secretions and bacteria. Also: dust, lint, fibers, particulates, insect parts, pollen, soil, sand and cosmetics. “One person can perspire as much as a liter in a night—even more if you have a lot of covers,” says Philip M. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. And, of course, people eat in bed as they watch TV.
Once you know how often to wash your sheets, the next step is learning the method. Yes, there is a best way to wash your sheets. The water should be 130 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, typically the washing machine’s hot-water cycle. Then dry using a hot drying cycle. That is germicidal; it actually kills and destroys a lot of vegetative material. It also kills the dust mites. For extra protection, “bleach is excellent. It is probably the cheapest germicide and can be used in a low concentration.” Cold water non-bleach bleaches use peroxide, so they’re also germicidal.
To continually protect your comfortable all natural latex mattress against dust mites and other allergens, besides the weekly washing of your sheets, you should also invest in a mattress protector. An outer cover type is the best. Your pillowcases should also have covers to help people with allergies and asthma breathe better and sleep better at night. Let us know what works for you to protect against allergies and also let us know how often you wash your sheets, is it more than a week or less?
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