Best Practices for Keeping Your Sheets Fresh and Clean
Cleaning bed sheets regularly is crucial if you want to enjoy full and satisfying sleep every night. Cool, clean sheets are not only a joy to sleep in, they’re also less likely to harbor materials that can disrupt you while during your slumber.
How often should you Clean your Bed Sheets?
Statistics reveal that most people wash their bed sheets only once a month. That’s definitely too long a time to go without washing your sheets – regardless of whether you always shower before hitting the sack.
Ideally, bed sheets and pillowcases should be washed once a week. If you’re the busy type, then once every two weeks is okay – but no more than that. Allowing too much time in between washing makes it very easy for dust mites to set up shop in your bed.
What’s in Your Bed Sheets?
Dust mites are the least of your worries when sleeping in unwashed sheets. Dirt and grime are likely to build up over time, which can cause breathing problems at night. You may also wake up itching or with rashes on your skin, resulting from dirt particles on your bed.
Also, bear in mind your activities on the bed. If you like to have breakfast in bed, then you’ll definitely have to wash once a week – perhaps even more often. The same goes for summer nights when you tend to sweat more on the sheets. Having children or pets also increases the need to wash often. If you sleep naked or with minimum, this is also another factor.
How to Wash Bed Sheets
Bed sheets are washed in the same way as your clothes. This involves dumping them in the washing machine and letting it do all the work. Your system only varies depending on the type and color of the bed sheets. When washing white bed sheets, you might want to first do a little target washing for stained areas before dumping them in the machine. If your sheets are pristine however, and only need a bit of freshening up, then there’s nothing stopping you from going ahead with the wash. The type of detergent you use is completely dependent on you but bear in mind that the sheets will touch your bare skin so try to look for a detergent that’s skin-friendly.
Cleaning Bed Sheets with Vinegar
For those who have sensitive skin, one of the best ways to clean bed sheets is with vinegar. The natural acid promotes the breakdown of the dirt without causing too much damage to the cloth or irritating the skin when in use. Vinegar often works in tandem with cleaning bed sheets with baking soda. Here’s how it’s done:
- If your bed sheets have stains, grab a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water, and spray them on the dirty portion. Leave it there for a few minutes before spraying the surface again and brushing a little. Once the stain is out, you can work on the whole sheet.
- Put hot water in a container big enough to hold the sheets. Measure 1 cup of vinegar and dump it in the water. Add 2 to 3 drops of dishwashing liquid – the kind you use for hand washing and not for the dishwasher.
- Soak and stir the bed sheets in the water, making sure that every inch goes under water. Leave it there for 30 minutes.
- Once you’re done, wring out the bed sheets and wash them again – this time in the washing machine. Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda directly in the water and prepare to wash. Choose heavy, depending on how badly your sheets need cleaning.
This process will not only clean the bed sheets but also leave them odor-free and oil-free. Plus, vinegar and baking soda are non-toxic. Washing new bed sheets using this routine is recommended just to get rid of the ‘factory’ smell of the cloth. You can wash the sheets further with the traditional cleaning process using a detergent. For most however, this procedure is enough.
Other Pro Tips
- It’s a good idea to have two or three bed sheets so that once you strip the dirty ones; you can quickly replace them with a fresh batch. This way, you won’t be compelled to wash the old sheets ASAP
- Fluff the pillows on a daily basis to prevent dust from settling. Pillows are best sun dried once every few weeks to keep them fluffy
- You can wash bath towels, underwear, and pillow cases together with the bed sheets so you don’t waste too much water
- Pay close attention to manufacturer instructions when washing your bed sheets. Some of them may need to be cold washed only.
With regularly washed sheets, you can benefit from a deep restorative sleep surrounded by clean sheets and a wonderful smell.