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Why it’s important to wash bed sheets

By Faeza
02 September 2016

There’s not much better than the joy of slipping into a bed made with freshly dried sheets. But washing bed sheets can be a tedious weekend chore, requiring the unmaking and remaking of the bed, when we could be doing something more relaxing with our time.

Though you may think it’s acceptable to leave the same sheets on your bed for periods of time, it turns out that failing to regularly wash your sheets can have some serious consequences on our health.

Bed linens come into close contact with the body each night, and bodily fluids such as sweat can seep into the sheets while you sleep.

"During sleep, we continue to perspire, and body oils and soil are released,” laundry expert Mary Marlowe Leverette told ATTN. “It is possible to find saliva, urine, genital fluids, and faecal matter in the fibres. If the (linens) are not washed regularly, and the occupant has scratches or wounds, they can become infected. Athlete's foot and other fungi can be transferred from fabrics.”

Leverette adds that the infrequent cleaning of sheets and pillowcases allows the fluids to seep into the pillows and mattresses, which tend to be much more difficult to clean.

And all the skin cells you shed in your bed can also attract dust mites, which can cause breathing problems, particularly for those people who suffer from asthma or allergies.

Thankfully, there’s a simple solution to avoiding these issues – washing your linens each week. To maintain a clean bedroom and living space, Leverette advises people to wash their sheets in hot water regularly.

"Ideally, bed linens should be washed every week using the hottest water recommended for the fabric. If the weather is extremely hot, and the sleepers perspire heavily or the sleepers are ill, more frequent washings are recommended,” she explained.

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