Your sheets go through a lot, probably more than you realize. And it seems that how often they should be washed or changed is a pretty hot topic. The truth is, if you are like most people you probably aren’t changing them often enough. Pillow cases and towels can be included in this because they are all pretty much related. You might be surprised to learn the truth about this little conundrum.

Oh, the things between your sheets.

No one really wants to think about it, but bed sheets are basically a science project waiting to happen. There’s a whole little world of microscopic life that exists there. Let’s hit the high points. After sleeping on your sheets just one time, they will contain bacteria, fungi, dust mites, pollen, animal dander, food crumbs, sweat, soil, skin cells, and excretions from body parts that you probably would rather not know about. If you sleep with someone or a pet, you have all their “stuff” too.

Now, the first couple of nights it isn’t too bad. Of course, if you sleep in the nude, have been ill, or are prone to night sweats your sheets get “livelier” much faster. A humid or moist environment can also contribute to the issue since that breeds bacteria.

So, how often should you change your sheets?

That is the million dollar question. According to the National Sleep Foundation, once a week is a good rule of thumb. However, if that isn’t doable then you should at least change your pillow cases. If you have a comforter, you only need to launder it two or three times a year. A duvet cover, on the other hand, should be washed at least once a month. Lighter colors may need more frequent laundering.

You may want to change your sheets more often if you don’t shower before bed, sleep naked, have been sick recently, or have night sweats. On the other hand, you may be able to get away with only washing them once every two weeks. That is something you will need to evaluate according to your personal habits and preferences.

Oh, and as for towels, three uses is about right for tossing them in the washing machine. If you use a fresh towel after each use, that is perfectly fine, but if you like to reuse your towel a few times, three is the magic number. In humid environments though, you might want to do it a little more often.

How to wash your bed sheets.

Washing sheets is surprisingly easy. A low temperature cycle, warm or cold, is good, but if your sheets are really soiled (potty training accident, night sweats, illness, etc.) then hot water is better. Use your favorite detergent and add a little bleach if your sheets are white, or oxygen bleach (just use a warmer setting). Otherwise, about a quarter to half cup of vinegar added to the rinse cycle does the trick too. Tumble then dry and use dryer sheets if you like. Then enjoy your freshly laundered sheets. Is there anything more wonderful than this simple pleasure?

Washing your sheets (and everything else) gets a whole lot easier when you come home to The Block on H. With washers and dryers in every unit, laundry day is a snap! Check us out and learn more about our other amazing amenities!