In days gone by, it was a familiar sight on any bright Monday morning to see rows of washing strung out in gardens everywhere. There was a pattern to the week for housewives and helping hands and it started with the weekly wash. Clothing, sheets, and pillowcases filled up spaces on the lines as carpets and rugs were beaten severely to rid them of dirt and bugs.
Current research suggests this is in no way a bad pattern to follow and an easier one with modern washing machines and biological detergents. So, how often should you wash your sheets? Here are some factors to consider.
What Goes On Your Bed
Looking through a microscope at some bedding might not be a pleasant experience. Thousands of skin cells are shed every night onto sheets with a cocktail mix of mites, sweat, and other secretions. A pet will add dander to any crumbs, dust, and dirt lurking on your body or PJs. Allergens, oils, and creams from makeup and hair preparations all add to the accumulations.
How Does This Affect Health And Wellbeing?
These pollutants are ever-present to a degree but a build-up after a time can become a worrying health hazard unless washed away. The generally accepted view of experts seems to be the once a week cleaning rule is best or at least every other week
Other Contributory Factors in Daily Life
Babies and toddlers, partners, sickness, eating or drinking in bed, and even weather conditions all affect how often it is necessary to clean the sheets. Increasing numbers of children and adults suffer from allergies, asthma, and breathing difficulties which is yet another reason to keep the sheets fresh.
Tips to Help in a Busy Life
There are always days when you are too tired to think of things like changing the sheets. It might be advisable in that case to have two or three bed sets to rotate rather than wash every week. The pillowcases too need frequent washing particularly if make-up or face creams have stained them.
Easy-care materials that can wash and dry quickly without much need to see an iron are a great boon. Cotton and silk are cooling, last longer between wash cycles but may crease or require extra care. Bamboo, especially king size bamboo sheets, are becoming useful choices. These are cooling, hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial and need only infrequent cold-water washes and air drying.
Washing Powders and Detergents
Cleaning powders and gels have improved a great deal since Monday was universally washing day. Biological agents have been added to make it easier to eliminate bacteria and allergens from bedding, pyjamas, or nightclothes and stay fresh longer. Washing machine settings are guides to the right temperature to clean the washing correctly, with a high temperature normally indicated for sheets.
Rugs, Mats and Carpets
These may not need beating today but vacuuming regularly will suction up a lot of dust and dirt that can end up on the sheets.
In our fast-paced high-tech world there seems no time to have whole days for washing each week but keeping this good old pattern is still relevant today.