BEDDING EXPERT SAYS “IT’S OK TO NOT WASH YOUR BED SHEETS EVERY WEEK”

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Posted 1 year ago
  • New ‘Clean Sheets’ Calculator from Secret Linen Store analyses personal cleanliness and lifestyle habits to advise on how often your sheets need washing
  • Every year over 53,000 people ask Google how often they need to wash their bedding
  • Households can eliminate up to 163KG carbon emissions each year with fewer bed linen washes

How often we wash our bed sheets is a contentious topic for many, and so the experts at luxury bed linen retailer Secret Linen Store have just launched a new ‘Clean Sheets’ Calculator to help put the debate to rest.

Not one size fits all

The generally accepted advice, wherever you live in the world, is to wash your bed linen once a week, but that is often at odds with what actually happens in people’s homes; a report from Hammonds revealed that a third of Brits only wash their sheets once a year, whilst the average time between bed sheet changes for Americans is 24 days.  

According to Google search data, nearly 53,000 online searches are made every year around how often bed sheets should be washed, and the number sees an annual peak every January. With people looking to start good lifestyle habits at the start of the new year, it seems that lots of us have the best intentions to change our bedding as often as is recommended but need to enforce it with a New Year’s resolution in order to make sure we keep up with the weekly recommendation. 

Molly Freshwater, founder of Secret Linen Store, says “The truth is that most of us don’t wash our sheets every week, and that’s totally fine. We wanted to create a tool that reassures people that it’s OK to leave a little longer between your bed washes. How often you wash your bedsheets is completely dependent on how much usage they get, which is why we created a calculator to give people bespoke bed washing advice based on their individual habits.”

The new ‘Clean Sheets’ calculator provides users with a personalised recommendation on how often to wash your bed linen, based on your individual bedtime routines and personal lifestyle. It takes into account things like whether your share your bed with your pets and how many times you shower, through to how often you have sex and whether you eat a lot of food in your bed, to generate bespoke advice for how often your sheets need to go in the laundry.  

For example, people who shower often and who don’t spend long lounging in bed, don’t have pets, and sleep in full pyjamas could sensibly leave much longer than a week between their bed linen washes – even up to a month if your bed sheets see very little action – according to the new calculator. Whereas for people who eat a lot in their beds, sleep naked, share their beds with a dog and sweat a fair amount, the calculator is likely to suggest a weekly wash for heavy usage.

Less washing leads to a smaller carbon footprint

Washing your sheets creates a significant amount of carbon emissions (and extra costs to your electricity bill) especially if you’re washing at 60 degrees or higher.

Molly Freshwater comments “Overwashing can cause unnecessary wear of your bed linen, and a full hot wash and tumble dryer cycle has a significant impact on your household carbon emissions. Our calculator provides advice with an eco-friendly approach to keeping your bed sheets clean, with tips on how to make your sheets stay fresh for longer between washes and suggestions on reducing your carbon emissions with cooler washers and air drying.”

The BBC reports that 11% of household carbon emissions are produced from using washing machines, with a warm wash and dryer cycle creating 3.3KG of carbon per load. Washing your bed linen once a week on a 60-degree wash, with a tumble dry cycle too, causes over 171KG of carbon every year, whereas washing your bedsheets once a month on a 30-degree wash and air drying reduces that amount down to just 7.2KG of carbon.

How to keep your sheets fresher for longer

To make your sheets last longer between laundry days, the experts at Secret Linen Store recommend the following tips:

  • Linen Sprays: The smell of freshly laundered sheets is so inviting that it can prompt over washing but investing in a beautifully scented linen spray will give your sheets that ‘just washed’ feel without putting them through the machine too much. Consider combining some drops of your favourite essential oil with water for a refreshing bedding spry. 
  • Wearing PajamasDead skin cells and oils that your body excretes are one of the main hygienic reasons for washing bed sheets regularly. Wearing pyjamas protects your bedding by creating a barrier between your body and your sheets, and pajamas are much smaller and easier to wash than your full bed set!
  • Small Area Cleaning: If you do encounter the odd ad hoc small stain, you can blot clean small spots with a liquid detergent spray, rather than hauling all of the linen into the washing machine. Washing just your pillowcases if they stain quicker than your sheets is another way to reduce your washing load.
  • Airing The Bed: Pull back your blankets or duvet when you’re not sleeping in your bed to allow your sheets to breathe; this helps remove moisture that mites need to thrive.
  • Storing Your Sheets: Fold your laundry and store it somewhere cool and dark, but be mindful of wooden drawers, the smell of some wood could transfer into the dry laundry. Remember, you should only store sheets when they’re completely dry: If your laundry is moist when you store it away, bacteria will grow on the fabric and it will become musty. No one likes musty sheets.
  • Shower Before Bed: Washing the day’s dirt off your skin before going to sleep is a top way to reduce bacteria build up in your bedding, plus a hot water soak can aid your night’s rest!

A full list of tips on how to keep your bedding fresh as well as access to the ‘Clean Sheets’ calculator can be found here: www.secretlinenstore.com/how-often-clean-bed-sheets-calculator