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More than 50 000 people ask Google each year how often they need to wash their bed sheets. Granted, you spend a great deal of your day in your bed, and your sheets collect thousands of dead skin cells, dust mites, bodily fluids and oils – and if your furry friend shares a bed with you, then pet hair, too.
The common rule of thumb, wherever you live in the world, is to do weekly washings, but that is often at odds with what actually happens in people’s homes. A report from Hammonds revealed that a third of Britons wash their sheets just once a year, while the average time between bed sheet changes for Americans is around every three weeks.
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.” Secret Linen Store has created a tool called the ‘Clean Sheets Calculator’, which asks you a quick set of questions based on your personal cleanliness and lifestyle habits, analyses your responses and then immediately advises you on how often your sheets need washing.
For example, people who shower often and don’t spend multiple hours lounging in bed, don’t have pets, and sleep in full pyjamas could sensibly leave much longer than a week
Less washing, smaller carbon footprint. Wash Your Bed Sheets
Eskom’s tariff hikes have made electricity largely unaffordable for millions of South Africans, so washing your sheets only when needed may just save you some extra costs to your electricity bill. Importantly, washing your sheets also creates a significant amount of carbon emissions, especially if you’re washing at 60 degrees or higher.
Says Freshwater: “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.”
According to the BBC, 11% of household carbon emissions are produced from using washing machines, with a warm wash and dryer cycle creating 3.3 kg of carbon per load. Washing your bed linen once a week on a 60-degree wash, with a tumble dry cycle too, causes over 171 kg of carbon every year, whereas washing your bed sheets once a month on a 30-degree wash and air drying reduces that amount down to just 7.2 kg of carbon.
How Often Should You Wash Your Bed Sheets 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 hacks: