Dirty in bed: Why you need to wash your sheets right now

Dirty Sheets Cleaning
Sheets are like the jeans of your bed. People feel they can use them over and over without cleaning them; that fine layer of accumulation is just making them more comfortable, right? Not really. There are all sorts of microscopic reasons to throw your sheets in the machine — way, way more often than every three or four months. And sorry, freezing your bedding won’t work any better than it does with jeans.

“People should wash their sheets at least once a week, more frequently if they are sick or if they are caring for children, pregnant women, or [the] elderly,” Robin Bechanko, Senior Microbiologist at NSF International, tells Digital Trends. A recent video titled “10 Disgusting Things That Live in Your Bed” highlighted a few reasons why you should be sanitizing your sheets: bed bugs, dust mites, mold. While you can put away the garlic-and-bile mix, as it’s unlikely you have MRSA in your bedroom, the mites are pretty ubiquitous. And that doesn’t even take into account the dead skin, drool, sweat, and pet dander that’s also coalescing in your linens.

Related: Clean your microwave in minutes with this simple, chemical-free technique

To help de-germ your sheets, you should be washing them on the machine’s “hot” cycle. According the NSF’s certification protocols for allergen reduction, the washer’s water temperature has to reach 131 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius) for at least three minutes during the sanitation cycle. That’s just too hot for the dust mites, which are a trigger for many people’s allergies. It’s not just those critters that die off in the hot water, though. “Certification means that NSF scientists have tested the sanitization cycle to ensure they effectively reduce harmful bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa that can potentially build up in bed sheets if they go unwashed for a long period of time,” says Bechanko. Blasting your bedclothes with the highest setting in the dryer also lowers the germ count a bit.

Of course, you should make sure your sheets can withstand the heat by checking the care instructions on the label. If you’re worried about wear and tear, it might be time to invest in another set, so you don’t have to wash them as frequently. Remember that your sheets aren’t a visible force field either, so some of the gunk from your sheets is making its way to your mattress and pillows. Get some covers for them; those you don’t have to wash as often, but aim for something more like quarterly, as opposed to annually.

Also consider what you’re putting into the machine. Color-safe bleach doesn’t have the same disinfecting properties as regular bleach, unfortunately. To kill any bacteria that are hanging around the washer, you can run a cycle without any clothes but with bleach.

So, go home and do a load of laundry tonight. And maybe throw those jeans in, too.


Dyson sale shatters prices on vacuums just in time for spring cleaning

Steep price cuts on Dyson vacuum cleaners for the spring cleaning season help you save money on the tools you need to do the job. We've found the best discounts on Dyson vacuums from Amazon and Walmart and put them all in one place.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.
Smart Home

Our favorite coffee makers make flavorful cups of joe from the comforts of home

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.

Amazon shaves $50 off the Coway Mighty air purifier ahead of allergy season

When it's allergy season, a good air purifier is a must-have for sufferers. The Coway Mighty air purifier (now on sale from Amazon) is one of the best, greatly improving the air quality inside your home by removing dust, dander, pollen, and…
Smart Home

Dyson’s newest products strive to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit

Dyson launched products to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit. A Dyson intelligent task light cycles with nature and a personal air purifier harnesses unique airflow. Microprocessors in Dyson's vacuum self-adjust 8,000 times a second.
Smart Home

Walmart serves up a rare deal on the Google Home Max at $100 off

Some deals are predictable and others are pre-announced, but today Walmart posted a rare deal: $100 off the powerful Google Home Max. Since it rarely goes on sale, waiting may not be prudent. If you want one, grab it.
Smart Home

Smart light switches have become more affordable: Here are the best ones

The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. To have more control over your lighting, check out the best smart light switches on the market. 
Smart Home

Update your kitchen with the best refrigerators you can buy in 2019

There are tons of factors that go into buying a fridge, from size and capacity to color. It takes lots of testing and research, but we've chosen the best refrigerators to get you started, regardless of what you're looking for.
Smart Home

The best smart locks to increase your home security in 2019

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.
Smart Home

These best outdoor security cameras will keep porch pirates at bay

Worried about porch pirates stealing your packages, or intruders entering your home? Always be in the know about who or what is on your property by installing one of these outdoor security cameras.