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It can be difficult to keep up with the laundry list of things you have to do in your busy schedule—emphasis on laundry. When it comes to how often to wash sheets, pillowcases, and towels, most of us are guilty of slacking. But the fact of the matter is, not keeping up with routine washing can lead to skin concerns like breakouts and excess oiliness, not to mention, make a new home for dust mites (yuck!). If you’re wondering, “How often should I wash my sheets?”, you’ve come to the right place! Below, we’ve gathered everything you need to know about keeping your linens clean.
First thing’s first, let’s talk about pillowcases. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should change your pillowcase two to three times a week to prevent dead skin cells, bacteria, and dirt from building up on it. That means it’s a good idea to have a few pillowcases you can switch between and to promptly throw ones you take off into the wash to ensure you always have a clean one on hand. That said, you can extend the time between washes by sleeping on one side for a few days and flipping to the other for the next three.
Another way to extend the time between washes a little is to sleep with hair in a silk scarf. When you aren’t transferring hair products to your pillows every night, they don’t get as dirty. Still, your skin will transfer oils and impurities to the pillowcase, so don’t ease up on your washing schedule too much.
Editor’s note: You may be wondering how to wash a silk pillowcase—and if you can machine wash one. Good news! If you’ve already switched to a silk pillowcase for the sake of your skin, you can use a hand wash bag and pop your pillowcase into the wash with the rest of your linens—easy!
Next up: How often should you wash sheets? The Cleveland Clinic states you should wash your sheets at least twice a month (so, every two weeks), but when the temperatures get warmer in the summertime, it’s a good idea to wash them once a week.
What happens if you don’t wash your sheets? Well, the Cleveland Clinic shares that the number of skin cells you shed in a day can feed one million dust mites. Yes, you read that right—one million. Yuck! If that’s not enough to convince you to get on a regular washing schedule, not washing your sheets may also make certain skin conditions like eczema worse as well as agitate your seasonal allergies.
If you’re bringing a new set of bed sheets home, it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and wash them before using them, since bacteria, dirt, and other impurities could be on them from their life before you bought them.
Editor’s note: Don’t worry—not all of your bed linens need to be washed so frequently. The Cleveland Clinic states your pillows and blankets should be washed every six months.
One last item to add to your household to-do list: washing your towels! You’ve probably questioned how often you should wash your towels at least once or twice. According to the Cleveland Clinic, your bath towel should be washed or switched out once a week. As for your washcloth, you should wash that a few times a week. There are also a few other towel guidelines to follow, all straight from the Cleveland Clinic.
#1. Wash more frequently in the summer. As with your sheets, you’ll want to up your towel washing routine during the summer months, especially if your house is humid or you don’t have air conditioning.
#2. You can share a towel. Yup, it’s ok to share a towel with your spouse, as long as they don’t have skin conditions like eczema.
#3. But not with your children. While you can share a towel, it’s recommended to give children their own towel, since they tend to have poor hygiene and are more prone to eczema.
#4. Don’t share a washcloth. Spouse or not, everyone should use their own washcloth when cleansing their face.
Next up: While we’re on the topic of frequent washing, find out the answer to a major question: How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?
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