How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets

There’s nothing better than crawling into a bed covered in freshly laundered sheets, but getting to that late-day treat certainly takes some effort. Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab, shared her tips on how to wash this essential bedding and extend its lifespan. The first step: make sure you have these cleansers on hand.

What you will need

  • Shout Advanced Ultra Gel ($ 3, amazon.com)
  • Gain Liquid Detergent ($ 14, amazon.com)

    Now is the time to get down to business.

    How to wash the sheets

    Sheets don’t wear like your sports shorts or jeans, but you spend a lot of time in them – and night after night germs, sweat, and body oils build up quickly.

    If there are no stains, it is not necessary to pretreat the sheets“, says Forte.” But it’s always a good idea to check pillow cases for makeup residue. A pre-wash stain remover like Shout Advanced Ultra Gel can help remove stains. “Then add a detergent, like the Good Housekeeping Seal Holder Liquid detergent saving.

    Some new washers have cycles dedicated only to washing sheets. But if not, select the “normal” or “occasional” cycle instead of “heavy duty”. “The leaves don’t need excessive agitation to clean, and the heavy cycle can cause tangles and wrinkles,” says Forte.

    To boost cleaning (which helps if you have allergies), increase the temperature of the water. Choose a cleaning cycle that uses the hottest water safe for the bedding fabric (check the care label). “The hotter the water, the more germs you killSays Forte. When you’re done, fold and put away your sheets until you’re ready to lay them on your bed.

    How often should you wash the sheets

    Sheets can accumulate so much stuff you can’t see, like dead skin cells, mites, germs – even feces – and they need to be washed regularly. “The longest time you should wait before changing your sheets is two weeks“, says Forte.” Every week is even better. ”

    If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies to dust or pollen, sweats excessively, or has an infectious disease (or if the family pet is sleeping in the bed), you may want to consider washing them. sheets more than once a week.

    Now avoid these common missteps to make sure you get a good night’s sleep on laundry day.

    4 common mistakes when washing sheets

    how to wash the sheets

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    1. Overloading your washer

    It can be tempting to dump all of your family’s bedding in one load, but you’ll need to do a few to get the job done right. “The leaves have to move around to be cleaned,” says Forte. “Today’s huge pucks can probably hold multiple games, but you should never pile them up. And if your washer has an agitator in the middle, don’t wrap the sheets around. This can wrinkle or tear them. them separately without wrapping them. “

    2. Using the wrong setting

    Choosing a heavy cycle is not necessary (unless your sheets are a serious mess). “It’s good to wash the sheets on the normal, regular or color cycle; they will always be clean, ”says Forte. “These options are softer and shorter than heavy duty applications and (depending on the machine) will cool the water gradually for fewer wrinkles.”

    3. Dry them too long

    Bedding may take a little longer to dry than a normal load of clothes, but leaving sheets in the dryer longer “just in case” can cause them to shrink. “Over-drying is definitely a problem,” says Forte. “It’s best to dry the leaves on a low heat for the shortest time possible (and yes, it may take some trial and error to be successful). It minimizes shrinkage and also helps reduce wrinkling.”

    4. Drying sheets with towels

    Not all linens are created the same, so it’s best to separate very different loads to avoid over-drying issues. “Sheets dry faster than towels, so when the sheets are dry the towels will likely still be damp,” says Forte. If you’re considering combining loads, Forte says it’s probably okay to put light cotton fabrics with linens, but towels are problematic.

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