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12th Sep 2015

A definite answer to how often you should wash your bedsheets

The rules of hygiene

Tony Cuddihy

This does not make good reading for the lazy feckers among you.

This writer once lived with a fellow student who didn’t wash his sheets for two years. True story. Now, reading this, we don’t know how he wasn’t hospitalised.

According to Buzzfeed, you should be washing your bedsheets once a week or else bad things will happen.


“As a general rule of thumb, the closer the fabric is to the skin, the more frequently it should be washed,” dermatologist Joshua Zeichner says.

“It also depends on how much time is spent in the bed, how much oil is on the skin, and how many people sleep in the bed. The issue is the dirt, oil, and bacteria accumulate on the skin and are transferred to your bedding.”

If you can’t go ten minutes without breaking into a sneezing fit, dirty sheets could be the answer.

“You have a combination of body oils, skin cells, dust mites, bacteria, and mold culture that can grow on unwashed sheets. Allergens are the more prevalent adverse exposure potential,” environmental health professor Kelly Reynolds adds.


“Some people are more allergic than others, and as more time goes on without washing you can develop a higher risk of allergies.”

You should also be washing your pillowcases frequently, especially if you suffer from acne.

“Unclean pillowcases can contribute to acne breakouts. Your skin is directly in contact with the pillowcase, which can promote blocked pores,” Zeichner says.

“Especially for people who wear makeup. Sometimes makeup isn’t completely washed off before bed, and that — along with dirt and skin oils — is transferred to your pillow.”

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