Michael Young

5 reasons why you should wash your sheets every week

Michael Young
5 reasons why you should wash your sheets every week

“Tonight, I will be in my bed.”

This mantra is what Chris Sacca, a venture capitalist known for being an early-stage investor in Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and Kickstarter, repeated to himself during a cross-country charity bike ride from Santa Barbara, California, to Charleston, South Carolina.

For Sacca, it was a reminder that no matter what he was going through during the day, at night he could crawl under the covers into a freshly made bed with clean sheets. If you’ve ever had a particularly tough day, you’ve probably also longed for the moment when you could cast off your troubles and sandwich yourself between a pair of fresh sheets.

It’s not just the heavenly feeling that goes along with having a clean bed. Here are 5 reasons why you should wash your sheets every week!

1. You bring a lot of stuff home with you.

Even if you’re a relatively clean person, you bring a lot of things with you other than your body when you get into bed. Pollen, dander, dirt, grime, and even fecal matter collect and fester in your sheets. The longer you go without washing them, the more of these particles you’ll collect.

You might think that the simple act of showering can resolve these issues, and that’s partially correct. However, you also sweat throughout the night. And, if you go to bed with wet hair, you’ve opened up a whole new possibility of grossness. Wet hair creates a hospitable environment for mold and mildew, which are also pretty disgusting.

2. Your bed is a giant germ factory.

You might think of your bed as a sanctuary. A safe place from the troubles of the world. Well, dust mites share your sentiment. In fact, 84% of beds in America have dust mites.

These little creatures feast on your dead skin. Their presence can cause allergies, and if you wake up in the morning with a runny nose and watery eyes, you just might have a dust mite problem. Extreme sufferers, particularly children and the elderly population, can also experience asthma attacks.

If you’re not grossed out yet, consider this. You’re not actually allergic to the bugs themselves. It’s their droppings that set off your immune system and cause the allergic reaction. The number of droppings the average dust mite excretes daily is around 20. Multiply that by a population of dust mites (anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million), and you can see how this could be a problem.

Remember when I said that 84% of beds have dust mites? I bet you’re wondering about the other 16%, aren’t you? Well, those are the homes that are made up of responsible people who wash their sheets every week.  

3. Not washing your sheets can make you sick.

So maybe you’re one of the lucky ones without dust mites, plus you shower before bed, and you consider yourself a generally clean person.

Ask yourself if you might engage in any other activities while you’re in bed. Whether you relax with a cup of tea, snack on a donut, use your bed as a home office, let your pets sleep with you, or engage in some fun extracurricular behavior (wink, wink), all of these things contribute to making your bed a very dirty place.

According to hygiene doctor (yes, those exist), Dr. Lisa Ackerley, our skin sheds various forms of bacteria, especially at night. If that bacteria gets into an open wound, or even a scratch, you could end up with a serious blood infection.

If you sleep with a partner, watch out. You can spread cases of athlete’s foot and other viruses like the cold and flu. And if you’re female, your dirty sheets could even give you a yeast infection or a UTI (for the mean reading this, that stands for urinary tract infection).

Comfortable bed.jpeg

4. Because you love that ahhhhhh moment.

Let’s stop talking about icky stuff, shall we? After all, this isn’t a lecture. It’s more of a tough love “you’ll thank me for this later” kind of thing.

Speaking of parents and the unoriginal clichés they repeat to us generation after generation, I want to share a memory with you. If you think back to your childhood, you probably have a similar memory.

I was in kindergarten, and I had the chicken pox (do people still even get that?). Anyway, I didn’t have a terrible case, but I felt awful. I had a fever, my skin was itchy, I was nauseous, and I guess the best way to describe my emotional state was “blah.”

I was taking a calamine bath that smelled funky and didn’t help my itching one bit, and my mom changed the sheets during my 30-minute soak. Emerging from the bath, I toweled off, put on my footsie pajamas, and my mom tucked me into bed.

How can I describe the crisp yet soft sheets, the smell of clean and the coolness of my bed? It was heavenly. I felt instantly better. When I woke up the next morning, I was a completely new person. There’s just something about clean sheets. Know what I mean?

5. French linen gets better with every wash.

Like your favorite pair of jeans, French linen sheets soften up the more you wash them. This is in stark contrast to other types of sheets that fall apart with age. For example, I have plain cotton sheets that have totally lost all the elastic around the corners of the fitted sheet. Actually, I take that back. I used to have those. Total rubbish and not even fit to recycle into cleaning rags.

I was also on the t-shirt sheet bandwagon for awhile. Remember when those were all the rage? An old roommate turned me on to those things. She insisted that her boyfriend literally fell in love with her because she put the jersey knit t-shirt sheets on her bed. I think there was more to it than that, but I followed her lead and got three different sets. Sadly, they fell apart within a year.

With French linen bedding, you get strength and durability, as well as a softening of the material as you continue to wash it. It’s twice as durable as cotton bedding, so you’ll enjoy this soft and luxurious bedding for years.

And if you end up skipping a week between washings, you might find some comfort in knowing that linen bedding is bacteria resistant, absorbs moisture to keep you cool, and repels dirt. So, if you’re having one of those weeks, go ahead and skip a few days. I promise not to tell.