We shed millions of skin cells along with sweat and oil every time we hit the sack. This makes our bed a breeding ground for beds bugs and dust mites that may not be visible to our eyes. We may be harboring these bugs without our knowing it, so it’s important we wash our bedding regularly. So how often should we wash them?
Experts recommend washing bed sheets every other week, and your eyes may widen at the frequency. But if you, your spouse, or kids sweat a lot at night, it is even recommended you do bedding laundry once a week. (For blankets, comforters and duvets, they can be washed two to three times a year.)
Washing bed linens at this frequency is also practical—dirt doesn’t accumulate and the stains don’t overstay their welcome. We need to be careful, however, on how we wash our sheets so that we can still maintain the quality of fabric and color even after repeated washing. Here are the most common mistakes we make when we do our bed linen laundry. 1. We dump all your linens in the washer. Not all linens are made equally, so it’s best to check the manufacturer’s wash recommendations. Fabrics that should NOT be put in the washer include silk, satin, wool, and fabric with embroidery and stitching.
2. We overload the washing machine. Make sure there’s enough space for the linens to move around the bin to be cleaned efficiently. Oliver Sy, whose company Quirks Marketing Philippines distributes the bedding line of DwellStudio, highly recommends washing pillow cases inside out.
3. We use bleach to treat stains. Sy says bleach will affect the color of the print of the linen. He suggests that we dab the stain with facial tissue or cotton to absorb the stain. Spritz it with water, just enough to make it damp and cover with baking soda. Leave for a few minutes and wash.
Instead of bleach, you can try hydrogen peroxide, which not affect colored fabric. Try this formula from Reader’s Digest: Mix a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a dab of non-gel toothpaste. Rub the paste on the stain with a soft cloth. Rinse.
Sy suggests also using laundry detergent made for babies’ clothes. These are gentle enough to not ruin the integrity and color of bed linens. But, as all stain treatments, try it first to see if there are any discolorations.
4. We dry linens with the outside facing the sun. We need to dry them inside out so the color or print does not fade easily. On a side note, there’s nothing like the rays of the sun to kill germs and mildew and keep our linens smelling clean and fresh.
5. We over-iron our bed sheets. Overtime, the linens can get a shiny, plastic look. If you’re keen on having unwrinkled sheets, it’s best to steam bed linens.