There’s really no better feeling than crawling into a freshly-made bed with just-out-of-the-dryer sheets. And clean sheets don’t just feel great — they help promote better health too, as noted by The Sleep Foundation. But here’s some cleaning info you need to know. You should be washing your sheets one a week and fully replacing them every two years. If you allow pets to sleep in your bed with you, or if you have allergies — which can get worse at night — washing your sheets every three to four days is optimal. It’s also a good idea to wash your sheets more often in the warmer months, as you tend to sweat more and seasonal allergies are at their peak.
But if chlorine bleach is your standard method of getting your white sheets back to their pristine brightness, you may not actually be cleaning them as thoroughly as you think. But luckily, laundry expert Patric Richardson has some better tips for keeping your sheets clean, soft, and well-maintained for as long as possible (via Reviewed).
How to clean your sheets properly
While The Sleep Foundation suggests washing sheets in the hottest water the care instructions of your particular set allows for, there are some other tricks you can use. Laundry expert Patric Richardson says you should use bleach to get stains and soil out of sheets, but not the bleach you’re thinking of. On chlorine bleach, Richardson said, “If you can tell me that it’s OK for me to bleach my black sheets back to black, then I’ll tell you it’s OK for you to bleach your white sheets back to white” (via Reviewed). Instead, he recommended using an oxygen-based agent like OxiClean. Not only does it outperform chlorine bleach, but it doesn’t weaken fibers.
Both Richardson and The Sleep Foundation suggested an extra rinse cycle of your sheets to get all the detergent out, as some cleaning substances can linger after a regular wash, resulting in dingy-looking sheets. And skip the fabric softener and dryer sheets. We know that might sound counterintuitive, but Richardson explained that “the reason sheets feel so good is because they’re breathable and they wick. You take both of those characteristics away with fabric softener and dryer sheets.”
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