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Posted by Nicholas Crusie

Washing Sheets: Learn How to Properly Disinfect Your Bedding

Odds are that you have a routine for washing your bedding: every so often you throw your bedding in the washer without a second thought of how you’re actually cleaning everything. However, this might not be the right approach. Instead, you need to think about how effectively you’re washing your bedding and consider taking some extra steps to thoroughly sanitize it as well. 

Why Do You Need to Disinfect Your Bedding?

As it turns out, our bedding acts as a hotbed for germs and bacteria that are hiding within the fibers of the fabric. When you think about it, it’s not really that surprising considering how much time we spend in contact with our bedding. And just because you can’t see it (or smell it) doesn’t mean that it’s not there! If you’re still not convinced here are some of the reasons why you should definitely be disinfecting your bedding on a regular basis:

  • We sweat at night. Sweating during your sleep is a pretty common occurrence. And where does all that sweat go? Into your sheets of course! Some people sweat more than others, and thus, need to incorporate more frequent disinfection.
  • We all have bodily fluids. There’s nothing more disgusting than bodily fluids in your bed. Some incidents involving bodily fluids may be more obvious than others. For example, if a child pees the bed or gets vomit in the bed -- you would need to clean and disinfect the bedding immediately. On the other hand, other incidents might not be as obvious. You’d be surprised how often trace amounts of fecal matter end up in our beds -- this is especially true if you like to sleep without clothes on. You can also easily end up with sexual fluids on your bedding if you don’t take the necessary precautions beforehand. All of these fluids can breed bacteria and viruses that you definitely don’t want in your sheets. 
  • We are all oily. Some people are more oily than others, but humans have natural oils that are secreted by our skin, especially in places like your face. These oils are easily transferred to our bedding and pillowcases that can then breed nasty bacteria that can cause you to break out! If you’re oily to begin with, this is definitely something you don’t want to happen -- which is why disinfecting your bedding is so important! 

How Often Do You Need to Disinfect Your Bedding?

There’s not really one magic number that will tell you how often you should be disinfecting your bedding. Instead, it really just depends on the circumstances and your own personal lifestyle. Here are some tips to follow in order to determine how often you need to be disinfecting your bedding:

  • When to disinfect your bedding right away. If you have an incident involving bodily fluids, then you need to disinfect right away. You should also disinfect your bedding right away if you are sick so that you can get rid of nasty bacteria that can either make you sicker or get others in your household sick! 
  • When to disinfect your bedding every week. If you have kids, pets, sweat a lot, or have really oily skin that is easily transferred to your bedding, then you need to disinfect your bedding every week. It’s also a good idea to disinfect your bedding every week during the summer since you’re likely sweating more due to the hotter temperatures. 
  • When to disinfect your bedding every other week. If you don’t fit into any of these scenarios or groups, then you should be good to disinfect your bedding at least every other week. However, when in doubt -- do it more frequently! 

How to Properly Disinfect Your Bedding?

A lot of people assume that they can just throw their bedding in the wash and consider it “disinfected.” However, that’s not necessarily the case! Just because you are washing your bedding doesn’t mean that you are properly disinfecting it. Here are some tips that you can follow to make sure that you are getting rid of 100% of the bacteria and germs lurking in your bedding that can wreak havoc on your body (inside and out):

  • Clear everything out. If you’re looking for a clean start, then you need to clean ALL of your bedding. Yes, all of it. We’re talking sheets, pillowcases, blankets, comforters, duvet covers, etc. Take everything off the bed and get ready to wash. 
  • Use the right settings. In order to properly disinfect your bedding, you need to use the right laundry settings. Don’t just set it on cold like you do for your colored clothes! Instead, you need to be setting your washing machine to the hottest temperature setting. This is because heat kills germs! After all, we are all told to wash our hands with warm water and soap -- not cold water. So the same goes with washing your bedding. We also recommend setting the machine to an extra cold rinse. If your sheets are especially soiled, make sure to set it to a heavy wash so that you are able to deep-clean everything properly.
  • Add in the right substances. When it comes to really disinfecting your bedding, you’re going to need more than just laundry detergent. That being said, don’t totally discount your regular detergent -- you’re going to need that too, it’s just going to need some extra assistance. So what else do you need? There are several different routes you can choose here for maximum disinfecting power:
    • Laundry sanitizer: One thing that you can use to disinfect your bedding is an actual laundry sanitizer! These products have been specially formulated for disinfecting without the use of bleach and are safe to use with all sorts of products and materials. 
    • Bleach: Bleach is a common and popular method of laundry disinfection for a reason! It really works and it can help to brighten whites if you’re using chlorine bleach. However, bleach is a strong chemical that many people are hesitant to use for a variety of different reasons. 
    • Hydrogen peroxide: If you’re not too crazy about using bleach to disinfect your bedding, a more gentle disinfectant that you can use is hydrogen peroxide. It’s great because it can be used with different types of fabrics and colors while acting as an antiseptic and deodorizer. Just add in one cup of hydrogen peroxide to your laundry for clean and fresh-smelling bedding.

How to Keep Bedding Cleaner for Longer

If you’re not looking to have to wash your bedding all the time (and who is?), there are actually some things that you can do to keep your bedding cleaner for longer periods of time:

  • Showering before bed gets rid of sweat and oils on your body and prevents nastiness from getting into your bed.
  • Keeping potentially dirty things out of your bed like food, pets, and kids will help keep your bedding clean. 
  • Using silver-infused sheets that are able to neutralize bacteria and prevent odors from occurring will also save you a ton of time and money in laundry efforts. The Miracle Brand has sheet sets, pillowcases, and even towels that are able to be washed three times less than regular sheets while still staying clean and odor-free! 

Conclusion

As you can see, disinfecting your bedding is an extremely important step within your laundry regimen. And while it might seem like a difficult process, it really doesn’t have to be! As long as you follow these steps, you can sleep peacefully in nice clean sheets every single night. 


Sources:

  1. https://www.rollingstone.com/product-recommendations/lifestyle/how-to-clean-bedding-disinfect-sheets-975518/
  2. https://www.today.com/home/how-often-you-should-wash-your-bedding-right-way-do-t49561
  3. https://www.insider.com/does-hydrogen-peroxide-kill-germs-and-viruses



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