You’re washing your bedding all wrong

If you don’t wash sheets and comforters this way, they’re gross.

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How often do you wash your bedsheets? If it’s been more than a week or two at the most, you’re sleeping surrounded by body oils, bacteria, dead skin cells, and dust mites. Ewwww. Cleaning and drying your bedding correctly will help thwart germs and allergens, and might even help you sleep better. Since the sleep is the new status symbol, or so says the New York Times, washing your bedding the right way at the right time is one of the easiest ways to up your snooze game.

What You Need:

  • Bedding
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Laundry detergent
  • Dryer balls

Time Needed

Two hours or more

Difficulty

Easy

Washing-your-bedding
Credit: Getty images / Anne Boonkerdthinthai

Wash your bedding once every week or so, and don't stuff it into the washer. It needs room to move around the drum to make sure it gets clean.

Step-by-step

Here’s the right way to wash your bedding every week to make sure it’s really clean and comes out of the dryer nice and puffy:

  1. Read the care label: Always proceed according to the directions. Depending on the fabric, you might need to clean different types of bedding differently.
  2. Pretreat stains before washing: According to The Laundress you should always use cold water when working on blood stains.
  3. Select the right cycle and water temperature: Again, follow the instructions on the care tag and tweak them based on the dirtiness of the bedding. Using a heavy cycle with hot water does a great job removing body oils from your linens, modern detergents can do a decent job in cold water, and cause less wear and tear.
  4. Don’t overload the washer: In order to get clean, your sheets need room to move around the drum.
  5. Avoid dryer sheets: They make fabrics less absorbent.
  6. Use dryer balls: They don't soften the laundry, but as they bounce around, they can help prevent the load from twisting and bunching.
  7. (Optional) Hang sheets out on a clothesline once in a while: If you can do this from time to time, it gives bedding an incredibly fresh smell and lets sunlight disinfect it.
  8. (Optional) Iron to kill germs and dust mites: According to the Tide website, some of bacteria and mites will make it through the wash cycle. Ironing finishes them off.
Ironing-sheets
Credit: Getty Images / FotoDuets

Ironing sheets is no fun and we wouldn't blame you if you skipped it. Just don't forget that a hot iron will destroy any bacteria or dust mites that made it through the wash cycle.

Tips for washing your comforter

How-to-wash-comforters
Credit: Getty Images / Karammiri

You don't have to wash your comforter as often as you wash your sheets, as long as you protect it with a duvet cover. Make sure your comforter is fully dry before you put it away.

If you protect it with a duvet cover or use a top sheet, you only have to wash your comforter a few times a year.

Here are a few reminders:

Again, read the tag: Some comforters are dry clean only.

Use a big washer: Give your comforter enough space to get clean. Don’t try to stuff it into a compact washer or dryer—it won't get clean and the filling will get compacted. A trip to the laundromat may be necessary to clean and dry a big comforter in an extra large machine.

Add dryer balls: Don't expect them to soften (they don’t actually do that) but they may help keep the fill in the comforter from bunching up as it dries. Feel free to open the dryer and fluff the comforter manually a few times during the cycle.

Allow enough time: Depending on your dryer and the setting you choose, the comforter might take hours to dry. Don't start washing and drying your comforter right before bedtime.

Make-the-bed
Credit: Getty Images / 2Mmedia

Once they're clean and dry, you can put the clean, fresh linens back on your bed. Now, get in the habit of doing this every week.

When you're ready, you can make your bed with your clean sheets and extra fluffy comforter. Sleep well!

Related

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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