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:
- Laundry detergent
- Dryer balls
Two hours or more
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:
- Read the care label: Always proceed according to the directions. Depending on the fabric, you might need to clean different types of bedding differently.
- Pretreat stains before washing: According to The Laundress you should always use cold water when working on blood stains.
- 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.
- Don’t overload the washer: In order to get clean, your sheets need room to move around the drum.
- Avoid dryer sheets: They make fabrics less absorbent.
- Use dryer balls: They don't soften the laundry, but as they bounce around, they can help prevent the load from twisting and bunching.
- (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.
- (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.
Tips for washing your comforter
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.
When you're ready, you can make your bed with your clean sheets and extra fluffy comforter. Sleep well!