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But Really...How Often Should I Wash My Sheets?

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Once a month? Once a year? Only when your parents visit?

While you know to wash your sheets when they become crumb-laden or visibly discolored, you may be wondering how often experts recommend you regularly toss them in the washer. There's no schedule set in stone that can guarantee your bedding will remain germ-free for the long run, but there are general pointers to follow that can keep your sheets as hygienic as possible.

Breakdown by Fabric
According to Martha Stewart Living magazine, sheets should be washed at least once every week. Experts recommend this frequent washing cycle as it can get rid of all that dirt, debris, crumbs or dust that accumulates on your sheets during the week. While it's best to toss your sheets in the washer once a week, specific care varies based on the fabric.

"For hygiene purposes, sheets should be washed at least once a week."

  • Cotton: Sheets made from cotton are generally more durable than those with special trims or fabrics. These sheets should be washed in a warm cycle, which can protect the integrity of the fibers. Wash these sheets separately from other clothing items to prevent them from getting hooked, snagged or discolored.   
  • Silk: These types of sheets require a bit more care. Since they're often high-quality - and high-priced - you'll want to take extra caution when tossing them in the washer. Instead of using the same detergent you use for your clothing, opt for a gentle product to keep the sheets soft. Follow the instructions that come along with newer sheets - often, it's recommended that you hand wash thinner fabrics during the first few cycles.
  • Flannel: You've likely already broken out the flannel sheets for the colder months. While this fabric is sturdier than silk, it's more likely to absorb that sweat and grime. If you're particularly active, you may want to wash this fabric more than once a week.
While you're catching zzz's, your sheets are catching dust, dirt and grime.

What About My Comforter?
Thankfully, your comforter doesn't need to be washed nearly as frequently as your sheets. Good Housekeeping magazine reported that you only have to wash your comforter about two to three times each year. While comforters made from cotton or sturdy fabrics can be washed in a regular cycle, others require special steps before washing. If you have a heated comforter, it's imperative that you follow the care and cleaning guide that came along with your product.