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How to Wash and Clean Sheets

In this article we will talk about everything you need to know about washing your sheets and how often to do it. Generally, washing the bed sheets is not everyone’s favourite chore! In fact, almost three fifths of us don’t change our bed sheets each week, research from cleaning firm End of Tenancy Cleaning London has revealed. However, in light of everyone taking precautions against Coronavirus, it’s both important and essential to remember to clean the sheets to prevent germs and dust mites from harbouring.

Dust mites can multiply quickly in unwashed bedding. This is because these microscopic creatures feed on dead skin, which builds up in your sheets every night. The Sleep Council estimates that as much as a tenth of the weight of a pillow that has never been washed is made up of human skin scales, mould, dust mites (including dead dust mites) and their droppings. Pleasant thought! While this isn’t great news for anyone, those who suffer from a dust mite allergy, asthma or eczema should particularly take care. Dust mite faeces actually contain an allergen which relates to all of the above conditions. Fear not though, if you want to keep the germs and dust mites at bay from your bed, follow these handy DOs and DON’Ts.

DO wash sheets and blankets at least once a fortnight

If someone in your household has asthma, eczema or a dust mite allergy, follow Allergy UK’s advice and change bedding weekly.

DO wash bedding at 60°C or above

Although dust mite droppings will be washed away if you launder bedding at a lower temperature, the mites themselves will survive, which won’t help in the long-run.

DO clean stuffed toys regularly

Persuading your child to part with a favourite teddy – even temporarily – is no mean feat. Assuming you manage this, the best course of action is to launder it at 60°C to kill any dust mites that might be lurking inside, but the care label may state that it can't be washed at this high a temperature. If this is the case, Allergy UK recommends putting the toy in a plastic bag and popping it in the freezer for at least 12 hours before washing according to the care label. Try to do this once a month.

DON’T forget the duvet

The GHI recommends laundering duvets and pillows at least twice a year.

‘If your duvet is machine washable, check your washing machine’s drum capacity before attempting to wash it at home,' advises Verity Mann, Head of Testing at the GHI. 'There should be room for it to move around in the machine. If there isn’t, or if your duvet is 13.5 tog or higher, or larger than king size, you’re better off taking it to a launderette. With both pillows and duvets, it’s important to dry them as quickly as possible, especially if they have a natural fibre filling, which holds moisture more readily and could start to rot.’

DO vacuum your mattress

Some mattress manufacturers state that vacuuming certain types of mattress can displace the filling inside, so always check the care guide that came with the mattress first. If you are going to vacuum your mattress, use the upholstery attachment and the lowest suction setting on the cleaner. Aim to do this every couple of months, vacuuming the bed frame and the area directly underneath and surrounding the bed while you’re at it.

DON’T make your bed!

Or, at least, don’t make your bed as soon as you get up in the morning. We sweat while we sleep and a neatly rearranged duvet can trap moisture and warmth inside your bed, making your bed irresistible to dust mites.

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