How Often Should You Wash Bed Linens?

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Bed linens encompass more than bedsheets and pillowcases. The linens on your beds also include comforters, duvet covers and the protectors for pillows and mattresses. Keep your bedding comfortable by washing your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week, and blankets every other week. Things like pillows and mattress covers should be washed a few times a year, while bigger items, like comforters, should be washed once a year.

Weekly Washing

  • Schedule one day a week for changing and washing the bedsheets and pillowcases. Wash these items in hot water with your regular laundry detergent, and then dry them on high heat to kill germs. Schedule time every other week to wash your lightweight blankets and duvet covers. If you're not using the freshly laundered sheets on the beds right away, store them together with the matching pillowcases in your linen closet, a bureau or another location out of the direct glare of the sun.

Pillow Talk

  • Yes, you wash your pillowcases once a week, but you should also wash bed pillows two or four times a year. Wash the pillows in hot water and dry them on low heat. Take care not to overload the washer or dryer with too many pillows at one time, or the pillows won't get fully cleaned or dried.

Hit the Mattress

  • Wash mattress pads, if you have them, once a month. Mattress pads on children's beds should be washed after there's a bed-wetting or illness. Wash the mattress cover on the guest bed, and all other guest bedding, prior to a guest's arrival. While the mattress pad is being washed, take the time to clean the mattress. The mattress should be vacuumed cleaned with the upholstery attachment and then wiped clean of stains. Use a cloth dampened with cold water and several drops of of upholstery shampoo.

Yearly Washing

  • Schedule a time once a year when you wash bulkier items such as comforters, duvets and heavy blankets. Bring large items that won't fit in your washer and drier to a laundromat that has large capacity machines. Take other items, such as blankets made of wool, to the dry cleaner. Take care of these items during the warmer months when you don't need them at night.

Other Considerations

  • A sickness will gum up the works and throw off your laundering schedule. Wash the soiled bedding as needed and try to wash the pillowcases daily. Once the illness has passed, wash all of that person's bedding so she can relax and recuperate in a clean bed. Keep two matching sets of pillowcases and sheets for each bed. Extra pillowcases, top sheets and fitted sheets are nice to have on hand, especially when a flu bug strikes, and need not match. Store guest bedding in the guest room or in a separate guest bedding bin so when guests arrive clean bedding is at the ready.

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