1706122586 Microbes moisture… How often should you wash your bed linen

Microbes, moisture… How often should you wash your bed linen and towels? Southwest

Everyone seems to have a different opinion about how often towels and linens should be washed. While many people wonder whether a few days or weeks is enough, a survey in the UK found that almost half of single men don't wash their bed linen for up to four months.

Of course four months is too long, but what is the ideal frequency?

Bed linen and towels are very different items and therefore need to be washed at different intervals. While one to two weeks is usually enough for bed linens, it's best to change towels every two days.

Who doesn't love the feeling of clean sheets or the smell of a freshly washed towel?

Why you should wash your towels more often

When you dry off, thousands of skin cells and millions of microbes are deposited on the towel. And because you use your towel to dry off after showering or bathing, it often stays damp.

Plus, you're leaving a lot of dead skin, germs, sweat, and oils on your sheets every night. But as long as you don't sweat excessively at night, your bedding won't be wet after a night's sleep.

Additionally, towels are made of thicker material than sheets and therefore tend to stay damp longer.

People don't always agree on how often bedding should be changed.

People don't always agree on how often bedding should be changed.

Why is humidity a problem? Wet towels are a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. They love moist environments. And while they're not necessarily visible (you'd have to grow significantly to see them), they can cause an unpleasant odor.

In addition to odors, exposure to these microbes in your towels and sheets can cause asthma, allergic skin irritation, or other skin infections.

So what is the ideal frequency?

Bedding depends on several factors, such as whether you bathe or shower right before bed, or whether you go to bed after a long day of sweating and shower in the morning. In the latter case, you will need to wash your bedding more often. As a rule of thumb, once a week or every two weeks is sufficient.

Towels should ideally be changed more frequently – about every other day – while you should replace your washcloth after every use. Because it is completely wet, it stays wet longer and retains more skin cells and microbes.

By washing your towels at a high temperature (e.g. 65°C), you eliminate many germs. If you want to save energy, you can use a lower temperature and add a cup of vinegar to the washing water. The vinegar kills germs and prevents bad smells from forming.

Clean your washing machine regularly and dry the fold in the rubber after each wash cycle, as germs like to thrive here too.

Stinky towels

Do you wash your towels regularly but the bad smell remains? This phenomenon can be explained by leaving them in the washing machine for too long after washing. Especially if it's a hot water cycle, the long time the towels stay warm and damp can cause germs to grow. In the laboratory, the number of these bacteria can double every 30 minutes.

Towels should be washed more often than bed linen.

Towels should be washed more often than bed linen.

It is important that you hang your towel to dry after use and do not leave it in the washing machine after the wash cycle is complete. If possible, hang your towels and bed linen in the sun. They dry completely quickly and retain the pleasant smell of fresh, clean cotton. The dryer is a good option in inclement weather, but it's always best to hang them outside if possible.

Even if your towel is intended for washing, don't throw it in the laundry basket if it's still wet, as it's an ideal place for germs to breed. When you do your laundry, the towel and other nearby clothes may have acquired an unpleasant odor. And it can be difficult to get the towels smelling clean again.

How about “self-cleaning” towels and bed linen?

Some companies sell “quick-drying” towels or “self-cleaning” towels and linens. Quick-drying towels are made from synthetic materials that are woven to dry quickly. This helps prevent the proliferation of microbes and bad odors that arise when towels remain wet for a long period of time.

But the concept of self-cleaning products is more complex. Most of these products contain nanosilver or copper, antibacterial metals that kill microorganisms. Antibacterial compounds stop the growth of bacteria and can help limit odors and reduce the frequency with which you have to clean your linens and towels.

However, they do not remove dirt such as oils, dander and sweat. Although I would love if sheets and towels cleaned themselves, the reality is very different.

Additionally, excessive use of antimicrobial agents such as nanosilver can promote microbial resistance.