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How often to wash sheets?

How often should we be washing our bedsheets? Given how good it feels to slide into a clean bed after a long day, it is surprising how few people wash the sheets every week or two.

In fact, research shows some don’t even feel pressed to change them after six months!

A YouGov poll of the British public recently found that while a third of Brits (33%) wash their sheets weekly, they were topped by the ‘two-weeker’ group, at 35%.

Then there were those who wash sheets less frequently, every 3,4,5,6 or 7 weeks. These were balanced out by a marginal super-hygienic group, numbering 3% of the population, who reported they wash their bedsheets more often than once a week.

Almost inevitably, age was a factor, with younger respondents less likely to wash their sheets often. Over a third (37%) of 18-24 year-olds fell into the 3-7 week category, compared with just 14% of over-60s.

Meanwhile 42% of over-60s are ‘Weekly Washers’, compared to just 16% of 18-24 year-olds.

Gender was also a factor.

When asked at what stage they feel unwashed sheets become ‘unhygienic’ and at what stage they become ‘disgusting’, men generally were found less perturbed, as their definition of unhygienic bedsheets tends to be those not washed after four weeks, while women say three weeks.

Likewise, men’s definition of ‘disgusting’ sheets was not washing them until after 6 weeks, while the average British woman said that after 5 weeks a bed would already be disgusting.

Australians are a little more finicky, it seems. In 2022, consumer comparison website Canstar Blue surveyed the washing habits of more than 3000 Aussies, and found that three in four wash their sheets at least once in two weeks and nearly the same number – 74% – of people also wash their towels at least once a week.

In the United States, a survey conducted by home textile company Coyuchi found that 44% of Americans wash their sheets once or twice a month, 11% wash their sheets once a quarter while 5% wash them only once or twice a year.

Weighing in on the topic for news.com.au’s podcast ‘I’ve Got News For You’, Aussie science guru Dr Karl Kruszelnicki suggested it probably depends on your lifestyle factors – where you live, whether you have pets, if you shower before you go to bed.

“But as a general rule of thumb, you should be aiming for once a fortnight”, he added.

“On one hand, enough so you don’t get bad reactions, like coughing, or skin infections, or bed bugs and so forth.”

On the question of how to best wash sheets, Dr Karl suggests leaving plenty of room in the machine for the water to thoroughly move through.

Whenever possible, dry sheets in the sunshine for added freshness and to deter any dust mites that survived the wash.

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


0417 007 001

Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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