The ‘biggest mistake’ when it comes to washing bedding – are your sheets at risk?

Lynsey Crombie gives tip for cleaning mattress stains

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Changing your bed sheets may seem like a chore, but it’s a crucial one which will benefit your health as well as maintain your mattress. After just a few days your sheets will take on dead skin cells, sweat, body oils, dirt and dust mites – but many of us aren’t changing them regularly enough.

The Sleep Foundation recommends changing sheets once a week in order to prevent skin issues, allergies and even asthma attacks.

If you have asthma or suffer from allergies, you may want to change your sheets every three to four days the experts say.

And as the temperature soars during the summer months, washing more often is key to tackling increased levels of sweat and allergens.

Not only can washing your sheets more often improve respiratory health and skin problems, but it can also reduce the risk of dust mites.

How often do you change your sheets? Have your say in the comments below.

Dust mites can’t be seen with the naked eye and are very common in households but they can cause skin rashes and irritation.

For those with allergies dust mites can also be a trigger.

Washing sheets is key to tackling dust mites as they can multiply at rapid rates – living off our dead skin cells.

So changing your sheets regularly prevents the rapid spread and stops them from causing skin issues.

How to wash your bedsheets

Washing your sheets depends on the material they are made from, so make sure to check the manufacturer’s label for the best advice.

However, there is a general rule of thumb when it comes to bed sheets.

Wash using the hottest water you can, referring to the label to prevent damage to your sheets.

Add gentle detergent to your washing machine and wash, potentially rinsing afterwards if you have sensitive skin.

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You can also add half a cup of baking soda to your sheet wash as this will tackle odours and even whiten sheets.

Baking soda also helps to reduce bacteria.

Hang to dry or tumble dry on low, making sure the sheets are thoroughly dry before putting on your bed.

You can also give your mattress a clean every so often to ensure your bed is as clean as it can be.

First, vacuum the mattress to remove any remaining dust or skin flakes.

Then sprinkle baking soda over the mattress and leave to sit for several hours, then hoover away the baking soda.

Finally, remember to flip your mattress every three months and carry out the mattress cleaning regularly.

Check the best flipping/rotating for your mattress, as some mattresses – like memory foam mattresses – only need to be rotated 180 degrees.

Adding a mattress protector underneath your sheets will also help to keep your mattress in the best possible condition and make cleaning easier.

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