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How often you should wash bed sheets?

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

- | Sun, April 8, 2018 | 08:09 am
How often you should wash bed sheets?

Though we may associate beds with comfort, the very place could be a “botanical park” of bacteria and fungus, according to New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno. (Shutterstock/Chris Singshinsuk)

We spend around a third of our lives in bed. Though we may associate beds with comfort, the very place could be a “botanical park” of bacteria and fungus, according to New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno.

As quoted by Kompas from Science Alert, "You have spores of fungi, bacteria, animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, finishing agents of whatever the sheets are made from, coloring material, all sorts of excrements from the body including sweat, sputum, vaginal and anal excretions, urine milieu, skin cells," said Tierno.

He also added a list of other possibilities, ranging from cosmetics and food, which could provide a nice environment for those organisms.

It is said that humans naturally produce 98.4 liters of sweat in bed every year. At high humidity, this kind of moisture is an “ideal fungal culture medium”.

Read also: Washing new clothes necessary to prevent skin irritation

With time passing, Tierno said the accumulated amount of fungi and bacteria could be dramatic.  

There are also the dust mites that live in beds and make a meal from dead skin flakes. Their feces and debris could act as allergens, meaning they may cause stuffy noses, allergies or aggravate asthma.

With all the lurking creatures on bed sheets and pillows accumulating between one or two weeks, Tierno recommended that they should be washed once a week.  

CNET reported that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends washing your bedding at least once a week. You'll need to wash them in water that is at least 54.4 Celsius to kill the dust mites.

Meanwhile, a duvet cover is recommended to be washed every six months, depending on use. (wng)

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