bedsheets in washing machine
Jade Small
Jade Small
June 8, 2024 ·  3 min read

A Third Of People Only Wash Their Bedsheets Once A Year

How often do you wash your bedsheets? Honestly?

Thanks to bad clothing washing habits, the UK public has left themselves open to a variety of skin maladies and ridicule from the rest of the world. A survey conducted in the UK of 2000 people revealed that people only washed their sheets once or twice in a twelve-month period. 

Washing your bedding is extremely important as it prevents the production of fungi, bacteria, and animal dander that are commonly found on our sheets and bedding. Not to mention the many bodily fluids we secret, sweat and saliva, to name but two. 

How often do you wash your bedsheets?

A survey from the UK has shown that one in three people do not wash their bedsheets enough, even though not doing so can cause a build-up of dust mites and bed bugs, leading to severe skin irritation and even fungal infection. 

Philip Tierno is a microbiologist from New York University and has issued a statement saying that the ideal number of washes is once every seven days to avoid skin trouble. According to Philip, our bedsheets can easily become a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria,, and while a little won’t hurt you, too much may kill you. This conclusion is backed by Doctor Aragona Giuseppe, GP and Medical advisor at Prescription Doctor.[1]

What about the rest of your stuff?

On top of that, a further 36% of the UK public admits to washing their blankets only once a year. Also, 18% confessing to not washing their jeans as much as they should. So, it would seem that we practice a much more reasonable washing routine when it comes to towels. Some say their towels get washed after every use, but some say that only after 3-5 uses. 

Seasonal clothing such as scarves, hats, and gloves are rarely washed, if at all, even though gloves are an excellent hotbed for bacteria and can pick up germs and dirt very well and then trap it in the fibers. The latest information says we should wash them every 5-10 uses. 

When it comes to underwear, the UK public practice much better cleanliness. With over 80% washing their underwear after every use but there is a fairly significant gender difference. 25% of men said they wash their underwear after every fifth use compared to only 13% of women. A darker discovery showed that 10% of men only wash their underwear after every tenth use compared with just 3% of women. 

Interestingly enough, the survey also revealed that millennials (25-35-years-old) are by far the cleanest generation. They showed 17% washing their clothes after every use while those over the age of 65 having the lowest percentage at 12%.

The facts and the figures

The head of production and marketing for Hammonds Furniture, Kristy Oakes, said;

We all have those items on our life laundry to-do list that we put off, and for some people, that can literally be the washing! Especially now that so many of us are working from home and can go for days without washing or seeing people outside of our own homes, it can be tempting to let the washing slide for another day” 

If you are one of the people who do not wash their bedsheets as often as you should, you may want to fix that! Not only is it highly recommended and can only benefit you, the small amount of effort is well worth the benefits.

The following is a summary of the survey showing the recommended frequency of washing [2]

  • Bedsheets – One to two weeks
  • Underwear – After each use
  • Bras – Three to four times a week
  • Jeans – Five to ten uses
  • Coats – Once in a season 
  • T-shirts – After every third use
  • Gloves – After ten uses
  • Hats – After every tenth wear
  • Scarves – After the fifth wear
  • Suits – After three uses
  • Towels – After every third use
  • Hoodies and pull-overs – After seven to ten uses

Maintaining a proper cleaning routine can drastically improve the quality of your well-being, both physically and emotionally. We just feel better when we are clean. When we feel better, we look better, and when we look better, we do better. So wash your bedsheets and everything else! Please![2]

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  1. A Third Of People Only Wash Their Bedsheets Once A Year.Tyla. Joanna Freedman. October 15, 2020.
  2. Some people only wash their bedsheets once a year.” Wales Online. Neil Shaw. October 15, 2020.