Let’s face it, changing bed sheets is one of the more laborious weekend chores.
But if you’ve been postponing yours for longer than you care to admit, you could be in for a nasty surprise.
According to Mary Malone, a laundry expert at about.com, leaving bed sheets unchanged for long periods of time could lead to a whole host of health problems, such as infected wounds and athlete’s foot.
According to Malone, during sleep we continue to perspire, meaning body oils and soil are released.
“It is possible to find saliva, urine, genital fluids and faecal matter in the fibres,” she told ATTN.
“If the [sheets] are not washed regularly, and the occupant has scratches or wounds, they can become infected.”
She added that athlete’s foot and other fungi can be transferred from fabrics.
“Infrequent cleaning of sheets and pillowcases allows the fluids to seep into the pillows and mattresses, and those are much more difficult to clean than tossing sheets in the washer,” she said.
But Professor Val Curtis, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, doesn’t think dirty bed sheets are particularly dangerous.
“As far as I know, no one has ever done a study showing that not changing your sheets can lead to health problems,” she told The Huffington Post UK.
“Bed sheets are not a particularly good habitat for the bacteria that can cause skin infections, and lice and bed bugs have become quite rare these days.
“But regular washing will keep your sheets looking, smelling and feeling nice, just like changing your clothes regularly.”
For that reason, Curtis recommends changing your sheets once per week for “aesthetic reasons”.