The cost of living crisis has changed the way households use their washing machine in a bid to cut water and electricity bills.
However, the correct temperature must be chosen when washing bedding and duvets to ensure they are hygienically clean.
Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Chris Tattersall, Sleep Expert and Woolroom MD about cleaning bed sheets.
He said: “Washing your bed sheets is a task that should be completed once a week, which can be extended to two weeks should you not sleep in your bed every evening.
“This regularity is one that surprises many but is a result of bed sheets gathering large quantities of dead skin, sweat, body oils, dirt and most notably dust mites. Common throughout the home, dust mites thankfully do not bite, but they can irritate the skin and are a known cause of aggravating allergy symptoms.
“Should you suffer from eczema or asthma, cleaning your sheets more regularly is the best way to alleviate symptoms.
“Moreover, in the summer months, you should clean your sheets more regularly due to the warmer weather which can cause excess sweating in the night.”
As for what temperature to wash bedding at, Chris revealed: “When it comes to the washing, this should be done on a regular 40-degree wash.”
When the bed is stripped, it’s a good idea to assess your mattress protector and duvet to see if these need a wash too, or replacing altogether.
Chris said the frequency of washing your duvet and mattress protector depends on what it is made of. He explained: “With duvets and mattress protectors, these have a lifespan of around five years, though this will be determined by the fibres used in your duvet.
“All of the dead skin and body oil, combined with your sweat as you sleep, is absorbed by your bedding, making it a breeding ground for dust mites by providing them with a food source. [In turn, this can] cause irritated eyes and a runny nose, [and] therefore disrupt your sleep meaning keeping your bedding clean is imperative.
“When it comes to washing a synthetic or feather/down duvet or mattress protector, it takes six weeks for house dust mites to completely colonise your bedding if unwashed at 60 degrees, and therefore you should wash them regularly.”
In terms of knowing when to replace a duvet, Chris said: “You can tell if a duvet has come to the end of its life when it feels limp and thin, a result of the filling being compressed which in turn means that the fibres are no longer able to trap air, and therefore maintain body temperature effectively.
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“In the same way, if the filling is unevenly spread or leaking out, it’s time for a new one. This is an issue that synthetic and down/feather fibre duvets are far more susceptible to than those filled with wool, meaning they can last around 10-15 years, outliving the synthetic and down/feather alternatives.”
If you need a new duvet, Chris said to consider a wool duvet instead of a synthetic or feather/down duvet. He explained the benefits: “Wool is naturally resistant to dust mites and the build-up of micro-bacteria due to the fibre’s moisture management properties.”
Wool is also “self-cleaning” due to its “natural antimicrobial textile” which protects “against bacteria, mould and mildew”. Therefore, when it comes to washing a wool duvet, it “only needs to be hung out on a washing line with direct sunlight… to keep it clean and fresh”.
The expert added: “Moreover, having a duvet (or other bedding) that is self-washable means that they needn’t be replaced so often. Should you want to wash your wool bedding, make sure it’s machine washable, use a wool cycle and wool detergent.
“Woolroom is one of the only retailers in the UK to offer machine-washable wool, a process which has taken years to develop. Once washed, wool duvets are quick to dry outside on the washing line or hung up indoors.”
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Wool is also beneficial for anyone with allergies, Chris revealed: “Should the user suffer from asthma, eczema of other allergies, older, synthetic duvets can worsen the effects, as well as that of dust mites.
“Wool duvets ease this issue through superior moisture management, as wool naturally prevents the build-up of these little critters, aiding allergies and cleaning your sleep environment.”
Wool duvets are also “an effective bedding fibre” for both hot summer nights and cold winter nights. Chris said: “It keeps you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold, due to wool’s natural temperature regulating properties.
“Wool has breathable air pockets, allowing air to circulate and prevent heat building up during the night, and has amazing moisture-transporting capabilities, absorbing and evaporating sweat, keeping you dry and comfortable on hot summer nights.
“Wool works very differently to synthetic or feather/down duvets, whose fibres trap in heat and humidity, causing excessive sweating and then subsequent waking in the night.”
Woolroom currently has a summer sale on of up to 40% off selected items.
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