How Often Should You Wash Towels, Sheets & Pyjamas?

How Often Should You Wash Towels, Sheets & Pyjamas?


How often?

You need to wash towels after every three to four uses. This is because dead skin cells tend to linger in towels. The musty smell is bacteria growing on your towel! Towels that are used after a workout need to be washed more often.

How to clean towels

Wash towels at as high a temperature as possible, check the towel’s care label to avoid shrinkage. This ensures you kill any germs that may be lurking on the towel.

For white/pale towels, use a biological powder as they contain enzymes to break down protein, starch and fat-based stains, bleaching agents, and optical brighteners to whiten. For coloured towels, use a biological detergent specially designed for coloureds to help stop them from fading.

Use fabric conditioner, but only occasionally, as it reduces their absorbency. Tumble-drying is the best way to keep them fluffy and soft, and skip the radiator – that will make them go hard! Before they go in the tumble dryer, give them a good shake as it helps them remain fluffy over time.


How often?

Your bedding should be washed at least once every 2 weeks. If you’re a sweaty sleeper you should increase this to once weekly. If someone has been ill, wash the sheets, duvet and pillow immediately. While most of the country does get this right, according to recent YouGov survey, 1 in 10 confessed they never wash them more than once a month!

How to clean sheets

If your sheets are white cotton, you can afford to turn up the heat a bit. Choose a biological detergent with optical brighteners, this will work to reflect the light and make whites more bright.

If your whites are turning grey, you are probably overfilling your washing machine, this leaves a thin layer of dirt on the sheets. Fix it by using the maximum amount of detergent and re-washing at the highest temperature the fabric allows.

When it comes to drying your sheets, ensure you remove them from the dryer while they are still damp so they are easier to iron. A hot iron will help remove germs. Don’t dry sheets with towels as sheets will dry more quickly, so don’t make the mistake of loading them into the tumble dryer at the same time. You’ll just waste energy.


How often?

A recent study found that people may be wearing the same pyjamas for as long as two weeks or more! As a rule your sleepwear should be washed every week at least.


Bacteria can build up in a major way in your pyjamas. The oily build up on your skin is often full of bacteria, which is then transferred to your sleepwear. These can cause infections in cuts, acne or even cystitis. Similar to your towels, your PJs also pick up a lot of dead skin cells, especially given how much people move and sweat in their sleep. Also, to make it worse, leave it too long and the nasties on your PJs will transfer to the other things in the washing machine.

How to wash your PJs

For cotton pyjamas be careful of washing higher than 40 degrees in case of shrinking and if they are brushed cotton be aware of any added fibres that may mean they need a more delicate cycle. Flannel for example needs to be treated more like wool. Silky PJs require a more sensitive treatment. Often colours fade more quickly, so if you find you often wear just the trousers, wash the shirt with it to avoid mismatched shades.

Welcome to Vivre Le Rêve, an online lifestyle magazine for all those who are or who want to be living the dream! I’m Rose, the lifestyle editor here at Vivre Le Rêve.