We can shed up to 10 grams of dead skin every week, which will reside in areas where we sit and lay down. Seeing as most of us spend up to eight hours in bed every night, sometimes more, thousands of dead skin cells are in our beds.
What do dead skin cells mean? Dust mites will be around. Luckily these bugs only feed off dead skin; however, this means that mattresses and bedding become a prime locations for dust mites to occupy. Therefore it’s definitely good practice to wash your bedding regularly. Please continue to read to find out how to best clean yours.
Before you think about chucking your duvet in the washing machine, look at the care label and what it states you need to do.
Firstly, it’s essential to determine the fillings in your duvet. If you have a synthetic duvet, which is one that’s filled with polyester fibres, then it’s possible to machine wash it. Once it’s in the machine, we recommend using less detergent and putting it on high heat. A 60-degree heat should do the job effectively. Not only will this kill all the bacteria residing in your duvet, but it will also kill the dust mites.
As for duvets with natural fillings, such as down or feathers, you have to be careful when cleaning. You can’t put this type of duvet in a washing machine like polyester duvets because these fillings can begin to rot if left damp too long. Gross! This is why natural duvets need to be dry cleaned, ensuring the fillings remain fresh without the risk of losing their natural qualities.
Pillows can deteriorate much quicker than duvets because our heads rest on them. According to The Guardian, if you leave a pillow unwashed, a tenth of the pillow’s weight can be comprised of your dead skin cells, dust mites and their droppings.
As with natural duvets, you need to get professionally cleaned pillows filled with natural fillings. Having said this, most pillows are filled with synthetic materials, which are more likely to be machine washable. Before putting them in the washing machine, check the care label to see if there’s a specific temperature you should be washing on. If not, 60 degrees will kill dust mites and bacteria.
When it comes to drying, you can put pillows in a tumble dryer. However, to avoid the bunching up of fillings, you may want to chuck some tennis balls in socks in the dryer with them.
Latex pillows are completely different from traditional ones, making them entirely different to clean. They’re naturally hypoallergenic, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial, which makes them a cleaner option when compared to other pillows. It’s tough for dust mites to build up in a latex pillow because of the latex foam structure, so you don’t have to worry about that as much.
If you feel it’s necessary to wash your latex pillow, avoid washing machines, sun drying, tumble drying, wringing excess moisture, and warm water would be best. This is because all these things can damage the structure of latex foam. We recommend rinsing the pillows and spot-cleaning them with a cold water solution and weak detergent. Overall, you should avoid submerging it in water because it could take too long for the foam to dry out, with the potential for mould to develop.
It’s often contested how often we should clean our duvets, with various sources varying in their answers. Some say as often as 2-3 months, whilst others suggest once a year. We recommend somewhere in the middle of these suggestions are the most practical and not overly excessive, so roughly every six months.
As for pillows, the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends you should aim to wash your pillow every other month. But if you have pillow protectors, then washing your pillows can become more infrequent.