Proper temperature to wash bed sheets to get rid of bacteria – and it is not 60C or 90C

Washing bedding can be annoying, but knowing the proper way to clean sheets can help you get a comfortable sleep, and even save you money in the long run.

It may seem obvious to wash bed sheets at 60C or 90C in the washing machine to kill bacteria, but Lianne Shoolbread, a bedding expert from Soak & Sleep has shared that it is actually better to wash bedding at a lower temperature. 

She said: “There’s a lot of debate around the best temperature to wash your bedding, but as a general rule of thumb, we’d always recommend adhering to the care labels and following the instructions.

“Most fabrics can be washed at a warm temperature of 40C as this helps to remove dirt, natural body oils and takes care of germs.

“Silk bed sheets should be washed at a lower temperature of 30C with a mild, non-biological detergent, or a silk specialist washing detergent.”

Washing bedding at a hot temperature is commonly done but it is not recommended as it can cause the fabric to wear out quickly, resulting in the colours fading and the material weakening over time. 

Most modern laundry detergents are now designed to be very effective at lower temperatures so there is really no need to put on a hot wash for bedding. 

Not only will washing bedding at a lower temperature kill bacteria but the washing machine will also consume less energy, which helps the environment and will also save you some money on your energy bills. 

Not only should sheets be washed on a low heat but other bedding such as mattress protectors, pillow covers and duvets can also be washed at 40C. 

Lianne said: “Wash pillows and duvets on a very low heat, if your washing machine load is large enough – if not, take them to the dry cleaners and leave it to the experts! For best results, leave them to air dry. Always read the care labels before washing.” 

How often you wash bedding is a personal preference but Lianne highly recommends washing sheets at least once a week to keep on top of it and stop stains from building. 

Lianne said: “They cover the body of your bed and they tend to show all the obvious signs of dirt marks/stains. To make your bedroom a stress-free zone, we suggest that you change your sheets at least once a week.”

She added: “We understand that it’s not always convenient to wash your bedding this frequently so having spare bedding is extremely helpful. 

“Simply swap the sets once a week and add them to the wash load when it’s most suitable for you.” 

Following these simple laundry tips will keep your sheets fresh without too much effort, ensuring your bedding stays cool, clean and comfortable for the rest of the summer. 


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