The age-old question! On average, people spend nearly a third of their lifetime sleeping, shedding thousands of dead skin cells each night. Knowing how often you should wash your comforter and other bedding is imperative for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing any allergies.
Dirt, bacteria, pet dander, and other irritants can build up quickly in your bedding! In the article below, we answer some common questions about how often to wash comforters and bedding, best practices for cleaning, dry cleaning, and other things to look out for to ensure your bedding is getting the proper washing it deserves.
What Factors Determine How Often You Should Wash Your Comforter and Bedding?
How frequently you wash your comforter depends on a number of factors, as well as your own personal preferences. A big part of knowing how to wash a comforter is how it fits into your lifestyle and the materials it’s made of.
Some things to consider include:
- Whether you use a flat sheet between yourself and your comforter. Having a sheet in between your body and the comforter will prolong the amount of time between washes.
- If your comforter has a duvet cover on it. Duvet covers are protective, decorative sleeves that encase your comforter. Using a duvet cover means your comforter won’t come in contact directly with your body, and that you won’t need to wash your comforter quite as often.
- The material your bedding is made of. For more delicate bedding, dry clean your comforter to ensure the integrity of the fabric is preserved and that the bedding is thoroughly washed.
- If you regularly shower before bed. This means less oils, dirt, and dead skin cells mingling with your bedding, and that you can wash your bedding less frequently.
- How many people sleep in the bed (including kids and pets!). If you have kids, pets, and a spouse all piling into the same bed every night you’ll want to launder your bedding more frequently. Go with your instinct and run the wash whenever the fabrics start to feel, look, or smell less-than-clean!
- If you’re prone to allergies and irritants. Dust, dust mites, and dead skin cells collect in your bedding every time you climb in bed. To avoid skin irritation, or a flare up of allergies and sneezing, wash more frequently.
- If you’re a consistent night sweater. Sweat residues build up in the fibers of your sheets and comforter, making them dirtier more quickly!
What About Other Linens and Bedding? How Often Should Those Be Washed?
Wash frequency of linens and bedding materials varies from item-to-item. There’s no set rule across the board, but there are some general best practices to keep in mind.
How often should you wash your comforter? Assuming no spills or excess dirt sully your comforter, and the comforter does not have a protective duvet, try to wash it every one to two months. If the comforter does have a duvet, you’ll be okay to clean it a few times a year. As mentioned above, look out for wear factors such as the number of people sleeping in the bed or the presence of pets, and sensitivity to irritants — you may want to wash your comforter more frequently in these cases.
Can you wash a comforter with sheets? Only if your washing machine has enough space to adequately accommodate room for both! Bulky fabrics bunch up easily and can cause pockets of detergent to not be distributed evenly, meaning your sheets and comforter won’t get as clean if washed together in a smaller machine.
Since sheets come in direct contact with your clothes and skin it’s recommended that you wash your sheets every week to prevent bacteria, dust mites, dirt, body oils, and allergens from building up. If you shower right before bed and don’t have pets or children, this could stretch to once every two weeks. Likewise, if you have pets or small children, live in a sandier area where more debris gets tracked into your bed, are susceptible to dust allergies, and so on, you might need to wash your sheets as frequently as once every five days. Don’t over-wash, just be mindful of the circumstances and the importance (and joy!) of cleanliness.
Duvet covers are great for keeping your comforter clean between washings, as they’re far easier and less bulky to clean. It’s best to try to wash your duvet every few weeks.
Pillowcases should be the most frequently washed item on your bed! Oils and dirt from your hair and face naturally rub into the fibers of the pillowcase each night when you sleep. Wash your pillowcases every five to seven days, more frequently if you’re especially prone to acne or allergies.
What About New Bedding? Should You Wash a Comforter Before Using It for the First Time?
After purchasing new bedding or a new comforter, it’s tempting to want to put them on your bed right away. However, you should always wash new bedding and comforters first before use (even if they are all wrapped up in airtight packaging)! Sheets, comforters, duvets, pillowcases — these are all produced in factories full of dust, chemicals, dyes, and other skin irritants. So yes, you should wash a comforter before using it!
Ever notice that new sheets or other textiles have a stiffness out of the packaging? That’s the chemical residue from the manufacturing process, and it can cause itchiness and irritation even if you don’t suffer from allergies. Besides, washed and cleaned new bedding feels softer and is more comfortable to use.
How to Wash a Comforter
Always start by reading the care instructions on the tag of your bedding to follow the best washing and drying instructions suitable for the type of fabric. You can always wash your comforter a second time without any detergent to rinse any excess soap residue from the comforter. Since comforters are bulkier, you won’t want to load any other clothing items besides maybe a towel at most into the washing machine with your comforter — shirts, socks, and so on will all get trapped in the folds of your comforter and won’t get as clean!
In order to sanitize your bedding, warm and hot water settings are usually the best option. Of course, remain cautious of your material type and check if warmer temperatures could shrink or damage the fabric. Check your washing machine’s setting options, too. Most modern washers have “bulky item,” “delicate,” or “sanitizing” settings which can be helpful depending on the level of clean you need.
As for drying a bulky comforter, it’s usually safest to use a low heat setting or to let it air dry, laid flat, or hanging so it’s not bunched up. For machine drying, throw a couple of dryer balls (or tennis balls placed in white socks to prevent shedding) in there with it to fluff the comforter stuffing.
Another great option to consider is dry cleaning your comforter if it’s too large to fit in your washing machine, if it has delicate material or embroidery, or if it just needs a good deep clean.
Mulberrys Garment Care
While there are several steps you can take to ensure you’re washing your comforter and bedding the right amount of times, and in the proper way, dry cleaning your comforter, sheets, or other garments might be the best option.
Mulberrys Garment Care is an award-winning, full-service dry cleaning company with years of experience. If you need help cleaning your comforter, sheets, linens, or any other laundry, we’re here to help and offer top-notch professional quality guaranteed. Contact us today to learn more about our services.