This is how often you should wash your sheets and towels.

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A Women’s Health poll that examined how often people change their linen has revealed we aren’t doing it nearly enough.

And if you knew what was on those sheets, you’d pick up your act. Pronto.

LISTEN: How often should you wash your pillows? 

Millions of skin cells. A tablespoon or so of sweat. Makeup. And we haven’t even got to towels yet …

Cleaning expert Maeve Richmond told the Huffington Post: “Just like with our clothes, actively used linens, especially those that touch food or skin, should be washed more frequently.”

According to experts – this is how often you should wash your linen…


How often should they be washed? Every week.

Why? You spend more than eight hours in them every day, which means by the end of the week there will be a build up of dust, fungus, sweat, skincells and more. What's worse is that this is what dust mites love to feast on, so the longer you go without washing your sheets, the more likely it is you will have creepy crawlies in your bed.

If someone is sick, or you have gone to bed without having a shower after exercising, you may need to wash them more often.


How often should they be washed? After every fourth use.

YES. Really.

Why? Think about it. You wipe your body with it once a day minimum. It gets wet. It then sits on a hanger attempting to dry - but sometimes just gets damp and smelly - which can then lead to mould.

You should really be trying to wash or change your towels twice a week. Sorry water restrictions.

Hand towels

How often should I wash them? Every third day.

Why? Hand towels are used by everyone you live with, and more if you have guests. People wipe their hands on them (clean or dirty), some wipe their face on it, or their mouth after cleaning their teeth. There are a lot of germs floating around on hand towels, especially because they live in damp spaces and often near the toilet.


How often should I wash them? Every six months.

Why? 16 different types of fungi can build up on pillows, so it's important you wash or change your pillows at least twice a year. And despite what you think, you can wash a pillow without ruining it.

To wash a pillow without destroying the insides, put your machine on a gentle cycle with warm water, then lay them flat in the sun until dry.

Bath mats

How often should I wash them? Once a week.

Why? Bath mats never seem to dry - especially if you have more than three people in your house. Washing them once a week gets rid of odours.

How often do you wash your linen? Let us know in the comments.

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You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here. 

What do you think?


Join the Conversation

  • Helen


    • KimBo

      LOL Helen….

  • Dawn Darby

    Ok, I change hand towels in bathroom daily, bath towels every two days. Wash bed linens once a week. I don’t wash my pillows ever because it DOES ruin them, makes them lumpy. Instead, I have water-proof pillow covers that get washed once a week also, along with a water-proof mattress cover so that sweat, skin cells and the like don’t build up in my mattress. This also helps prevent bed bugs. Also, wasn’t mentioned, but I change my dish cloth and dish drying cloth daily also. Bacteria can grow in the food particles left in the cloth. And putting your sponge in the microwave after dishwashing for 30 seconds will kill bacteria. I do it every night. :)

  • Justine Bennett

    Weekly for sheets, every three days for towels, every two days for hand towels, after every use for face washers, bathmats when they look dirty (but being white, that’s about weekly). Can’t stand dirty linen and in an ideal world would use a clean towel every time.

  • Harry Phillips

    I shower twice a day, that would mean a new towel every two days, yeah sure the wife would love that with 5 people in the house.