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Laundry expert shares best temperature to clean sheets – it’s not 60 or 90 degrees, & £2.50 buy that ‘kills bacteria’

THERE’S no better feeling than slipping into clean bedsheets, and as the weather warms up, they need to be washed more regularly. 

Fabulous spoke exclusively to Olivia Young, Product Development Scientist at Astonish, about the best temperature to wash bedding to ensure it is hygienically clean. 

Close up of female hands unloading the washing machine
What temperature do you choose to wash your bedding?
GETTY
Washing machine
A colder temperature can be chosen alongside using a laundry cleanser

She also shared her top laundry tips and products too. 

How often should bedsheets/bedding be washed? 

Olivia said: “Washing your bedding should be included in your weekly cleaning to-do list.

“It may sound slightly over the top, but washing your bed sheets once a week is the best approach to keep them pristine and dirt-free. 

“Our bodies shed millions of skin cells daily, so we need to make sure where we rest and recuperate after a long day isn’t acting as a ‘hotbed’ for bacteria and germs to grow.” 

She added: “Neglecting washing your bed sheets allows dirt, body oils, dead skin cells and sweat to build up night after night, which doesn’t make for the most pleasant sleeping environment

“If that wasn’t enough to prompt you to change your bedding, dirty bed sheets can also seriously mess with your skin and leave you with health problems over time.

“So it’s really important you get into a good routine of cleaning them weekly. 

“And after all, nothing is better than fresh bedding after a long week!” 

What temperature should you wash bedding on? 

“Traditionally, high temperatures were recommended for washing bedding and towels, typically around 60°C or even higher,” the expert explained. 

“The reason for this initial recommendation was because it was believed it was the only way to effectively kill bacteria and remove stains and dirt

“This may have been true many years ago, however, there have been such significant advances in both washing machines and detergent technology, that this isn’t necessarily the case anymore.” 

Olivia added: “The advice around washing bedding, sheets and towels has changed to recommend that cooler temperatures, between 30-50 degrees, will work just as effectively as higher temperatures.

“Generally speaking, it is considered a more efficient, cost-effective and fabric-friendly approach without comprising on cleanliness and hygiene [to wash at a lower temperature].  

“Choosing the right temperature to wash your items will depend ultimately on the fabric, the stains present and when you last washed them!” 

A medium heat should be chosen for towels and bedding. 

Add in a laundry cleanser

But, if you’re looking to save money and lower the temperature of your wash, consider using a laundry cleanser as this will hygienically clean your bedding without the need of hot water.

Olivia explained: “Opt for a laundry cleanser as it promises to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria – like the Astonish Protect + Care Laundry Cleanser. 

“The product starts from just £2.50 and is available from a range of retailers, making it an affordable solution to ensure your bedding and towels are germ and bacteria free.

“Opting for a cleanser that will kill bacteria at lower temperatures is especially important if you haven’t changed your bedding or towels in some time! 

How to use Protect + Care Laundry Cleanser

It can be used in two ways, for machine washing or for soaking

Machine washing: Add four capfuls to the fabric softener drawer of your washing machine.

Wash as normal using your usual laundry detergent.

Soaking: Add two capfuls to 2.5L of water at 20°C.

Fully disperse, add your wash items and soak for 10 minutes.

Temperature wise, it will work as low as 20 degrees to clean and protect.

“Just drop in four capfuls to the fabric softener drawer of your washing machine to give your sheets and towels what they really deserve – long-lasting freshness and comforting softness. 

“Anything above 20°C will work to properly clean your items and leave you with rejuvenated sheets and towels, free from bacteria.” 

“Day-to-day garments, such as tops, dresses and trousers, can be washed at even lower temperatures than bedding and towels,” she said. 

“The reason for this is that generally speaking, your everyday clothes and garments won’t harbour as much bacteria as towels or bedding, meaning a low temperature will suffice to get them clean and fresh.

Getty
There’s no better feeling than getting into a fresh, clean bed.[/caption]

“20-30 degrees will do the trick – provided that you are using a detergent that kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria even at low temperatures. 

“And washing other clothes at lower temperatures can reduce environmental impact, save energy and money, and prolong the lifespan of your items”.

How often should towels be washed? 

Olivia said: “It’s alarming to hear how often some people wash their towels – or rather how often they don’t!

“If left unwashed, your towels can begin to harbour bacteria, resulting in unpleasant odours as well as potential skin issues if you regularly neglect to clean them.

“Leaving your towels unwashed for months at a time simply shouldn’t be an option.

Try cleaning your bath towels after every three uses.

Olivia Young

“Kitchen towels should be cleaned at least once a week.”

She added: “A top tip to keep your towels soft and fluffy is to make sure you’re not cramming too much into the washing machine.

“If you do this, the towels will clump together which is what creates the stiff, scratchy feeling once they have dried.

“To avoid this, wash your towels in light to medium loads – ideally only two/three medium sized towels at once.

“This will make sure they can be sufficiently agitated and rinsed, and will come out feeling soft.”

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