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The average American spends about 33 years of their life in bed. That’s a lot of time to spend in one place. Each month over 11,000 bacterial organisms can build up in your sheets, mattress, and pillows. It’s important to ask yourself, ‘am I cleaning them properly?'

Here are a few tips to help make sure you aren’t crawling into bed with harmful bacteria every night.

#1 Wash your sheets regularly.

While this may seem like an obvious tip, most people don’t realize how often they should be cleaning their sheets. You wash your pajamas after you sleep in them but how often do you wash your sheets? The average person washes their sheets on a monthly basis opposed to the recommended weekly washing cycle.

If you have a busy schedule this might not seem possible so try compromising by washing every other week—and don’t forget the pillowcases!

#2 Choose your detergent wisely.

If your sheets are stiff, or just not smelling as fresh as you’d like, you’ll probably find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night. Choose a detergent with an added fabric softener to achieve maximum softness after washing.

You can also try mixing in some cold pressed orange oil for added cleaning power and a nice light scent. In warmer weather, hang your sheets on a clothesline outside. The sun is a great way to dry your sheets naturally and effectively.

#3 Show your mattress some TLC

Your mattress does a lot for you, so you should show it some love in return. Spread some baking soda and let it sit for about a half hour. The baking soda will act as a deodorizer and will lift any odor-causing bacteria to the surface.

Then, use the furniture attachment on your vacuum to get rid of any dirt or residue.

#4 Don’t forget about the comforter and bed skirt.

Comforters are typically bulky so I prefer to wash them on their own cycle. Sometimes I’ll throw my bed skirt in too because it’s so thin (and because I usually forget to add it when washing my sheets). I like to dry my comforter on an extended cycle to ensure that it doesn’t come out damp or smelling like mildew.

#5 Last but not least, pillows.

Washing is simple for most standard pillows: just toss them in the washer machine on a disinfecting cycle. When they’re done, put them in the dryer on a low heat cycle. Add in a couple of dryer sheets for added freshness.

Finally, make your bed and enjoy a good night’s sleep. You deserve it after all of the work you just did.

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