Keeping Bed Linens Clean During COVID-19
In the wake of COVID-19 gripping the world, better personal hygiene and sanitation has been thrust into the limelight globally. As kids, we were told about the paramount importance of simple acts of cleanliness. Now is the time to go back to this basic tenet.
For our fight against Coronavirus, one of the elementary precautions is to stay clean and hygienic. Fortunately, there are many cleaning products with which one can take precautionary measures against COVID-19. Wearing N95 masks, using hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, rubbing alcohol, disinfectant spray, hand sanitizing wipes, anti-bacterial hand soap etc. are ways to prevent this pandemic from spreading besides maintaining social distancing. Washing hands thoroughly and regularly with alcohol-based hand rub or with hand soap or hand wash is a must. Keep paper towels handy along with wearing masks for germ protection.
Whether there is a pandemic or not, maintaining personal hygiene is imperative. This regimen of maintaining cleanliness involves the bedding too. Many of us tend to overlook how ‘clean’ the bedding is. Do read on how to keep your bed linens clean by following these simple wash care instructions.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR BEDDING CLEAN?
We spend close to one-third of our lives sleeping, which is a lot of time. And while doing this, we pass on a plethora of not-so-good stuff like dead skin cells, sweat, saliva, oil from our skin and other foreign bodies onto our bed linen. All this makes the bedding a thriving ground for bed bugs, dust mites, viruses and bacteria.
Now that we know that our bed linen is the hotspot for bacteria and viruses, how do we go about getting rid of them? The popular notion of getting rid of these bacteria, fungi, germs and viruses by doing a simple tumble and wash in the washing machine regularly is really not good enough.
By simply putting your dirty bedding into the washing machine will not kill all the bacteria, viruses and germs. It basically doesn’t clean much at all; all it does is leave the bedding 'look clean’ and ‘smell good’.
Let’s just shift our focus from the dirty bed linen to another crucial element.
So far we have been talking about the grime and bacteria on the bedding. But, what about the washing machine that we use? In fact, the washing machine is the hub for bacteria and viruses to thrive. All the dirt, germs and grime that are washed in it go nowhere. All of this builds up in the washing machine and lands back on your clothes.
Now doesn’t this put you in a fix and raise the question as to how to effectively wash bed sheets and get virus protection?
In the days of yore, clothes were washed in hot water; this led to the death of almost everything dirty on the fabric. Heat is the best way to de-germ the bedding. Given our fast paced lives, boiling water and then putting the clothes in it is almost an impractical thing to do. However, what we can do in our modern day setting is choose the appropriate temperature in the washing machine for washing bed linen.
140° F/60° C FOR OPTIMUM CLEANING
Cotton sheets are best washed in warm water. Opting for 140° F/60° C for washing bedding is perfect as it acts effectually in eliminating bacteria, killing bed bugs and dust mites while reducing their lifecycle, removing grease and stains and giving fresh and crisp sheets. Statistics and research all point in favour of the 60° C wash as it acts in reducing allergens too.
A word of caution here, do not wash colored bedding at 60° C wash. The high water temperature might cause the colors to get faded. The best thing to do is before washing the bedding, please refer to the wash and care instructions and then select the appropriate wash cycle. Make sure whether your sheets can withstand the heat.
USE OF CLEANING AGENTS LIKE DETERGENT AND BLEACH
The high-temperature wash along with a good detergent is better armed in annihilating bacteria, viruses, fungi and germs from the bed linen.
Adding bleach to the wash cycle cleans the sheets effectively. (Please read instructions for the proper bleach quantity to be used before using. Use color bleach for colored clothes.)
HOW OFTEN SHOULD BEDDING BE WASHED?
The next question that comes up is how often should bed sheets be washed? Generally, a weekly wash is ideal in the following scenarios - if you sleep daily on the bed, when you and your partner sweat a lot, you or your partner suffer from a contagious disease or when your pet sleeps with you.
You can sanitize your bed linens post wash by using fabric disinfectants and sprays. Please remember to use fabric sprays only as those meant for other surfaces may not be as effective on fabric. The market is flooded with a host of disinfectant wipes and sprays. Pick one that suits your needs best.