But how bad can it be? According to Dr Ackerley, very. Not washing sheets weekly at high temperatures (above 60°C is ideal) can put you at risk of nasty infections and even viruses.
“We have all sorts of bacteria and fungi on our bodies and most are perfectly fine, but the bed is a great place for them to breed, particularly if you think about all the moisture that builds up as we sleep, saliva, fluids, skin cells and, of course, all the other things that get into the bed, from faecal matter to food,” she says, naming Staphylococcus aureus as one of the primary culprits.
“These bacteria will build up on sheets if you don’t launder them for some time, and can cause infections, particularly if you happen to nick the skin by scratching whilst asleep,” Dr Ackerley adds.
Allergic reactions to dust mites (or more specifically, dust mite droppings – we told you this wasn’t pleasant), yeast and fungal infections are also potential side effects of not regularly washing your sheets.
BRB – the washing machine beckons.
This article was originally published by Marie Claire.