Washing Your Bedsheets During a Pandemic

On average I wash my bedsheets every 12-14 days. Though when I am sick I wash them and then again immediately after feeling better to make sure they’re clean of all my germs. But is this frequent enough? Should I be washing my bedsheets more frequently during this COVID-19 pandemic?

Before COVID-19 dermatologist Joshua Zeichner recommended washing your bedsheets that come in contact with your skin once a week. This includes your pillow cases, your fitted sheet, and your top sheet. As for your blanket or duvet cover, he recommended washing them every two weeks as they didn’t come in as much contact with your skin as the sheets did. However, with COVID-19 now spreading like wildfire, his recommendations have now changed. He now recommends what you would have washed once a week you cut in half. So now he recommends washing your sheets twice a week and your duvet or blanket once a week.

Washing Your Bedding

When it comes to cleaning your bedding, the CDC says to wash your items as directed by the manufacturer with just a few additional precautions. However, the federal agency suggests to not shake your dirty laundry as it might spread the germs. As per the New York City’s Department of Health, do not “hug” your dirty laundry. For instance don’t carry it close to you on your way to the wash as whatever germs are on the bedding will get on you.

When preparing the washer, use the warmest water setting appropriate for the items you’re washing. Also be sure to dry your bedsheets thoroughly. And then of course take that extra step and disinfect your laundry hamper or basket before putting your now clean laundry into it.

Washing The Bedding of a Sick Person

You should take extra precautions if cleaning the bedding of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has suffered from some of its symptoms. But according to the CDC, there is no need to wash it separately. When washing the sheets of someone who’s been sick, Good Housekeeping recommends wearing gloves when handling the bedding. They also recommend washing the bedding with bleach and in water that is atleast 140 degrees if it’s appropriate for the material you’re washing. Lastly, when your laundry is done, pull it out immediately as keeping it in the damp environment can make it easier for any germs left to multiply. And of course when you’re done, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands.


Washing your bedsheets might not seem like the most important task right now but it is very important.