Can You Wash Bedsheets With Clothes?

When it comes to doing the laundry, you have to be very careful about the things you pair up together in order to avoid destroying any fabric.

Bedsheets for example, should never be paired with clothes in the washer. This is because bedsheets serve as hotspots for pathogens like bacteria and fungus which can transfer to clothes during laundry and serve as a threat to your health. Bedsheets are typically large also, which makes them always engulf other clothes in the washer thereby preventing them from getting washed properly. 

Below, we provide more reasons to persuade you on the dreadfulness of pairing bed sheets together with clothes in the washer. 

Why you shouldn’t wash bed sheets with clothes

They’re not exactly sanitary

One of the most important reasons why you should avoid washing bed sheets with clothes is because they’re not exactly sanitary. Here’s what I mean by that. 

Your body literally sheds around 15 million skin cells every night, and that’s just the beginning of the story! These shed skin cells serve as food for many types of pathogens such as dust mites, fungus and bacteria. 

In fact, it is estimated that there are around 39 times more bacteria on a bed sheet compared to a pet food bowl. Another study discovered that a specimen pillowcase harbored more bacteria than a specimen toilet seat, which is absolutely crazy when you think about it.

Some of these pathogens on your sheets can pose threats to your health if you’re not careful. Take for instance the fungus spore Aspergillus fumigatus which is known to accumulate over dirty sheets and cause infection to the lungs and other organs in the body. 

For this reason, you want to avoid washing bed sheets with clothes because some of the pathogens that accumulate on them may not necessarily be killed in the washer, and when they end up on your clothes, you can typically tell where the story is going to end if you’re not careful — hospital

It’s big so it’s overwhelming

One of the biggest downsides of washing clothes together with fabrics as large as sheets is that the item can get engulfed within the sheets and won’t get cleaned properly. 

This happens because of the constant agitation in the washer which spreads the sheets over the entire area of the drum. This results in many smaller clothes being swallowed, some completely. 

And if you’re not having the type of washing machine that can be stopped once the wash cycle begins, so you can at least adjust the position of clothes in the drum, then you really cannot do anything about it.

You can also find the same problem translated into the dryer, the sheets engulf the clothes thus prolonging the time it takes for the drying to complete, because the sensors would keep detecting moisture on the clothes inside!

They’re typically heavier and sturdier

One of the things that should also discourage anyone from washing sheets together with clothes is that sheets are many times heavier than clothes. 

So if the clothes you’re washing are super delicate or light, then you could have a situation where your sheets rub aggressively against the clothes and begin to scrape against the fibers, giving the cloth a fuzzy type of appearance after drying. 

Depending on how sturdy the sheets are, they could also end up tearing the clothes and causing any special embellishments on them to fall off.

This is part of the reason why towels are not advised to be washed together with clothes. They’re many times even sturdier and rougher than sheets, sometimes.  

They may bleed

Sheets may also bleed. The dyes can transfer to the wash water and stain your lights or even whites. So to avoid the color bleeding problem, wash sheets alone using the technique we’ll be mentioning below. 

They require tough washing conditions

Another important thing is because sheets are not that sanitary to begin with, you would normally opt for tough washing conditions to get rid of the pathogens and bacteria on them. That means you’ll be using the heaviest cycle, hot water setting, aggressive products like heavy duty detergents, bleach and whatnot.

Some of the clothes you have in the laundry may not be able to stand some of these products and techniques. Polyester for example does not like being submerged in hot water as that will make it shrink. 

So washing sheets together with polyester clothes would mean that your options are two, either wash the entire laundry in hot water, in which case, you’ll have to sacrifice shrinking your polyester in the hotness of the water just to get the sheets sanitized perfectly, or opt for cold water to achieve perfect cleaning on your polyester but bear the cost of missing out on the disinfection of your sheets.  

And this is just one of the many scenarios they can play out, as different types of clothing exist with different conditions and instructions on their fabric care label.

How to wash sheets at home?

Washing sheets at home is pretty easy, you have to make sure you’re cleaning them alone as this is what is best for them and the clothes you intend pairing them up with. 

Separate colors

When washing sheets, you first want to separate them by colors. Darker colors can bleed into lighter colors in the washing machine. You don’t want that to happen. So always make sure that you separate colors and wash them seperately. 

Use laundry sanitizer

Sheets have to be disinfected on a regular basis otherwise the pathogen population on them will grow and cause you health problems. 

Thankfully disinfecting your sheets is very easy. All you have to do is to purchase a product called laundry sanitizer (which you can find in many grocery stores and also in different shapes and forms) and then use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Typically, you’d be required to put them in the washing machine together before the wash cycle begins. Then soak the clothes and then run a wash cycle with a laundry detergent and fresh hot water.

Wash once in two weeks

When it comes to the frequency of washing sheets, you want to make sure it’s done as often as once a week. This will ensure that a healthy number of bacteria and pathogens do not end up growing on the sheets and eventually cause you health problems.

Final Thoughts

Washing bed sheets together with clothes in the washing machine is a bad idea. Bedsheets harbor an alarming population of pathogens on them after only about seven days post washing, and these can end up transferring to your clothes when you pair them up with sheets in the washer. 

Another thing is that sheets being naturally heavier than clothes can actually cause them to wear out faster and cause special embellishments on them to fall off when paired with clothes in the washer. So whatever you do, always make sure to separate sheets from clothes before you wash them.