Cleanliness and hygiene have never been more on our minds than they are now with the tripledemic. Indeed, coronavirus (COVID-19), the flu, and RSV have turned us all into germaphobes. Along with washing our hands for at least 20 seconds and finding easy ways to protect and boost our immunity, it’s also important to make sure our household items are getting a good cleanse more frequently than most of us usually do. That means wiping down surfaces and sanitizing pretty much everything we touch throughout the day — including our bed sheets.
Washing your sheets each week, and your comforter or duvet and pillow cases once a month, is one of the best ways to avoid letting bacteria and germs quickly accumulate on the fabric. That’s a lot of washing, and we’re honestly a bit exhausted just thinking about it. If you want to avoid constantly lugging your linens to the laundry room or laundromat, invest in a clothing steamer to sanitize your sheets in-between washings.
Experts at the Laundress explain that giving your sheets (and any other fabric in need of a wash) a good steam will not only rid of annoying wrinkles, but also kill the germs and bacteria that like to accumulate quickly. The CDC backs this up, reporting that bugs like the flu virus can be zapped away with heat above 167 degrees Fahrenheit. Most clothing steamers reach up to 200 degrees or higher, depending on the settings you choose.
A hot iron can also do the trick, but it’s easier to accidentally scorch your material with those. Steamers can work on various types of fabric: wool, cashmere, silk, and synthetics, to name a few. While some steamers are pricey, you can find more budget-friendly and space-saving options online, like the handheld Hilife Steamer (Buy from Amazon, $29.99).
This not only sanitizes icky germs, but it will also get rid of allergens and odors. You should still give your sheets and clothing their usual rounds in a washing machine, but this can help extend the time in between each trip to the laundry room.
We’ll definitely be keeping this in mind for in-between fabric cleaning, even after cold and flu season subsides.
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, FirstForWomen.com.