How often should you wash your pajamas?
Your popular sleep questions, answered. In this series, we’ll tackle the questions you’ve always wondered about. Today’s topic: How often should you wash your pajamas?
You’ve probably got a good laundry routine down by now.
You wash socks and gym shirts after one workout, let bras and loose shorts go a few wears between washings, and stretch jeans a little longer before hitting the suds.
But what to do about pajamas? They tend to slip our minds, even though they’re worn nightly. And unlike most other garments, not everyone agrees on how long the optimal wear-to-wash cycle is.
The Experts Weigh In
Domestic guru Martha Stewart is firmly in the wash-frequently camp.
“I absolutely suggest you wash your pajamas, your nightgowns, your underwear, whatever you sleep in, every day,” she told the TODAY show. A Twitter poll of the show’s viewers found that the biggest group, 46 percent, wash once a week.
The American Cleaning Institute, however, is a little more lenient with its suggestions, recommending that pajamas are washed after three or four wears. Good Housekeeping magazine says once a week is the longest you should go.
The Importance of Washing
Altogether, the general consensus for washing pajamas is somewhere between a day and a week. What’s the reason for the frequency? As you snooze, your skin rubs against your sleepwear, transferring dead skin cells to the fabric.
Even if your pajamas still smell somewhat fresh, this invisible buildup of bacteria can contribute to conditions like body acne and infected cuts. You also might wake up feeling a little grimy; never a good start to the day.
When deciding a wash schedule for you and other members of your household, consider these personal factors:
- How much you sweat when you sleep — more sweat requires more-frequent washing
- Whether you take a shower at night, before putting on your PJs — this keeps them cleaner
- What materials your nightwear is made from — wool, for example, resists moisture, so it can be worn a little longer before laundry time
Wash the Right Way
When washing pajamas, be sure to read the label for best practices. Flannel should be turned inside out, while silk is usually best cleaned by hand. You’ll want to wash your pajamas at the highest temperature they can tolerate without risking shrinkage or stretching.
Don’t go too long between washes. Knowing you’re wearing clean pajamas might even help you sleep better.
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