How often you should wash your sheets during the coronavirus pandemic

Because of the coronavirus, we're all thinking about personal hygiene more than ever — and not just washing our hands, but also our hair, face masks, clothing and bedding, too.

The truth is that if you asked a handful of people how often they washed their sheets and bedding before coronavirus, you'd probably get a range of different answers. Some people might stick to once a week, others every two weeks, some even — if they'd admit it — once a month.

But is there a hard and fast rule about how often to wash sheets to keep things as clean and healthy as possible? According to dermatologists and doctors, yes. And now that being aware of Covid-19 is part of our daily lives, there are new rules when it comes to washing bedding.

"When you get into bed, you contaminate your bed linens with dead skin cells (about 50 million per day), sweat, makeup, lotions, hair and anything else you've picked up during the day, from pollen and pet dander to fungal mold and dirt particles, to bacteria and viral particles as well," New York City-based dermatologist Hadley King told HuffPost.

Basically: You want to make sure your bedding is as clean as possible in order to avoid contact with gross stuff — and that's especially true if you're trying to avoid germs more than usual (say, during a global pandemic). But if you're anxious to get a set-in-stone laundry schedule in place, let's get to the specifics, shall we?

How often to wash your bedding in 'normal' times

To start, it's important to know how often the experts suggest you wash your bedding when there isn't a global pandemic going on — from sheets to pillow cases to duvet covers.

"The closer a fabric is to the skin, the more frequently it should be washed," board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner told HuffPost. "I generally recommend that sheets and pillowcases be washed once per week. In the event that there is heavy sweating, they should be washed more frequently. If you have oily skin and frequent breakouts, use leave-on acne medications before bed or don't always wash your face at night, then you certainly can wash pillowcases more than once per week to be safe. Since duvet covers usually do not directly touch the skin, but rather sit on top of your sheets, they can be washed less frequently, perhaps every other week."

King agreed, noting that the American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing sheets once per week, and changing pillow cases two to three times per week.

As for the heavier duty items that won't come into contact with your skin quite as regularly (things like quilts, pillows and mattress covers), physician Tabasum Mir suggested that, under regular circumstances, you should wash them once a year.

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MAESYCWMMER, WALES - MAY 29: A customer waits to pick up her order from Fish Kitchen 1854, a traditional fish and chip shop which has reopened for online orders only on May 29, 2020 in Maesycwmmer, Wales, United Kingdom.The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
A woman walks past closed shops and restaurants on Piccadilly in central London's main high street retail shopping area on May 29, 2020 ahead of some shops reopening from their coronavirus shutdown from next week. - The UK Prime Minister announced on May 28 that some English schools and shops would reopen from next week people would a little more freedom to meet others in public as he tried to plot Britain's path through a health disaster that has officially claimed 37,837 lives -- second only to the United States -- and devastated the economy. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Police officers patrol as people enjoy the weather at Alexandra Palace, London, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Ian Hinchliffe/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman walks past closed Debenhams department store on Oxford Street in central London's main high street retail shopping area on May 29, 2020 ahead of some shops reopening from their coronavirus shutdown from next week. - The UK Prime Minister announced on May 28 that some English schools and shops would reopen from next week people would a little more freedom to meet others in public as he tried to plot Britain's path through a health disaster that has officially claimed 37,837 lives -- second only to the United States -- and devastated the economy. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 29: A couple with cycles meet in front of a fountain in Trafalgar Square during warm sunny weather on May 29, 2020 in London. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 28, 2020: NHS staff stage a silent protest outside the gates of Downing Street during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on 28 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Former nurse Joan Rich, 101, walks through Allenby Park in Felixstowe, Suffolk, to raise money for NHS Charities Together. Mrs Rich, who uses a frame to aid her walking, aims to walk 102 laps of the park before her 102nd birthday on 11 September. (Photo by Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images)
A woman, Tina Jane from Shoreham, sings songs out the back of her car to entertain the people that live on her street after the Clap for Carers, as the UK continues to ease out of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 28: People enjoy the warm and sunny weather relaxing on the pavement outside their homes in the Shorefields area of Liverpool during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown on May 28, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 28: Fire and explosion damage can be seen on an EE network 5G mast that was attacked by an arsonist earlier this week in Brodie Avenue on May 28, 2020 in Liverpool, England. A lot of the damage was caused by the resulting explosion when the petrol was ignited. Several phone masts have been deliberately damaged around the UK, their attackers inspired by a conspiracy theory positing that 5G technology is linked to the spread of the coronavirus. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
People buy fresh fruit and vegetables from a stall in an outdoor street market in Walthamstow, east London on May 28, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. - Britain has suffered the highest death rate from the coronavirus among the most-affected countries with comparable tracking data, according to Financial Times research published Thursday. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Cleaner James York from First Bus cleans a bus at their Larbert depot ahead of the bus returning to service. Due to social distancing measures only a certain amount of people will be able to travel on a particular bus at a certain time after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective mask strolls across a bridge in central London, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, during hot weather following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, allowing more outdoor recreation and letting some shops and businesses reopen. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
GLASGOW - MAY 27: Members of the public walk past new graffiti on Clyde Street on May 27, 2020 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
People walk along Portobello Road Market in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, street markets will be allowed to reopen in Britain from Monday onwards. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Shop owners wait for customers and prepare at Sherpherd's Bush Market in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Following the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown, street markets will be allowed to reopen in Britain from Monday onwards. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Dominic Cummings, the chief advisor to Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Street in London, Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The prime minister's populist appeal has been hammered by news that, as the coronavirus outbreak raged, chief adviser Cummings drove 250 miles (400 kilometers) to his parents' house while he was falling ill with suspected COVID-19 — allegedly flouting lockdown rules that the government had imposed on the rest of the country. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A workman removes graffiti from a wall near the north London home of the Prime Minister's top aide Dominic Cummings as the row over his Durham trip during the coronavirus lockdown continues.
A sign displaying advice on social distancing is displayed at the beach in Weston-super-Mare, south west England on May 27, 2020, as lockdown measures are eased during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
CHEAM, ENGLAND - MAY 27: AFC Wimbledon Footballer Jack Rudoni trains at home during the Coronavirus Pandemic on May 27, 2020 in Cheam, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Cleaner James York from First Bus cleans a bus at their Larbert depot ahead of the bus returning to service. Due to social distancing measures only a certain amount of people will be able to travel on a particular bus at a certain time after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
Number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings leaves his residence in north London on May 26, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser Domonic Cummings said yesterday he acted "reasonably and legally" despite mounting pressure on him to resign for allegedly breaking coronavirus lockdown rules. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/05/25: A man sunbathes in London on a very hot and sunny day. The UK government has started to ease the coronavirus lockdown allowing people to spend more time outdoors. (Photo by Steve Taylor/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
CILFYNYDD, WALES - MAY 26: A general view of a car sales showroom which is currently closed for business on May 26, 2020 in Blackwood, United Kingdom. The British government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown by announcing schools will open to reception year pupils plus years one and six from June 1st. Open-air markets and car showrooms can also open from the same date. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Social Distancing measures are seen on a Bakerloo line tube train on May 24 2020 in London, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
Team GB taekwondo athlete Lutalo Muhammad trains at his home in Walthamstow, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), London, Britain, May 24, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Childs TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The Young Westminster Foundation (YWF), a charity that supports young people in the Westminster Borough, unveil their new and original digital artwork by the graffiti artist STIK on the Piccadilly Lights screen, at Piccadilly Circus, central London. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/05/24: A view of a coronavirus awareness mural and a tribute to NHS workers drawn on a wall during the coronavirus crisis. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 24, 2020 - Coronavirus: pavement stickers indicating the correct social distancing whilst queuing- PHOTOGRAPH BY Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
PORTHCAWL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 25: A surfer in the water at Sandy Bay on May 25, 2020 in Porthcawl, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Chief Advisor to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings arrives home on May 24, 2020 in London, England. On March 31st 2020 Downing Street confirmed to journalists that Dominic Cummings was self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms at his home in North London. Durham police have confirmed that he was actually hundreds of miles away at his parent's house in the city. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
A police officer talks to a protester outside the north London home of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior aide Dominic Cummings , as lockdown questions continue to bombard the Government after it emerged that he travelled to his parents' home despite coronavirus-related restrictions. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mounted police patrol Barry Island, Wales, where the stay at home message is still in force and only essential travel is allowed. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
A Long Eaton (Derbyshire) resident and NHS worker presents a Tribute and Memorial to the dedicated members of the NHS and Social Care family who gave their lives during the fight against COVID-19. (Photo by Scott Wilson/PA Images via Getty Images)
SALISBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 24: Team GB Olympic Trap Shooter Augusta Campos-Martyn trains at her home on May 24, 2020 in Salisbury, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
A man feeds a swan in Hyde Park, London, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
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BIGBURY-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 23: An NHS heart is drawn in the sand at Bigbury Beach on May 23, 2020 in Bigbury-on-Sea, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
BIGBURY-ON-SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 23: Kitesurfers enjoy the windy conditions at Bigbury Beach on May 23, 2020 in Bigbury-on-Sea, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
A woman sits alone on a bench under a tree at the top of Cissbury Ring, Worthing, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Two women walk through a heavy rain shower in St James's Park in central London, on the first day of the Bank Holiday weekend, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased.
A view of a near empty beach in Brighton as the hot weather cools following scenes of people flocking to parks and beaches this week as lockdown measures were eased.
Shoppers wearing protective masks in a farmers market in West Ealing, London during the coronavirus crisis. Photo date: Saturday, May 23, 2020. Photo credit should read: Richard Gray/EMPICS
People sit in their vehicles as they wait at a KFC in Killingworth North Tyneside, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Kitesurfer and windsurfers in Bowleaze Cove in distance in Weymouth, Dorset
Surfers in Bowleaze Cove in Weymouth, Dorset
Member of the public taking a walk along the seafront in Swanage, Dorset
Painted stones in support of the NHS in Swanage, Dorset
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21, 2020: Paramedics and local residents clap their hands outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the UK's nationwide lockdown continues for the ninth week on 21 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 21, 2020: Nurses clap their hands outside Chelsea and Westminster Hospital during the weekly 'Clap for our Carers' applause for the NHS and key workers on the front line of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as the UK's nationwide lockdown continues for the ninth week on 21 May, 2020 in London, England.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Members of the public participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on May 21, 2020. - The British government on on May 21 announced that foreign care workers would be exempt from a charge imposed on migrants to fund the health service, after an outcry sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the public participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on May 21, 2020. - The British government on on May 21 announced that foreign care workers would be exempt from a charge imposed on migrants to fund the health service, after an outcry sparked by the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Niklas HALLE'N / AFP) (Photo by NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)
Staff outside Abbeydale Court Care Home in Hamilton clapping to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
An Irish dancer performs outside the Belfast City Hospital in south Belfast, during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: Swimmers in the Serpentine in Hyde Park on May 21, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. This week temperatures reached 28 degrees celsius in the UK, as many people enjoy the sunshine despite lockdown still being in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Workers unload a shipment of 120,000 surgical coveralls from China for the protection of NHS workers, from a plane at Bournemouth Airport in southern England on May 21, 2020, during the novel coronavirus pandemic. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the country will have 25,000 virus tracing staff recruited by June so the country can "make progress" in its strategy to keep easing the nationwide lockdown (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Social distancing queue at the home and outdoor store Homebase garden centre under Coronavirus lockdown on 21st May 2020 in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom. DIY shops have been allowed to be open for the last few days and flocks of people have queued at them to buy home and garden goods. Coronavirus or Covid-19 is a new respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans. While much or Europe has been placed into lockdown, the UK government has put in place more stringent rules as part of their long term strategy, and in particular 'social distancing'. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A paramedic is seen wearing PPE as she waits outside an ambulance to monitor an incident at on May 19, 2020 in Lee-On-The-Solent, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
ENFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 20: Equipment is disinfected between training sessions during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on May 20, 2020 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Cars queue at the McDonald's drive-thru in Hounslow as McDonalds has reopened three of its restaurants in London but only as drive-thrus after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man in a face mask walks in front of a mural of a nurse with a PPE face mask on, painted by the artist Akse in Manchester's Northern Quarter, UK on 19th May 2020. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 19: 7-year-old Saskia Brunskill, the photographer's daughter, in action during a social distancing tennis coaching session with Shaun Murray at Sale Sports Club on May 19, 2020 in Sale, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
FLEET, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A general view of a thank you sign in support of NHS and key workers is displayed on a fence outside a house on May 19, 2020 in Fleet, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: A quiet view of Tower Bridge from St Katherine's Dock on May 19, 2020 in London. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Jo Hale/Getty Images)
Neonatal Nurse Kirsty Hartley carries premature baby Theo Anderson to his mother Kirsty Anderson in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital in Blackburn, England, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Hannah McKay/Pool Photo via AP)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Toilets are taped off to help customers observe social distancing at Waterloo Station on May 18, 2020 in London, England. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
A delivery worker rides his bike at Holborn, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Large areas of London are to be closed to cars and vans to allow people to walk and cycle safely as the coronavirus lockdown is eased. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
A sign advising passengers to wear a face mask at Clapham Junction station as train services increased as part of the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, in London, Monday May 18, 2020.Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)
A view of the M6 motorway near Birmingham, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, in Birmingham, England, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Commuters, some wearing protective masks to protect against coronavirus stand on the platform at Leytonstone underground station, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
BOLTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 18: Barry Dieters poses wearing his face mask as he shops for essentials on May 18, 2020 in Bolton, United Kingdom. People are beginning to get back to work and try to get life back to a sense of normality as aspects of the lockdown are eased. The government has relaxed the lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, and has asked the public to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and where social distancing isn't possible. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - MAY 18: A general view of a Safety sign at Bryn Meadows Golf Club as restrictions on playing golf in Wales have been eased but still differ to golf in England on May 18, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom. The British government has started easing the lockdown it imposed two months ago to curb the spread of Covid-19, abandoning its 'stay at home' slogan in favour of a message to 'be alert', but UK countries have varied in their approaches to relaxing quarantine measures. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
SOUTHEND ON SEA, ENGLAND - MAY 17: People flock to the beach to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather during the coronavirus, covid-19 pandemic on May 17, 2020 in Southend on Sea, England . The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images)
People queue for ice cream in Cambridge after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Neonatal Nurse Kirsty Hartley carries premature baby Theo Anderson to his mother Kirsty Anderson in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre at Burnley General Hospital in East Lancashire during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
Kayakers return to the River Cam in Cambridge after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
Members of Marlow Rowing Club take to the River Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, after the lifting of some restrictions to bring the country out of lockdown.
Pharmacist Susan Holgate talks on the telephone in the Critical Care Unit at The Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in East Lancashire during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.
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A member of the social distancing team wears a face shield to protect from coronavirus as he watches to help construction workers observe social distancing at lunchtime in the site canteen at the "Goodluck Hope" development which is under construction by the Ballymore Group international property development company on Leamouth Peninsula in east London, Friday, May 15, 2020. Some of the coronavirus lockdown measures were relaxed in England on Wednesday, with those workers who are unable to work from home, such as those in construction and manufacturing, encouraged to return to work. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A woman wears a face guard to protect against the coronavirus as she shops at a food market in London, as the country is in lockdown to help stop the spread of coronavirus, Thursday, May 14, 2020. Some of the coronavirus lockdown measures are being relaxed in England, with coffee shops reopening but with extra measures such as take away only and social distancing. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 15, 2020: A social distancing floor marking and poster advising passengers to wear face covering on public transport are seen at Vauxhall underground station on 15 May, 2020 in London, England. Earlier this week the UK government relaxed some of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England , encouraging employees who can't work from home to gradually return to their workplaces and allowing people to leave home for outdoor leisure activities.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BLACKWOOD, WALES - 14 MAY: A general view of Cefn Caerllwyn Farm, where the owners have illuminated the side of a barn in support of the NHS on May 14, 2020 in Blackwood, Wales, United Kingdom. The barn is located on a hillside and the writing can be seen by residents and passing motorists. Following the success of the "Clap for Our Carers" campaign, members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 4 million people across the world, claiming at least 33,614 lives in the U.K. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
NHS workers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask, gloves and aprons, as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 participate in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, at Aintree University Hospital in Liverpool, north west England on May 14, 2020. - Britain on Thursday said it was in discussions with Swiss pharma giant Roche to mass purchase its coronavirus antibody test after scientists claimed it was "100 percent" accurate. "This test developed by Roche appears to be extremely reliable, it's got the green light from testers," health minister Edward Argar told the BBC on Thursday. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: A nurse dances as the Oldham Scottish and Manchester Community pipe bands perform during the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
NHS workers outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, London, to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers initiative to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Local charity workers dressed as superheroes pose for a portrait after participating in the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Drummers outside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Jacob King/PA Images via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Local charity workers dressed as superheroes wave at patients as they participate in the Clap for Carers at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-Under-Lyne on May 14, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Neighbours Seamus O'Sullivan, playing his accordion, and Ian Taylor, playing his guitar, in their street in Glasgow, as they join in the applause to salute local heroes during Thursday's nationwide Clap for Carers to recognise and support NHS workers and carers fighting the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Andrew Milligan/PA Images via Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, ENGLAND - MAY 14: General view of Glastonbury Tor as it is lit up Blue as a mark of respect to the NHS and Key Workers on May 14, 2020 in Glastonbury, England. The prime minister announced the general contours of a phased exit from the current lockdown, adopted nearly two months ago in an effort curb the spread of Covid-19. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
ABERTILLERY, WALES - 14 MAY: A resident and her pet dog Clap For Carers on May 14, 2020 in Abertillery, Wales, United Kingdom. Following the success of the "Clap for Our Carers" campaign, members of the public are being encouraged to applaud NHS staff and other key workers from their homes at 8pm every Thursday. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has infected over 4 million people across the world, claiming at least 33,614 lives in the U.K. (Photo by Huw Fairclough/Getty Images)
Staff at the Coastline fish and chip shop and ice cream parlour on Blyth beach, Northumberland, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) as they put out social distancing signs for customers. The restaurant has re-opened for take away orders after the easing of lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
DARLASTON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 13: John Humphries poses wearing his face mask as he goes about essential chores on May 13, 2020 in Darlaston, West Midlands, United Kingdom. People are beginning to get back to work and trying to get life back to a sense of normality as aspects of the lockdown are eased. As the government relaxes the lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19, it has asked the public to wear face masks in enclosed spaces and where social distancing isn't possible. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Graffiti in support of the NHS, near Waterloo Station, London, after the announcement of plans to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - Nurses who work at central London hospitals protest with placards outside Downing Street in central London on May 13, 2020 calling for improved conditions and pay for nursing staff on the occasion of International Nurses Day 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. - International Nurses Day 2020 coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale and aims to shine a light on the difficult work done by nursing staff. The coronavirus pandemic has brought increased focus on the often extraordinary work of NHS clinical, non-clinical staff and care sector staff in caring for patients in challenging conditions with the public showing their appreciation with weekly 'claps for carers'. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
General view of a mural by artist Lionel Stanhope showing 'Supper at Emmaus' by Caravaggio, with the figures wearing protetive gloves, in south London, after the announcement of plans to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
A quiet 'rush hour' at Waterloo Station as the UK eases some restrictions in it's tenth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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If your laundry habits don't look quite like the above suggestions, that doesn't mean you're bound to have horrible skin or wake up feeling under the weather. But washing linens more frequently certainly doesn't hurt, either.

"We know that soiled makeup brushes and fabrics can become a breeding ground for microorganisms," Zeichner explained. "This can mean skin irritation, inflammation, worsening of conditions like acne and rosacea, or even potential skin infections."

As dermatologist Nada Elbuluk told HuffPost, not washing bedding frequently enough can also negatively affect one's skin microbiome, which "constitutes the various microorganisms that exist on our skin."

"These microorganisms exist in a balance on each person's skin and can be affected by one's exposure to even their bedding," Elbuluk said. "For some individuals who have underlying skin conditions like acne or eczema, insufficient washing of their bedding could cause further exacerbation and inflammation of their conditions."

How often to wash your bedding during the Covid-19 crisis

So how does all of that change during a global pandemic? Well, in the simplest terms, it's time to up your game. No matter how often you were washing your bedding before, you should probably do it more often now, even if you and your family are completely healthy.

"While there are no hard and fast rules, generally I'm telling my patients to cut normal wash periods in half," Zeichner said. In other words, if you wash your sheets every other week, start doing it once a week.

Audrey Kunin, a dermatologist and founder of DERMAdoctor, points out that while data on how long the virus lives on various surfaces is "scant," there is some research that indicates how long the coronavirus might be able to survive on linens.

"Concerns that viral particles can become trapped within the fabric weave, then inhaled during sleep, would make me recommend increasing the frequency of doing laundry," Kunin said.

Podiatrist Velimir Petkov also points out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not issued any specific advice regarding washing linens during the pandemic. Generally speaking, though, Petkov does suggest keeping laundry separate if you live with an essential worker and using the hottest water possible when washing bedding — or any laundry, for that matter.

"Essential workers, especially those who work in the health care field, are advised to change their clothing immediately after coming home from work. They should avoid having their clothes coming in contact with any bedding and sheets," Petkov said. "It is worth mentioning that hospitals and clinics wash reusable sheets with water heated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit while households typically do it at 86 to 104 degrees F. It is not recommended to wash your sheets using cold or even lukewarm water."

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Pictures of the week: May 17 - 23
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Pictures of the week: May 17 - 23
Members of the public by the end of the day at Shoreditch Park when temperature hit 27 degrees.
Consultant Rheumatologist Frances Hall gets dressed in PPE before entering a ward where coronavirus patients are taking part in the TACTIC-R trial, at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge, England on May 21, 2020, during the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - The new trial known as TACTIC-R is testing whether existing drugs will help prevent the body's immune system from overreacting, which scientists hope could prevent organ failure and death in COVID-19 patients. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP) (Photo by KIRSTY WIGGLESWORTH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
People enjoy the hot weather at Whitley Bay beach in Tyneside as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
Katy Peters, of the London Vaccination Clinic, performs a German-made Nadal rapid antibody fingertip test for the detection of COVID-19 on client David Barton, a Capital markets lawyer aged 49, in Notting Hill, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Claire Grant from the National Trust for Scotland with a pile of Easter eggs in the Drawing Room at the National Trust's Georgian House in Edinburgh, as the Trust are trying to find homes for more than 15,000 chocolate eggs that are left over from Easter egg hunts that were cancelled at their properties around the UK due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Men sailing on a dinghy at Priory Country Park Lake following the ease of restrictions on forms of exercise during the COVID 19 Lockdown as temperatures hit 27 degrees C, the hottest day of the year in the UK. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
General view of the river Thames in central London at dawn, showing Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge, and skyscrapers at Canary Wharf, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Brockley Street artist, Lionel Stanhope's reworked mural on Cornwall Road under Waterloo East station in London paying tribute to our health service heroes (NHS). (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Two ambulances stand parked in a car park as people relax during warm weather by the Serpentine lake, in Hyde Park, London, Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Lockdown restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak have been relaxed allowing unlimited outdoor exercise and activities such as sunbathing. The UK's Met Office said Wednesday, it is the hottest day of the year so far with 27.8 Celsius recorded at Heathrow. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Faye Faybourne, 17 (left), and Daisy Sloane, 16, from Killingworth on King Edwards' Bay, Tynemouth, as people flock to parks and beaches with lockdown measures eased. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
A pod of bottlenose dolphins off the north east coast between Whitley Bay and Cullercoats Bay as the temperature rises and the Met Office has predicted the hottest day of the year so far. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
West Mercia Police officers bow their heads while social distancing at the funeral of Jodon Gait, a healthcare assistant at Worcestershire Royal Hospital who died of COVID-19, at The Vale Crematorium in Fladbury, Worcestershire. Jackson Family Funeral Directors, LT & R Vowles coffin manufacturers and The Vale Crematorium have provided their services for free in honour of Jodon Gait, who has no UK family.
Sunrise at Blyth pier in Northumberland on the north east coast as the Met Office has predicted the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures set to hit 28C in some parts of the country. (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
A man in a face mask walks in front of a mural of a nurse with a PPE face mask on, painted by the artist Akse in Manchester's Northern Quarter, UK on 19th May 2020. (Photo by Pat Scaasi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Doctor Sharon Raymond who set up the Urgent Oximeter Rescue service, with a oximeter oxygen saturation probe in Brent Park, north west London. The volunteer group formed of NHS workers, the Biker Community and Army Veterans have created the first London wide 24/7 free 'loan' system, delivering Oximeters, vital oxygen saturation probes, within two hours to any Coronavirus patients who needs one. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
French-styled restaurant chain, Caf� Rouge seen at The Wellington, London. The owner of the Bella Italia and Caf� Rouge restaurant chains has said it is considering administration as the coronavirus crisis pushes the struggling business near to collapse, putting 6,000 jobs at risk. (Photo by Dave Rushen / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A pair of White Storks tend their nest near Horsham, southern England on May 18, 2020. - The White stork has been reintroduced to England after an absence of over 800 years. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Commuters at Canning Town underground station in east London, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Food supplies are sorted at a depot for a new pan-London partnership containing the West London Alliance boroughs to secure supplies of PPE to crucial local services on the front line, after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
Two men walk past a sign reminding people to observe social distancing on Park Lane in London, England, on May 18, 2020. Britain began its ninth week of coronavirus lockdown today, a day after the lowest reported covid-19 death toll (170) across the country since March. A day of even lower covid-19 fatalities today (160) is meanwhile cementing hopes that the UK is firmly into the recovery phase of its coronavirus crisis, and that its continued emergence from lockdown will be able to carry on as planned. (Photo by David Cliff/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Building work progressing outside the new AFC Wimbledon Plough Lane stadium as the UK continues in the ninth week to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A member of the public at Glasgow Green as part of gatherings taking place this weekend across the UK against the coronavirus pandemic restrictions after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown.
File photo dated 24/03/20 of cyclists riding across an empty Westminster Bridge in Westminster, London, the day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. More than a third of people say they could rethink the way they travel after the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey suggests.
People enjoying the warm weather in Finsbury park during the COVID-19 lockdown as they observe social distancing. The government has relaxed the restrictions on coronavirus lockdown to allowing people to spend more time outside. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A couple eat fish and chips on Brighton beach today as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 17, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Visitors to Brighton beach in East Sussex take a selfie photograph today as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday May 17, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
A protester holding a placard saying, Stop The Lies! No to Tyranny, during the demonstration. As part of the unified peaceful mass gathering, a countrywide event to protest against the new coronavirus bill, mandatory vaccines and to reject what protests call an unlawful lockdown, people demonstrate at Southampton Common. (Photo by Dawn Fletcher-Park / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Petrol pumps at a Tesco petrol station selling unleaded petrol at 99.9p per litre, the first time since 2016 petrol has been sold below �1 per litre. The global oil market crash triggered by the coronavirus lockdown has seen the crude oil price plummet to a near 20-year low. Now, led by UK Supermarket chains, Unleaded petrol is now on sale throughout the country at below �1 per litre. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Penny seen speaking to a police officer after travelling to the city to raise her concerns about the lockdown and the proposed actions that may come due to the coronavirus. The UK Freedom Movement organised Mass Gathering events all around the country to protest against the unlawful lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Andy Barton / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A protester seen with a placard on her back during the anti-lockdown protest. The UK Freedom Movement organised Mass Gathering events all around the country to protest against the unlawful lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Andy Barton / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
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If you happen to be in a household with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, though, there are some more specific, CDC-mandated cleaning and disinfecting guidelines to follow.

"Don't shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air, wash items with soap or detergent using the hottest appropriate water setting and dry items completely," Tabasum explained, noting some basic hygiene steps that can help kill the virus. "Wash your hands with soap and water immediately afterwards [and] wash or disinfect your laundry bag and hamper, as well."

As King points out, though, no matter how often you do any of the above, there are other forms of disinfection and hygiene that may be more important than focusing on bedding in particular.

"During the Covid era, I would recommend focusing on cleaning yourself upon arrival at home after any possible opportunities for contamination ― so that you keep your home, including your bed, safe," King said. "I think this makes more sense than focusing only on bed linens. This may mean more showers, more hair washing and more changing clothes and washing 'outside clothes' more often, but it will help keep you, your home and your bed clean."

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost
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