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Your Bedroom Can Make You Sick If You're Not Cleaning This, Say Experts

Finally, the definitive answer to how often to wash your sheets.

On average, Americans spend half our lives in our bedrooms. So it's important to make the most of it. A dirty bedroom can compromise your health, triggering allergy and asthma symptoms and preventing a good night's sleep, which is crucial to overall health and lowering your risk of chronic diseases ranging from heart disease to cancer. So Eat This, Not That! Health consulted the experts on how—and how often—you should clean your bedroom to make it the healthy haven you deserve. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.



Cleaning the ceiling fan with a cloth.

Your enemy #1 is dust mites. These microscopic creatures feast on human skin flakes, and their favorite residence is in the fabrics and soft surfaces of the bedroom. Dust mites (specifically, their waste) can cause allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing and itching. Start by dusting the ceiling fan, and use an electrostatic duster to remove dust from trim and shelves, working your way down to lower surfaces. Read on for more essential dust-removal tips.



Man replacing an air filter of a vacuum cleaner at home

The American Academy of Asthma, Allergies and Immunology recommends vacuuming weekly with a vacuum that has a HEPA or small-particle filter. A HEPA filter is better, as it will trap any dust that traditional vacuums expel in exhaust.



woman cleaning floor with mop in bedroom

Mop hard-surface floors once a week, the AAAAI recommends.


Wash Bedding This Often

male hand putting a cloth into washing machine. Wash Linen Bedding

The AAAAI recommends washing sheets, pillowcases and blankets weekly. 


Wash Bedding This Way

portrait of woman setting dial on her washing machine

Bedding should be washed in 130-degree F water, the AAAAI says. That's the standard hot setting on most washing machines. 


Clean Curtains

Woman's hands hanging washed and clean day's curtains at window in home. Cares about house concept.

Curtains should be washed or dry-cleaned seasonally, the AAAAI recommends.

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Guard Against Cockroaches

handyman wearing a tool belt and using a sealing gun to seal a glass door frame on a house

They're not something we're eager to think about, but cockroaches are omnipresent, and their droppings can aggravate allergies and asthma and spread disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are the best strategies to keep the bugs out: Seal cracks and openings to the outside; cover trash cans; don't leave food lying around; and wipe up any spills quickly. If you spot cockroaches, use baited traps or hire a professional exterminator. Never use foggers or bug bombs, the CDC says.

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Prevent Mold

Woman checking temperature and humidity in baby room.

Bedrooms are hotspots for mold growth, the CDC says. To prevent it, keep humidity levels as low as possible, no higher than 50%. To clean any mold from windowsills, use a chlorine bleach solution (3/4 cup chlorine bleach to 1 gallon of water) and be sure to wear a protective mask, the AAAAI says. 


Change Filters

Woman Checking Air Conditioner At Home

You should switch out the filters in central air conditioning and heating systems, and in-room air conditioners, once a month, the AAAAI says.

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Eradicate Germs

Woman Cleaning Nightstand In Room

If someone has been sick, the CDC recommends cleaning all surfaces that may have germs on them, including doorknobs, bedside tables, counters and phone. Wash bed sheets with laundry soap and tumble dry on a hot dryer setting. It's a good idea to wipe down switch plates and doorknobs regularly, even when everyone's healthy.

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Disinfect Your Phone

Female hands holding a mobile phone and wipe the screen cloth

While you're at it, clean up the primary source of germs in your bedroom: Your cellphone. Rest it in a UV sanitizing device daily, or wipe it down with sanitizing wipes or a disinfectant solution. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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