What Can Happen If You Don’t Change A Pillowcase

by Isadora Baum, CHC

Nobody likes germs, and unfortunately those nasties can be found crawling around on our desks, kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, and especially between our sheets. Thus, if we don't clean our bedding weekly, we can be setting ourselves up for contraction of illnesses, poor hygienic consequences and just an overall blah sort of feeling.

As a certified health coach, I work with clients on keeping their homes and lives clean and organized, so that they can feel comfortable, energized, and happier each day. When we are living in a mess, or are exposed to toxic elements, we can often feel a lack of control over our surroundings and just an overall greater tendency to feel slowed down and not as mentally and physically alert or productive as we might like. Plus, we often don't know what dangers can be hiding in these sneaky, dirty areas in our home and lifestyle conditions, and frankly, that's the scariest part. A lack of knowledge is worrisome, as we will be less informed of the importance and urgency of maintaining a cleaning schedule. Here are eleven gross things you can expect from not washing your bedding sheets weekly.

1. You Can Get Acne

According to certified healthy lifestyle coach, Liz Traines, over email with me, not changing your pillowcases weekly can lead to "acne" and a duller, more uneven complexion, which is less desirable and can make us feel insecure or unlike or our natural selves. Thus, changing pillowcases can eliminate germs that can irritate the skin.

2. You'll Be Sleeping In Your Sweat

According to Maeve Richmond, founder and head coach of home organizing company Maeve’s Method over interview with the Huffington Post, not cleaning your pillowcases weekly can make us sleep in our sweat, especially if we get into bed without showering after a workout or during the summertime, when the temperature is hotter and we are more prone to sweating.

3. You're Sleeping With Dead Skin Cells & Oil

Yum, right? According to Mary Zeitler of Whirlpool's Institute of Home Science over interview with Today, we can accumulate up to 56 hours a week of dead skin cells and oil, as well as body sweat, as we spend roughly a third of our lives on our pillowcases for rest. Wash regularly to lower the count and protect yourself (from yourself?).

4. Your Immune System Lowers

Since pillowcases harbor bacteria and yeast, it can lower our immune system and lead to greater risk of asthma, bronchitis and other health conditions that can arise from bacterial infections. Wash pillowcases weekly to keep yourself healthy so that you can stay productive and alert on your work tasks and feel well enough to engage in social outings and activities.

5. You're Exposed To Bodily Fluids

According to Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert and advice columnist, over interview with Deadspin, we can leave behind bodily fluids when we sleep, especially sexual bodily fluids when we do the nasty. Instead of forgoing sexual intimacy (cause that would be no fun!), just wash the sheets weekly to avoid rolling around in leftover fluids and bodily matters.

6. You Can Leave Behind Makeup Stains

Ever have a drunken night or two when you come home at 3am exhausted and unable to find your makeup remover/are too lazy to take the time to go to the bathroom before passing out on your pillow? Well, I have, and then I'll find some black mascara smudged over the linens. These stains can lead to acne, and they just look gross. Clean weekly (and maybe don't skip the bathroom stop), to avoid the mess.

7. You Can Get Dust Mites

While we might not find dead skin cells to make for an appetizing treat, dust mites certainly do, and having gross and dirty pillowcases can attract dust mites to our millions of dead skin cells that we shed each day. These dust mites can affect our health and immunity, so changing weekly should definitely be a top priority.

8. We Sleep Less & Become Mentally Slow

Okay, so this might not be an explicit "gross" effect, but when you consider the implications that lack of sleep has on the psyche and physical body, it's a real, icky problem. According to Dr. Pamela Thacher, a psychologist at St Lawrence University, New York, over interview with the Daily Mail, when we hoard items and have a messy room or when our bedding is cluttered and smelly, we sleep less and can become depressed or mentally slow.

9. You're Rolling Around In Poop

Yeah, ew. According to Philip Tierno, Jr., Ph.D., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University's Langone Medical Center, over interview with Women's Health, E. coli can carry over from our fecal matter into our bedding, and other substances that we sweat out can be unleashed on our pillow cases, which can lead to allergies and asthma. So, wash bedding weekly to avoid these crappy consequences.

10. You're Breathing In Dandruff

According to Tierno, our hair can leave behind dandruff, dry flakes and oils, and these substances directly hit our pillowcases and can contribute to pimples and breakouts, as well other difficulties due to our hair's dead and unhygienic remnants from the day. Clean pillowcases weekly, or you might be breathing in dirty skin flakes and oils from those sweaty locks each night.

11. You Can Get Clogged Pores

Clogged pores can occur when we don't change our pillowcases weekly, and such incidents can lead to blemishes and breakouts. Some good tips are to exfoliate, as you'll be less exposed to dead skin cells and shedding on a regular basis, and to use chemical-free laundry detergent, as some chemicals can affect our skin.

Cleaning your pillowcases, as well as total bedding for optimal benefits, weekly can help lower your risk of illnesses, dustmites, acne and other gross consequences that can interfere with our health and wellbeing. Keep your bedroom safe, beautiful smelling and bacteria-free for a good night's sleep.

Images: Pixabay (10); Pexels (2); Bustle