Nothing beats climbing into a bed of fresh, clean sheets.

While this is absolutely exhilarating, you probably don’t experience the thrill of clean bed sheets as often as you should. As one microbiologist explains, washing your bed sheets frequently is not only important but paramount in avoiding nasty bacteria from growing on your bed (ew).

The Right Amount Of Clean

So, how often should you really be washing your bed sheets? Chances are, you aren’t doing it enough.

A recent CNN survey found that most people change their sheets every 10 to 14 days. Some people even go three to four weeks without washing their bed sheets.

According to New York University microbiologist Phillip Tierno, we all need to wash our sheets once a week. Yes, once per week.

Have Back Up Sheets On Hand

While washing your sheets can be a pain, it’s worth it to rid your sleeping area of all the nasty bacteria that tends to build up.

If you simply can’t manage to wash your sheets each week, at least change them. Stocking up a few sets of bed sheets can reduce the burden of washing them. However, you won’t want to let bed sheet laundry build up, either.

A Bacterial Botanical Garden

It’s estimated humans excrete 26 gallons of sweat in bed every single year. That roughly equates to a cup of sweat each night you go to bed. Gross.

All of this sweat contributes to an ideal environment for bacteria and fungus to grow between your sheets. Other microbes like animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, dust-mite debris, and more all love settling into your sheets and pillows. Double gross.

What’s more, all of the bacteria collected on your bed may actually contribute to sickness. Allergens living in your sheets and pillows can easily trigger sniffing, sneezing, or a scratchy throat. This is because you’re probably ingesting them as you sleep. Yikes!

In order to kill off as much of this nastiness as possible, make sure you clean your sheets every week with hot water. Setting your dryer to its hottest temperature will also help kill the grime that could be living within the threads of your sheets, too.