Wednesday, 20 July 2011

How often should you....?

Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4 initiated a deluge of e-mails and messages recently when someone mentioned that she only changes her family’s bedding once in two weeks.  Thence began the great debate – how often should you change your sheets?  There were all sorts of theories and opinions and lots of shock/horror at people whose regime was considered insanitary by others.  One interviewee, said she was really annoyed when a fastidious friend (who showers night and morning) arrived in her kitchen after her one-night visit, bearing her sheets for the wash. (The hostess had planned to make them last one more time). I suddenly remembered when I was teaching a biology practical class – about 35 years ago – and being awed by our lab assistant, who confided during tea-break that she washes her family’s towels every day. I thought everyone did them once a week?  But then again, that was in the time of Jackie Kennedy. It’s funny what things stick in your mind.  I wish more important things had the same effect. It just goes to show how deeply our mother’s brainwashed us concerning rules on the home front  By the way, I couldn't hang my sheets like this: they would have to be stretched out straight. Do Americans hang out the sheets?  From watching too many sitcoms, we think that you all eat pizza and send everything to the laundry.


  1. Well, I can't speak for all Americans, but I wash our sheets once a week and used bath towels on a daily basis. I live in a community where clothes lines aren't allowed (and the community we lived for 29 years before this also didn't allow clothes lines) so I don't have the pleasure of air-drying sheets. We throw them in the gas dryer. I remember my mother hanging all the laundry out to dry when I was a child -- and also the wonderful scent and feel of that air dried laundry.

    Some of my neighbors do send their laundry out but that seems so extravagant to me and, as far as I can tell, isn't the norm.

  2. Yes it's difficult when there are rules against hanging things in the fresh air. I always love to see the washing hanging across the narrow streets in Italy and in some of our poor townships here, its the only clean sight and sign of pride in the back yards. Thanks for the info, Kathy.

  3. I would say we change our sheets about once every two weeks on average. We don't have a set schedule though. We do wash our bath towels daily though. We don't hang our laundry out just because we are too lazy! :) I actually do all the laundry at our house. I do one load each day when I am getting ready for work in the morning.

    We just had the discussion at work about making beds. When I was a kid it was a sin punishable by death to leave our beds unmade. (Obviously I exaggerate a bit! I'd have died many times otherwise!) Now, we never bother making our beds at our house. My daughter will make hers when she's going to have a friend over or something but I just don't see the point. I'm just going to get in it again anyway! :)

    It is very interesting to see the wide range of opinions on subjects like these!

  4. Interesting how we all live by different standards. Sheets once a week for I do go to bed clean. New face clothes every day but towels once a week. After all, they just dry off a clean body where face cloths clean more than faces.
    Arkansas Patti

  5. Fascinating everyone! Now me, I have to make my bed the minute I get out of it: then next minute (well, after my shower), I put my make-up on - every single day.

  6. I'm with you "fiftyodd"! I do the exact same thing. Just as an aside - I met a fine young man from South Africa at Disney(USA) the other day. He represented your fine country and we had a wonderful chat about life there and life in the US. He is here for a year's internship, misses home and mom (his birthday was yesterday and he just turned 21) We all have these mythical ideas about places we haven't been to -we traded stories and laughed at our "sameness" and sometimes differences. But for the most part...we put our makeup on every day (mostly) and make the bed when we get out of it. Your blog is fun to read! Thanks.

  7. well, i wash the sheets every 2 weeks. i know it prolly sounds gross, but im not a dirty person. and i wash my towels pretty much the same too, every 2 weeks, but i dont go through towels like crazy. *shrug* i dunno, everyone is different lol. and i dont hang my laundry to dry, i just put it in the dryer. I dont know what i would do if i didnt have my dryer LOL. and you pretty got most of us Americans, we do eat a lot of pizza lol

  8. Lol. we use a dryer ! (:

    (: please read my blog

    its getting lonley with only one member on my page.
    which is my self..
    sad right.
    that i have to beg for readers.

  9. I tend to try to change the sheets once a week, but lately, I have been stretching it to two weeks because I've had my cleaning person do it for me due to back problems. I love fresh, dried on the line sheets, and wish I had a way to hang mine outside. I think one sleeps better on these wonderful smelling sheets.

    Towels get washed once a week. I guess I am lazy. I used to wash a clean one every day.

  10. Only an occasional pizza here and only the clothes that must be dry cleaned go to the cleaners. Picked up a skirt and sweater from there yesterday.

    As for sheets and towels, weekly at our house; however, I have a friend who has some serious health issues, and she doesn't do her sheets for months at a time. I have gone over three times this year and stripped her bed and washed the bedding. I believe I am the only one who does this as it is almost impossible now for her to get the sheets back on the bed. Still, I have to practically fight with her to allow me to do this.