Oh Good – Unwashed Bedding Can Be A Massive Fire Hazard

Another reason to clean those sheets regularly.
Carol Yepes via Getty Images

Nothing beats a Sunday reset. Clean house, fully made bed, cosy and ready for the week ahead. Except, according to data from YouGov, a quarter of people aged 18-24 only wash their sheets once a month, if that.

Not washing your bedding can lead to dead skin lying on your sheets which can create a build-up of bacteria that can make its way onto our skin. Lovely.

It can also lead to dust mites, pet dander, and even scabies, according to Cleveland Clinic.

However, firefighters have warned that not washing your sheets often enough can also lead to more serious consequences for you and your home.

London Fire Brigade issues warning over unwashed bedding

London Fire Brigade has warned that emollients and skin creams can leave a residue on bedding and clothing that increases flammability, even just from a single application.

These are particularly concerning for people that spend extended periods of time in beds or armchairs due to illness or impaired mobility.

Emollients come in many forms including creams, lotions, gels and sprays, as well as soap alternatives.

So, as well as washing our bedding once a week, London Fire Brigade also recommend that people who frequently use emollients take care and follow these guidelines for reducing the chances of a fire:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Loose clothing can easily catch fire – take care not to lean over a hot hob and roll up your sleeves if possible when cooking.
  • Keep candles away from your clothing (and bedding), including when lighting them.
  • Sit at least one metre away from a heater – sitting too close could easily set light to your clothes or chair. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.