Not washing your pillowcase for a week causes 17,000 times more bacterial colonies than a toilet seat, horrifying experiment shows
If you haven’t washed your pillowcases for a week, you’re probably sleeping on 17,000 more bacterial colonies than there are on a toilet seat.
Shocking smears from the coverings reveal that materials like cotton and silk are teeming with mold and germs because of your dead skin cells, sweat, feces, and saliva.
The experiments collected samples from unwashed pillowcases and incubated them for up to seven days, revealing bacteria that can cause skin infections and inflammation.
Studies have shown that the average person changes or cleans their bags every 24 days, while dermatologists recommend this at least twice a week.
Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, told WebMD Well and goodWhen you get into bed, you contaminate your bedding with dead skin cells (about 50 million a day), sweat, makeup, lotions, hair, and everything else you picked up during the day, from pollen and pet dander to mold and dirt particles as well as bacteria and virus particles.
“Dead skin cells and sweat provide food for dust mites, luring them to your bed and allowing them to multiply.”
King further explained that sleeping on the same pillowcase for a week can cause allergies, skin infections or skin inflammation.
One type of bacteria that can grow on the covers is Staphylococcus aureus, which leads to skin and soft tissue infections such as boils and cellulitis, a disease of the deeper skin layers and underlying tissue.
AmeriSleep research released this month showing three million bacterial colonies living on a pillowcase that wasn’t washed within a week.
The mattress company swept the unwashed pillowcases of three volunteers at the beginning of each week for four consecutive weeks to discover the results.
If you haven’t washed your pillowcases in a week, you’re probably sleeping with 17,000 more bacterial colonies than on a toilet seat
“After a week, pillowcases contain between three and five million CFUs (colony-forming units) per square inch,” AmeriSleep shared in the blog post.
Pillowcases were found to contain both germs and gram-positive cocci.
Bacilli can cause eye infections, endocarditis, bacteremia and septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis, and musculoskeletal infections.
And gram-positive cocci can lead to toxic shock syndrome and other infections that resist antibiotics.
Not only is your pillowcase teeming with germs, but it could also have bed buds in it.
These critters prefer covers to pillow stuffing, so people complaining about bed bugs said they woke up with bite marks on their face, neck and shoulders, which were very itchy and irritated.