Wash your duvet every 3 months to ‘prevent dust mites’

Use this life hack to put your duvet cover

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While washing your sheets and pillowcases is something most people do every week or two, duvets and pillows often fall to the wayside when it comes to cleaning. However, cleaning influencer Laura Mountford says we should be washing our bedding more frequently to keep them fresh and free from dust mites.

Laura, also known as @lauracleanaholic, shares her home hygiene tips and tricks on Instagram with an audience of 521K followers, and on TikTok (@lauracleanaholic) with 260K followers.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, she explained: “This is a job that ideally should be done every three to six months to keep your pillows and duvets fresh, hygienic and to prevent any dust mites.”

Dust mites are very small, insect-like pests which feed on dead human skin cells and thrive in warm, humid settings making your bed their perfect environment.

This is why they are often found living in bedding, mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpets or curtains. Dust mites can be particularly harmful to people with asthma.

However, regular cleaning is an easy way to reduce the dust mites in your home and ensure your bed remains hygienic. Laura explained her six-step method for washing pillows and duvets.

Most cotton, down, and synthetic pillows and duvets can be put in the washing machine, but make sure to read the care instructions first.

She said: “Keep your pillows in a pillowcase or pillow protector when putting them in the washing machine to avoid them ripping, and wash two pillows at a time to balance the load.”

Although you can use your normal detergent, Laura recommends replacing the fabric conditioner with a common household substance.

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“Replace fabric conditioner with vinegar to keep the pillow or duvet fluffy and neutralise any odours,” she said.

Vinegar is often recommended as a natural fabric softener and deodoriser. This is thanks to the high percentage of acetic acid in the vinegar.

The acidity of vinegar also works as a natural disinfectant. Laura continued: “Use the delicate cycle on your washing machine when washing bedding, and add an extra spin after the main wash to speed up the drying process.”

Once your cycle is complete, you should make sure to allow the pillows and duvet plenty of time to dry fully. Laura said: “This will avoid any bacteria or mould growth.” Ideally, you want to hang your pillows and duvet out on the line on a dry, sunny day.

If this isn’t an option, most duvets are perfectly suited to tumble drying, especially those with synthetic fillings. Pillows and duvets should be placed in the tumble dryer on low heat.

After tumble drying, allow your pillows to thoroughly dry out by placing them in the airing cupboard for a couple of days

Top care tips for your bedding

Prevention is essential to protect your pillows for as long as possible. Using a pillow protector, before adding your pillowcases, can help keep them clean for longer.

If your pillows become stained, spot-treat the area using your usual detergent before putting it into the washing machine.

If the filling is feather or down, shake the feathers away from the affected area to isolate the stain before treating it.

Stains on duvets should be spot treated as soon as possible using your usual detergent. If your duvet is feather or down, you should isolate the stain before treating it.

When using a washing machine to clean your pillows and duvet, always select a gentle cycle.

Laura said: “This will avoid any bacteria or mould growth.” Ideally, you want to hang your pillows and duvet out on the line on a dry, sunny day.

If this isn’t an option, most duvets are perfectly suited to tumble drying, especially those with synthetic fillings. Pillows and duvets should be placed in the tumble dryer on low heat.

After tumble drying, allow your pillows to thoroughly dry out by placing them in the airing cupboard for a couple of days

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