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We brush our teeth every day, take regular showers, and keep our clothes nice and fresh – but most of us probably don’t pay as much attention to the cleanliness of the sheets we crawl into every night.

If you’re planning a romantic evening, or, you know, just fancy a sleep – it’s probably a good idea to make sure your sheets are as clean as they can be.

Philip Tierno, a professor of microbiology and pathology at the NYU School of Medicine, told VICE why:

When you don't wash your sheets, large quantities of particulates accumulate, including human skin cells. Those cells serve as foodstuff for dust mites, whose faeces are very allergenic.

That means they can cause irritation, sneezing, itchy eyes, and all many of bad reactions.

Dirty sheets can also be a hotbed for fungal spores, mould, dust and even insect parts – which can all make allergies even worse.

And even more terrifying, Tierno says staph bacteria can survive on bedding that isn’t regularly washed in hot water. While this type of bacteria lives on our skin anyway, if it gets into the bloodstream via a cut it can be fatal, albeit only in rare circumstances.

So how do we ensure we don’t fester in all these gross things every night? Tierno advises washing our sheets once a week.

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