19 September 2023

How often should you wash your pyjamas?

19 September 2023

We all have our favourite pair of PJs we come back to – time after time. Some of us may even have special pyjamas for lounging around in and feeling comfy when snuggled up with Netflix on the sofa.

But because they’re only worn inside the house and for sleeping (well, most of the time), the rules can seem different when it comes to PJ maintenance. So, how often should we be washing them and switching to a clean pair?

Do you need to wash your pyjamas daily?

“You might be surprised to know the answer is no!” says cleaning and laundry expert Laura Mountford, author of Live, Laugh, Laundry. “Like all of our clothing, many of us may be guilty of washing our pyjamas too frequently, or perhaps not enough. But in reality, pyjamas should be washed after every two or three wears. Washing them after every wear, unless they are actually stained, smelly or sweaty, is unnecessary – a waste of money, water and energy,” Mountford adds.

She suggests pyjamas can be left to air between wears, and this should be sufficient for them to freshen up ready for the next night – so putting them under your pillow probably isn’t the best idea.

Should you wash them more in the summer?

“I wash my pyjamas more in the summer when the nights are hot,” says Mountford, “as sweat can cause bacteria growth, which will make them smell. And nobody wants to snuggle into bed in sweaty pyjamas, do they?”

What’s the most hygienic way to wash your pyjamas?

Sophie Lane, product training manager at Miele GB, says: “Wash pyjamas at the highest temperature the fabric can cope with – check the garment care label. This will deliver the most hygienic clean. Detergent is also important to achieving good results.”

Are different materials more or less hygienic?

Natural fabrics like cotton are the most hygienic, suggests Mountford, as they are breathable, so bacteria and sweat builds up less quickly compared to manmade fabrics like polyester.

Lane agrees, adding: “Cotton is also extremely durable and can withstand high temperature washes. Bamboo is another good fabric option for pyjamas. It’s very breathable whilst being effective at thermal regulating, to keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s also anti-bacterial, hypo-allergenic and odour-resistant.”

What happens if you don’t wash pyjamas regularly?

Mountford says: “Most of us wear our pyjamas for eight hours each night, so not washing them frequently enough can cause bacteria to grow, making them smelly and unhygienic… not very cosy at all. This may reduce the quality of your sleep,” she adds – noting it could result in “skin irritation” too.

Does it make a difference if you shower before bed or in the morning?

“Showering before bed keeps your pyjamas and bedding fresher for longer, as you are jumping into bed with a clean body, having already removed the dirt, bacteria and allergens from the day,” says Mountford.

“Not showering before bed will cause these particles to be transferred onto your nightwear and bedding, which will cause them to get dirty and smelly more quickly.”

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