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Reminder: Wash Your Crusty, Revolting Sheets

Hi, you’re gross

This is the public service announcement that will never die until we reach full compliance: Your pillows are flat, and your sheets are gross. You must wash them. You must change your life.

We’ve told you this before: Sheets are basically a big sleeping bag for all your shedding skin cells, weeping oils, flaky dirt, sex and food stains, hot farts and warm drool. (Not to mention a way for your current hookup to spot the last lady’s makeup on your pillowcase—not that that’s happened to anyone we know.) One survey found that men aged 18 to 25 only baptize their bed sheets every three months.

That is alarming enough, but now a new survey has found an even more egregious subset of people (probably also men): 20 percent of adults only wash their sheets every six months. All that gross body stuff isn’t just making the cotton shine, friend: It attracts dust mites to your mattress (also gross) by the millions.

The least you can do is slap a fresh sheet on top of your lethal bug pad.

I’ve anticipated your arguments: But I only have one set of sheets! Of course you do: Keeping a backup set of sheets is a super grownup thing to do and you’re not a grownup. I’m not asking you to buy the burial plot yet; simply to keep an area you sleep eight hours a night on reasonably clean. Sheets are expensive! This isn’t a plea to drop serious coin on 800-thread count sheets — you can buy a perfectly great set of sheets for under $50. Washing sheets is a pain in the ass, especially if you don’t have a washer and dryer in house! This is one single extra load of laundry every two weeks. Life hack: Just buy a second set of sheets, so you only have to wash a set of sheets once a month.

While certainly #notallmen are egregiously bad cleaners, a bit of sympathy is due here: As we say in the South, you come by it honestly. Most men are unfortunately not raised to be dutiful cleaners of houses, much less any good at anticipating the needs of guests. Were you to conduct an informal inspection of the homes of the men and women you know, it would likely produce predictable results: Many women will have backup sheets/blankets, matching towels, and an extra toothbrush or four should a guest pop by. Men are more likely to have just one sheet (the top sheet was lost long ago in an unspeakable accident), the Transformers comforter from their childhood bed, one inexplicably stained towel, and a single 6-year-old toothbrush, frayed.

Whatever you do, don’t wait for a lady proper to come along and wash those sheets or stifle the gag that signals the end. Instead, avoid the embarrassment of looking like a wildebeest in the home — and the sack — and change those sheets (and pillows).