GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - We spend about a third of our lives ... sleeping. So, if we're spending years in our beds, you want to be clean and feel good, right?

That leads to our question: How often should you wash your bed sheets?

We went to the laundry evangelist -- yes, laundry evangelist -- to get to the bottom of it.

"You probably don't have to wash them as often if you wear pajamas and socks versus if you wear nothing," Patric Richardson said.

Alright, good to know.

That's our first source. He has a degree in textiles and teaches a "Laundry Camp."

"Well, I think the given answer is once a week," Richardson said.

Once a week seems like a lot.

Are the sheets really getting that dirty and from what?

We asked that to Dr. John Flaspohler, a microbiology professor at Concordia College in Moorhead.
(Great mascot, Go Cobbers.)

"There are tens of thousands of your own cells that are falling off of your body. It's kind of the way we're designed," Flaspohler said.

Essentially, dead skin.

Can this make us sick?

"In terms of health benefits, I don't think washing once a week versus once a month is really gonna make all that much difference," he said.

But if we're going with our first expert and washing our sheets once a week, well, who has the time for that?

Richardson has three tips to help you make the most of your wash.

1. Use an all-purpose bleach alternative with your detergent.

"It breaks down anything organic, so all the oil from your skin, the dead skin that's on your sheets, all of that," he said.

2. Take your sheets out of the dryer right away.

"The longer they sit in the dryer, just the less comfortable they're going to become," he said.

And 3. You don't have to wash the comforter as often, maybe once every month or two or three times, and getting a duvet cover helps.

But, he says, remember ...

"You're going to start noticing your sheets if, you know, you don't wash them for a week or two."