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Guys, let’s talk about hygiene: Our bed sheets are rank

A new study finds the average single man washes his sheets four times a YEAR.
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Bobby Box, August 29, 2013 11:52:42 AM

A new survey by U.K. mattress company Ergoflec found the average single man washes his sheets only four times a year. Now, I’d like to point out that this is a British study, and, well, they aren’t exactly known for being the most hygienic people on earth. (See: teeth.)

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the tidiest guy around, but I still live with my parents, which means I’ve kind of been conditioned to keep my room somewhat maintained on the regular (…ladies?).

The survey also found the following results:

  • Among single men aged 18-25, 55 per cent changed their sheets every 3.1 months. Of this group, 49 per cent figured that was plenty in terms of frequency. 19 per cent didn’t care
  • 17 per cent of those men also admitted their soiled sheets have put off potential romantic partners
  • The cleanest demographic were women aged 30-50, with 60 per cent of those changing their linens weekly
  • Couples were generally clean as well, changing the sheets every 2.3 weeks. 81 per cent of women in couples carry the sheet-changing responsibilities

Though I’m sure you find this survey’s results unsettling enough, let me add a little more texture to these stats. Guys do EVERYTHING in bed. We eat, fart, pleasure ourselves, use the sheets as napkins for our greasy fingers, itch our butts, and almost always sleep in the buff (that means bare butts on our sheets, FYI). We do all of it. In fact, I’m currently staring at a mustard stain on my sheets from a sausage I ate about a month ago. I’m not proud of this, I’m just being honest.

If this information isn’t enough to suggest bringing a dude to your place for some fondling, ladies, I don’t know what will. It is for this fact that I wonder why single dudes (myself included) don’t take better care of our bed sheets; we’re, presumably, trying to make a good impression on whomever we bring home, right? Well, a skid mark isn’t exactly the lasting impression she’s hoping for in return.

I understand that if you start dating someone with poor hygiene, asking them to bathe more frequently could be mortifying. They are adults and should know better, except they don’t. But just think: pretty soon, friends and family members will soon give him a rather unflattering nickname based on his inability to effectively wipe himself clean after using the bathroom…nasty.

So, before I go on grossing you out with more hypotheticals, let me offer some subtle solutions to your stinky problem:

  • Tell them you love the scent of a particular perfume/cologne or deodorant. If they don’t pick up the hint and grab it for themselves, purchase it for them, or take them shopping for a new cologne and point out that particular brand. A quick trip to your closest drug store does the trick
  • If the odour lies within the mouth, purchase a new electronic toothbrush. Many models make three consecutive pauses to notify the brusher that they have brushed for long enough, AKA: no stink
  • Conserve water. Shower together

If these subtle approaches don’t work out, it’s time for the straightforward approach. Here are three options for doing so:

Sensitive approach
This is probably your best option, as it’s the most considerate and, well, sensitive. One time when the two of you are alone, simply tell them you want to chat. Then grab their hand and, in a non-judgmental tone, use “I’ve noticed…” instead of “you’re always” when breaching the topic. Being less accusatory will soften the blow.

Humourous approach
After enough joking and kidding about their hygiene, hopefully they will take the hint that there’s a little more truth to your teasing than they may have first believed. “Babe, you stink. Go grab a shower,” works. It’s pretty blunt, and when used with some of the subtle tips above, could quite possibly be your best option.

Casual approach
You don’t need to make this an event. Sometimes, somebody just needs to be informed of their hygiene and that’s that. Don’t make the issue offensive and casually steer your conversation in another direction after you’ve brought it up. Hopefully, the message was clear enough, and your problem is solved.

MORE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE FROM OUR EXPERT:

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