How to Wash Bed Sheets


Bed sheets absorb moisture from body oils, sweat and germs. Washing them one to two times per week will give you the crisp, clean feeling that will make you look forward to slipping into bed. Over time if they are not washed frequently enough, the sheets will become less hygienic and not pleasant to sleep on, causing the fibers in them to break down at a faster rate. Someone who sweats a lot in their sleep should definitely wash their sheets at least weekly. Some people can get away with two weeks between washings, and sick beds need to be changed frequently to get rid of germs. You will prevent staining and yellowing when you wash your sheets as needed. However, changing sheets daily will also wear them out a lot faster.

Blends and Cottons

Cotton-polyester blends, pure cotton and Egyptian cotton sheets can be washed together, but it is a good idea to separate them from other laundry which could snag them or even prevent the sheets from circulating in the water freely. Mild detergents are ideal, and use cool or warm water on a gentle cycle. Sheets that are heavily soiled might need pre-treating with a stain remover, plus a hot water wash cycle. Look at the manufacturer’s directions for any special handling to make sure you are caring for your sheets properly.

Something else that is helpful is bundling each sheet into a ball before putting it into the washing machine, as this keeps them from wrapping around the agitator or being damaged, abraded or failing to get properly cleaned. Also, fleece sheets are great in colder climates, however they freely shed lint so wash them separately.

Softeners, Bleach and Brighteners

The less cleaners and chemicals you add, the better off your sheets will be. Brighteners and bleaches will weaken the fibers and change the colors, making your sheets dull and shortening their lifespan. Put ¼ cup of lemon juice instead of bleach into the wash cycle to brighten your sheets. Detergent can also be a problem if sheets retain any soap residue, as they can feel scratchy and stiff. To fix this, use around half the recommended amount of detergent and put a cup of white vinegar into the rinse cycle to get all the detergent out. Dryer sheets and fabric softeners could make your laundry smell god, however they cause buildup over time because they coat fibers. They could also make whites and colors look gray, plus make cotton material less absorbent. Line dry your sheets instead for a fresh scent.

Luxurious Linens

Linen and silk are smooth, comfortable and soft and look great on your bed. You can keep them looking this way with a bit of extra attention. Wash new silk sheets a couple of times by hand to soften them up with lukewarm water and a very mild soap with no long soaking, scrubbing or energetic wringing. Wrap them in a bath towel and twist to get the water out of them. After they are broken in, you can use the gentle cycle on your washing machine with tepid water no higher than 86 degrees Fahrenheit with one spin cycle. Harsh detergents, hot water, brighteners and bleaches will damage the silk thread. Linen will get softer after each washing and won’t shed or pill. Water temperatures under 104 degrees Fahrenheit and a mild detergent are best for linen. Bleach will break down flax fibers and make them wear out sooner.

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