Cleaning and caring for your sheets and bed linens

We spend so much time in our beds – cleaning and maintenance are of crucial importance. Proper bedding care will allow you to sleep more comfortably while extending your linens’ life. While blankets, comforters, and quilts can be washed less frequently, sheets require more care and should be washed every two weeks. Most sheets are made of cotton, cotton/polyester mixes, or polyester microfiber, which requires slightly different cleaning. To minimise fading or shrinking, all bedding should be regularly washed. Always make sure you follow the recommended care instructions before attempting any cleaning.

Locate the fabric care label that gives the fibre content and instructions, including water temperature and bleach use, and carefully follow them the first time you wash a set of sheets. This is especially true for satin sheets, bamboo sheets, or linen bedding, which may require different washing recommendations than the ones indicated below for cotton mixes, or polyester sheets.

Here are a few simple steps you should follow when cleaning your sheets

  1. Pre-treat stains – Rub an oxygen cleanser or stain remover onto the stain and lightly scrub with a soft-bristle brush to pre-treat light stains.
  2. Pick the correct cleaning solution – To remove body oil, soil, dead skin, and grime from cotton sheets, use a heavy-duty laundry detergent. Polyester and microfiber bedding respond well to regular laundry detergent.
  3. Make sure you choose the correct temperature and cycle – Cotton bedding should be washed in hot water to eliminate allergies and kill dust mites. Cool or warm water should be used to wash microfiber linens and cotton/polyester blends.
  4. Dry your sheets – To avoid creases, dry your linens in a low heat setting. For all materials, avoid the hot cycle because heat can wear out fabric and harm the elastic on fitted sheets.

When possible, hang your sheets to dry outside on a bright day using a clothesline. The sun is both a natural disinfectant and a natural brightener. In order to remove creases, fluff them up for a few minutes in the dryer.

Getting rid of various stains

Staining can occur on any type of sheet. You’ll need to remove food, drink, blood, or body oil stains from your linens at some point. Pre-treating stains using oxygen bleach products normally works, but there are occasions when you need to bring out the big guns. Here are three of the most common sorts of stains discovered on sheets, along with instructions on how to clean them:

  • Blood – Hot water should not be used on fresh or dried blood. Instead, soak blood stains in cold water for a few minutes to release the stain. After that, rub the discoloration with hydrogen peroxide and rinse. If the stain persists, treat it with an enzymatic cleaner designed for pet stains before washing it as usual.
  • Makeup and other cosmetics – Apply a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent to the stain and gently rub it in. Repeat as needed until the makeup stain is gone, then wash as usual.
  • Coffee – In a bucket or bowl, combine 1 litre of water, 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish detergent, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Submerge the soiled area of the sheet and soak it for 15 minutes. If required, rinse and repeat, then wash the sheet as usual.

Care and maintenance

Small rips in sheets can be easily repaired by hand using the same colour thread. This basic hand-sewing procedure can also be used to repair a damaged seam or to repair blown-out elastic on a fitted sheet. To close major rips, use mending tape or fusible interfacing on the backside of the sheet. Cut a piece of tape or interfacing to cover the rip, then iron it on.

Ironing bed linens

Polyester or polyester/cotton sheets will almost certainly come out wrinkle-free from the dryer or the clothesline. Cotton percale sheets, on the other hand, are prone to wrinkling and may need to be ironed, depending on your desire. Ironing sheets is best done when they are somewhat damp and on a low heat setting. You can also use a steam ironing tool and remove wrinkles while your sheets are hanging.

Additional tips on how to properly clean your sheets:

  • Sort sheets from other laundry items and whites from colours to avoid bleeding in the washing machine.
  • Don’t stuff your machine with too many sheets. The cloth must be allowed to tumble freely in order for the detergent to reach and penetrate every fibre for the best cleaning.
  • To brighten sheets, especially white ones, avoid using bleach. It may cause fabric damage. To whiten white linens, use oxygen bleach. You can also soak them in a bucket of water with 1/2 cup of white vinegar for one hour before washing them regularly.
  • When you take your linens out of the linen closet, wash them. A stale odour could indicate that they have mildew, which can happen if they were stored somewhere damp.
  • Avoid using fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which can impair the absorbency of natural fibres and make bed sheets sticky. To eliminate residues that stiffen cotton sheets, add distilled white vinegar to the last washing cycle.