How to Wash Your Bed Sheets the Right Way

person putting bed sheets in a washing machine

Clean sheets can make all the difference to getting a good night’s sleep. They’re also crucial to the health of your mattress. If you don’t wash your sheets regularly, they’ll collect dust and debris that can wear down your mattress and make it less comfortable to sleep on. Washing your sheets is one of the easiest ways to keep your bedroom and bed in tip-top shape. But if you’re not keeping them clean, you could be setting yourself up for some serious health issues.

Sleeping on dirty sheets can lead to breakouts and rashes developing on your skin. This happens because if you have a breakout on your face or body, bacteria can transfer to your bedding and cause even more pimples to form. Likewise, if you’re already prone to acne or skin irritation, the oil and grime that builds up on unwashed sheets can irritate existing breakouts and lead to new blemishes forming.

More than just cleaning off the grime, washing your sheets regularly is essential for ensuring that they stay soft and comfortable. And if you want to keep your mattress in excellent condition (and prevent odors from developing), regular laundering is critical.

While it may seem straightforward to throw your sheets in the wash, there are some things you should know before you do. For example, have you ever wondered if dry cleaning is better than machine washing your sheets? What about how often you should be cleaning them? This article will discuss what you need to know about washing and dry cleaning your sheets.

washing machine with a laundry basket in front of it

Dry Cleaning vs. Washing

You can dry clean your sheets, but it’s not necessary. Most sheets don’t need to be dry cleaned at all.

Washing and drying your sheets takes a little more time than taking them to the dry cleaner’s. Dry cleaning may cost less time, but it costs more money and you risk damaging your sheets in the process. Dry cleaning is better at removing oil stains and grease. The chemicals used in the dry cleaning process are strong enough to remove any grease from your sheets. It will also make them smell good while doing it.

Laundering your sheets is less expensive than having them professionally cleaned, plus it is much more energy efficient than traditional dry cleaning because you won’t have to use as many toxic chemicals on them. So if you want to conserve water and save money, then laundering is the way to go. Laundering uses up to 50% less energy than dry cleaning does, which means less pollution for our environment! It also allows for a much longer lifespan for your clothing because there isn’t any chance of shrinkage or fading from over washing or over drying that often happens when someone else does this work instead of you!

The most significant difference between dry cleaning and laundering is that dry cleaning uses chemical solvents (like perchloroethylene or PERC) instead of water. The chemical solvent method is ideal for removing stains like pen ink and items that are easily damaged by water, such as suits and business casual attire.

According to the EPA, the average consumer is exposed to PERC in their home, air, and through their skin at concentrations of 50-300 micrograms per cubic meter. The primary route of exposure is through breathing indoor air that contains PERC vapors. In 1987, the EPA classified PERC as a Group B2, or probable, human carcinogen. Chronic exposure can also cause kidney damage, liver damage, and central nervous system effects such as dizziness and headaches. 

Dry cleaning has some advantages. However, it can be more expensive than washing clothes at home, the chemicals used in the process can be harmful to the environment, and clothing that has been dry cleaned can be damaged during the process. Dry cleaning is a good option for specific fabrics, including silk, wool, rayon, nylon, and acetate, as these are more vulnerable to damage from water and detergent products.

Laundering uses gentler soaps and detergents with water to get garments clean. This method is ideal for more delicate fabrics like rayon or silk, which can be damaged by harsh chemicals. Cotton is the most malleable fabric, and it’s a good idea to launder it rather than dry clean if you want to keep its shape. As for sheets, you can wash them at home. The high temperatures of a dry cleaning machine can fade colors and shorten their life span.

dry cleaning bed sheets

How Often Should You Wash Your Bedsheets?

It’s the question that divides the Internet. There are a lot of different opinions about how often you should wash your bedsheets. Some advocate doing so every week, others every two weeks, and others say once a month. A few even admit to only doing it once a year or less.

But there are some excellent reasons for keeping up with a consistent sheet-cleaning routine. For example, when you sleep, your body sheds old skin cells and sweat, which can build up on your sheets and make them dirty over time. Not only does this contribute to yucky smells, but it can also lead to skin irritations in sensitive areas due to allergens and microbes. If you have seasonal allergies, it’s essential to wash your sheets often because they can harbor pollen and other allergens.

If you have a cat or dog (or one who visits frequently), these little guys will leave behind dander and fur when they cuddle with you at night. Unfortunately, this can also cause allergic reactions in some people. On top of all this, dust mites love hanging out in your bedding and feeding off the dead skin cells that we humans constantly shed. These microscopic creatures live on every continent except Antarctica, so wherever you’re sleeping, this is a concern.

Washing sheets, like any chore, is a nuisance. Sometimes it’s tempting to ignore the signs that your sheets need a wash and keep on sleeping on them. It may seem like it’s not worth the hassle to clean them all the time. If you’re motivated by the health benefits of regularly laundering your bedding, this is good news, and the better news is you don’t necessarily need to do a full wash after every sleep. 

But there are some excellent reasons for keeping up with a consistent sheet-cleaning routine. Plus, if you don’t wash your bedding regularly, you might be sleeping in bug eggs! Yikes!

woman holding freshly washed bed sheets

What’s the Right Way to Wash Your Sheets?

It’s a common question: How do you clean sheets the right way? In theory, it shouldn’t be rocket science. But when you wash your sheets, there are so many questions. How often should they be cleaned? What temperature should the water be? Should you use fabric softener? There are so many factors that can affect how often you need to wash your sheets. For example, if you have a cat that curls up on your bed every night, you might need to wash your sheets more often than someone who doesn’t have a pet. However, several universal truths apply to everyone. So here are the answers to some common questions about washing your sheets.

The right way to wash bed sheets depends on the type of fabric. Cotton is generally easy to care for and can be machine washed in warm water using regular detergent. Most cotton sheets also do well in the dryer, but some will wrinkle terribly if not line dried. Read the care instructions before drying. Polyester is also easy to care for and can be machine washed in warm water using regular detergent. As high heat can damage the fabric, polyester blends, especially microfiber, should be dried on low heat only. Linen and silk sheets require extra care and are best hand washed (or at least washed on a delicate cycle) with mild detergent and line dried to avoid shrinkage and wrinkling.

For white sheets, use regular detergent plus bleach and hot water. For color sheets, use the gentle cycle but with warm water. If your sheets have stains or odors, pretreat them before washing them. Wash white sheets separate from dark or very brightly colored sheets. If you’re cleaning both types at once and have a front-loading machine — which is gentler than a top-loader — use cold water to minimize dye transfer from one fabric to another. If you have a top-loading machine, wash whites in hot water (which has the added benefit of killing bacteria). 

Spot treat stains before putting sheets in the wash. If you have a lot of stains, or if your whites are getting dingy use an in-wash laundry booster (like OxiClean) in addition to detergent. Use cold water. It’s better for the environment and your clothes, and it’ll help keep colors from bleeding or fading. Finally, use the “normal” cycle. Most washers have a “normal” cycle that should be used for most dirty laundry (as opposed to lightly soiled garments).

Don’t overstuff the machine. Sheets need room to move around in the drum of the washing machine so that water and detergent can reach all sides of the fabric and clean thoroughly.

​​When it comes time to dry your sheets, you should do so at a medium temperature to protect the fabric and ensure it isn’t damaged during drying. When drying, make sure that you shake out each sheet and any other pieces of fabric as they go into the dryer to reduce wrinkling and increase the airflow within the dryer.

woman doing a large load of laundry

How Do You Wash Your Duvet or Comforter?

Comforters and duvets do not need to be washed every time you wash your bedsheets, but it is recommended that you wash them every three months to keep them in good condition. Check the care label for cleaning instructions if you want to wash your comforter or duvet more often than that.

If you are washing your comforter or duvet at home, ensure that your washing machine can hold the entire bedding item and allow enough room for water and detergent. Otherwise, you may have to take it to a laundromat or dry cleaner, where they will have larger machines that can accommodate items such as comforters and duvets.

A comforter or duvet is a thick, very large blanket that covers the entire bed. It’s usually filled with feathers or down and uses a top sheet, blankets, and other bedding. Check the label for specific instructions. You can wash most comforters in a commercial washing machine, but some need to be cleaned by hand or at the dry cleaner. Remove any decorative pillows and other items from the bed before washing the comforter. These items need to be washed separately from the comforter and sheets because they can damage some fabrics while they’re being washed and dried.

Sort your laundry by color before washing. This is a good rule of thumb for all loads of laundry; sorting dark, medium, and light clothing into separate piles helps prevent dye transfer between items.

Place your duvet or comforter in the washing machine with a few towels or sheets. Towels and sheets add bulk to your load, which helps keep your duvet in place while it’s being washed. If you only have one or two towels, put them in a mesh bag first to avoid getting lost inside the duvet. Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with warm water (not hot). Hot water can cause certain fabrics to shrink, especially cotton. Warm water is best for most materials unless the label specifies otherwise. You should expect that it will require extra care to keep your comforter and pillows looking their best.

Many fill power ratings are based on the weight of the down after it’s been washed and dried. So once you’ve washed your comforter or pillow, you may notice a slight decrease in fill power. You may also see that the comforter is smaller than when you purchased it — this is common because the filling can shift during washing and drying.

folded bed sheets stacked on top of each other

How to Store Your Bed Sheets?

Your bed sheets don’t just provide a smooth and comfortable sleeping surface, they also give your bedroom a dash of style. And since we spend about a third of our lives in bed, it’s only fair that we treat them with respect by storing them properly.

Storing linen is a matter of personal preference — some people like to keep sets together, and others prefer to keep the fitted sheet separate from the flat sheet for ease of folding. But the most important thing when storing your bed sheets is that you ensure they’re kept clean and free from pests.

It’s also important to note that linen should always be stored clean. Otherwise, it could become damp or attract pests, especially if stored in a humid area. If you’re unsure whether your bedsheets are clean or not, check out our guide on how to wash bed sheets.

It would help if you stored your linen in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture, as with most fabrics. So keep your sheets in a linen closet. If you don’t have one (or a spare shelf in a wardrobe or cupboard), don’t fret. Likewise, you can use any area as long as it’s well ventilated, cool, and dry, such as ottomans or under-bed storage drawers.

You can also get creative with the way you organize your sheets so that they’re easy to access and keep neat. For example, if you have an entire drawer dedicated to bed linen, you could separate them into pieces before folding and stacking them on top of each other. You could even separate them by color or material (cotton/satin). This will make it easy for you to grab what you need at any given time without having to rifle through all the sheets to find that one flat sheet that got lost somewhere.

Most people want their bed linens to smell like they just came out of the laundry, which is why they tend to store their sheets inside plastic bags or zippered containers. However, while this will make your bed sheets smell fresher, it also creates extra moisture and can lead to mold and mildew if the space you’re using isn’t well ventilated. For this reason, it’s best not to store your linens in plastic bags.

Sleep is vital for our mental and physical well-being. According to the National Institutes for Health, sleep helps us process information we’ve learned during the day and has been linked to better immune function, increased creativity, and improved memory. That’s why it’s essential to get plenty of restful sleep every night. When your sheets aren’t clean, it’s easy to sweat a lot during the night. More sweat means more bacteria on your skin and more oil on your pillowcase. This can lead to pimples and other skin problems (like acne). Washing your sheets every week will help you avoid these problems. Your sheets can hold onto moisture, which is a great environment for mold and mildew to grow. These allergens can cause your allergies to act up or trigger an asthma attack.

When you’re sleeping on clean sheets you will have a better night’s sleep and healthier life. Don’t go to sleep worried about bed bugs, skin rashes, or rolling over on a crumb from your child’s playdate in the bed. Sleep on clean, healthy sheets. 

Bed Sheet Storages We Love

Large Capacity Clothes Storage Bag Organizer
$19.99 ($6.66 / Count)

by Lifewit 

Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
10/02/2023 04:14 am GMT
Was this article helpful?