Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Bedsheets. Step-By-Step Tutorial

Clean bed linen gives comfort and relieves fatigue. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to wash bed linen well in order not only to remove dirt and dust but also to make it fresh and pleasant to the touch. Luckily, washing and drying the bed sheets are not difficult as we all have washing machines. However, it is crucial to know what cycle to choose to wash bedding sheets and how much detergent you need to put.

Today we have prepared the ultimate guide on how to care for your bed sheets so that they would look like new for a long time.

How to Wash Bed Sheets? General Tips on How to Wash Bed Sheets

  • Read the recommendations from the manufacturer on how to wash particular bed sheets. Usually, the type of fabric is indicated on the packaging, as well as the temperature conditions for washing and ironing, which must be followed.
  • Before putting bedsheets to the washing machine, you need to put the drum in order — wipe it inside with a dry cloth. Also, run a sponge under the rubber seal a few times.
  • Before using a new set of bedding, it must be washed, first turning the pillowcases and duvet cover inside out. After buying new laundry, be sure to disinfect it by setting the prewash mode.
  • Change the bed linen once a week, in this case, you can use a more gentle mode to wash it.
  • Before washing, separate the bedding by colour and temperature. And don’t forget to separate natural fabrics from synthetics. Always separate coloured and white bedding. Washing of coloured and white bed linen cannot be combined, otherwise, you can forget about the snow-white fabric forever as it sheds. You cannot wash the bedding of different fabrics together. Sets of different types of fabrics should be separated.
  • Don’t use bleach to wash your bedding as it will negatively affect colour and fabric.
  • Baby bedding should not be washed with regular detergent. To avoid using hand washing, you can add crumbled soap or a special children’s fabric care product to the washing machine.
  • Baby bedding is always washed separately from other family members’ beddings.
  • For machine washing, it is recommended to follow the weight limits and fill the washing machine drum to 50% as this will ensure a gentle wash, easy rinsing and spinning.
    The permissible weight of dry laundry is indicated by the manufacturer in the instructions, the weight of one adult set is about 2 kg. In any case, the more space left in the drum of the washing machine, the better the wash performance will be. If the washing machine capacity is 7 kg, do not try to wash three sets at once. Two is more than enough.
  • It is better to dry the bed sheets immediately after washing. And when drying coloured bedding in the sun, you should turn it inside out.
  • Iron bedsheets when they are slightly damp. Embroidered items must be worn on the wrong side.
  • Use liquid detergents and conditioners to wash your bedsheets.
  • Do not leave wrinkled laundry in the basket.
  • Wash your laundry even after the only use by guests.
  • Shake well and hang up before drying on a clothesline without folding bedding in half. If you use clothespins, try to cling to the edges, otherwise, they will leave a mark.
  • Do not expose the bedsheets to direct sunlight when drying.

How To Wash Bed Sheets (Step-By-Step Tutorial)


Luckily, heavy bedding can now be washed just at the touch of a button. But before you load pillowcases, sheets and duvet covers into the washing machine drum and press the start button, it is important to follow the above-mentioned rules. Now let’s dive into this a bit deeper.

How Do You Wash Cotton Bed Sheets?

New cotton bedding is recommended to be hand washed in cool water for the first time. Subsequently, white cotton fabrics are washed at a temperature of 90-95 ° C, and, if necessary, bleached. And coloured cotton is washed at a temperature of 40 ° C (this temperature is enough to destroy the microbes on the linen) without bleaching agents and separately from white linen. Cotton linen should not be washed together with products made of synthetic material – cotton loses its softness since synthetic fibres cling to the fibres of natural fabrics and raise their nap.

Cotton bed sheets drying: It is better to use a tumble dryer only for products with an authorization symbol on the label. In other cases, bed linen is dried in a flattened form in the open air, away from sunlight, because light negatively affects cotton.

Cotton bed sheets ironing: Typically, cotton is ironed wet or dry from the front side. If there is embroidery on the fabric, then it is ironed from the inside out. The exception is crepe which is not ironed.

Probably everyone once used cotton bedding or still makes their bed with it. The popularity of such a canvas has been known for a long time as it is a natural material that perfectly absorbs moisture, retains heat and allows air to pass through. But, for sure, many have come across a question that concerns cotton bed sheets washing. Can cotton beddings be washed at all and how often? Let’s discuss the exciting moments right now.

  • Should I wash my cotton bed sheets in a washing machine or by hands?

If you have purchased a new set of cotton bedding, the first wash is best done by hand in cold water. Subsequently, you will be able to wash cotton bedding in the washing machine.

  • Separate cotton bedding by colour and degree of pollution.

Every hostess knows that coloured and white bedding cannot be washed together, as this will ruin the snow-white look of your set. In addition, do not throw cotton fabrics together with synthetic ones into the drum of the washing machine, otherwise, the pile will rise and the softness will disappear.

You should sort by three types of colour palette: white (grey), black and coloured. Try to wash plain cotton items with items of the same shade or colour.

In addition to colour classification, sort the cotton bedding according to the degree of soiling. Be sure to turn pillowcases and duvet covers inside out so that no dirt or dust accumulated in the corners is left behind after washing. If there are locks on the pillowcases, it is better to close them so as not to damage the fabric during washing. Do not forget that cotton absorbs moisture very well, so do not load the drum to the full, otherwise the bedding will not wash off. 50% filling of the machine is enough for easy washing, rinsing and spinning.

  • Choose a washing cycle for the cotton bedding.

Before putting the cotton bedding in the washing machine, read the manufacturer’s recommendations, as well as the label on which it is indicated at what washing cycle this set can be washed. If you do not know the designation of the signs, you can read about this information on the Internet. Often, white cotton products can withstand high temperatures — up to 90 degrees which in no way affects the quality of the material. But for coloured fabrics, it is recommended to set a temperature regime that does not exceed 40 degrees. At this temperature, you can also efficiently remove dirt and disinfect the fabric.

  • Choose the detergent for cotton bedding.

White cotton bed sheets should be washed with mild, chlorine-free bleach, as this can negatively affect the quality of this fabric. You can use detergent for coloured clothing for coloured bed sheets. Remember that cotton won’t tolerate acetic or citric acid, so don’t experiment. If your cotton bedding is stained, you can soak it in cold water mixed with turpentine.

Cotton baby bedding should not be washed with ordinary powders and together with adult clothing sets, so as not to cause an allergic reaction to chemical components. Parents, often, wash it by hand. Baby bedding can also be machine washed using crumbled baby soap or baby fabric care products.

  • How to dry cotton bed sheets?

In order to dry cotton bedding, it is better to use traditional methods than a drying device. It is enough to take the cotton bedding out into the fresh air, hang it on white ropes and straighten them so that there are no folds. Turn coloured fabrics inside out when drying. On sunny days, it is better not to wash cotton bedsheets, since the sun’s rays negatively affect the cotton fibres.

  • How to iron cotton bed sheets?

To make it easier to iron cotton bedding, do not overdry it, let it be a little damp. You can iron a cotton fabric at 200 degrees on the front side, and if there are decorative elements or embroidery — on the wrong side. If there are wrinkles, use humidification or steaming mode.

How often should cotton bedding be washed? It already depends on your individual needs. It is recommended to change the bedding once a week to feel new freshness and comfort while sleeping.

The Best Way to Wash or Launder Your Bedsheets

How Do You Wash Linen Sheets for the First Time?

  • How to wash linen bed sheets?

Linen tolerates boiling. Dyed linen is washed at 60 ° C in a washing machine on a gentle mode. White and bleached linens are washed with a usual detergent. For unbleached and coloured fabrics, use a fine fabric detergent without bleaches.

To make linen bed sheets easier to wash, they must first be soaped and kept in warm water for an hour. Then add a little powder and 1 tbsp to the water. a spoonful of vinegar, wash, rinse in clean cold water and dry quickly.

  • How to dry linen bedding?

Drying linen bedding in a drying device is not worth it as it can shrink. Simply hang linen bed sheets but make sure they are not located under direct sunlight.

  • How to iron linen bedding?

When ironing, linen can withstand very high heating of the iron, but at the same time, the fabric should always be moistened, and it is best to iron the bed linen when it is a little wet.

How Often Should You Actually Wash Your Sheets?

How to Wash Silk Bed Sheets?

Silk bed linen is a luxurious element of the bedroom interior. Delicate and soft and at the same time durable and natural, it looks very beautiful. If you want to preserve this luxury for a long time, here are the tips on how to wash silk bedding.

  • Silk bed linen should be washed in the “hand wash” mode or on the delicate mode at 30 degrees, turning it inside out. Silk bed linen with embroidery should be washed in a laundry bag.
  • For washing, use a liquid detergent made for silk, without bleach, and load the drum halfway.
  • When rinsing, select the option “extra rinse” and “more water” and add conditioner or rinse aid.
  • Vinegar can help freshen up the colours of the silk bedding. Rinse the silk bedding in a solution of 5 litres of water and 1 tablespoon of 9% vinegar.
  • Dry silk bed linen away from heating appliances and not in the sun. It is advisable to dry silk bedding in the fresh air, but in no case, in direct sunlight, as this fabric easily fades in bright light.
  • Ironing silk bedding is easier when it is damp and at a medium iron temperature. Iron the silk bedding when it is slightly damp with a moderately hot iron on the wrong side of the fabric without steam. Silk should not be sprayed or water stains will appear.

How to care for silk bed sheets? Delicate silk bedding requires delicate and attentive care. To prevent the fabrics of your silk sheets and pillowcases from fading, yellowing or warping, ensure that they are stored properly. Place linen sets in well-ventilated cabinets, do not use any sprays or aerosols near silk linen and do not leave linen in direct sunlight.

What happens if you put silk in the washing machine? When washing silk bedding sets, try to do it without a washing machine so that silk fabrics of sheets and duvet covers will be less damaged, the fibres will not deform and will retain their strength longer. But if you still decide to wash silk bedding in a washing machine, choose a delicate mode, be sure to use bags for delicate washing and do not wash in water above 40 degrees.

Also, silk beddings do not accept the use of bleaching agents and soaking for more than 5 minutes. This is how the durability and colour of the linen can be damaged and the service life of silk linen is also reduced. It is better to add a little white vinegar or hair conditioner to the wash water to increase the silkiness of the laundry and set its colour. Do not twist silk linen after washing!

Pay attention to drying. Silk is a delicate and lightweight material that dries quickly, so you should not resort to methods that speed up drying. Avoid direct sunlight, overdrying silk, refrain from drying clothes in a special dryer – the temperature is too high there. Silk linen can be dried vertically, hanging without fear of deformation.

To iron silk sheets and pillowcases, no heat is needed and turn off the steam function. A safer way to iron silk bedding while it is still damp after washing. This way you will not ruin the linen or leave streaks from uneven moistening of the laundry.

How to Wash Bed Sheets for the First Time?

The main rule for most cotton fabrics is that the first wash of bed sheets should be done in an alkaline environment, i.e. using detergents. Rinsing will not be enough. In the past, people used a vinegar solution to avoid “shedding” and baking soda ash to get rid of heavy greasy dirt.

Now, to wash bed sheets for the first time it is enough to add a minimum amount of any modern laundry detergent or gel in order to wash off all excess from new bedding, a bathrobe or a towel. It is not recommended to use rinse aid or any additives: it is enough to “wash” the laundry at the recommended temperature for this fabric in a delicate mode.

After the correct washing of new linen, shrinkage of 2-7% is possible: this is normal and is usually specified by manufacturers so that after washing the linen will still correspond to the declared format and size.

You should also wash your bedsheets with household chemicals if it has been in the closet for a long time. From time to time stains or moth bites may appear on the fabric.

How to Hand Wash Bed Sheets?

  • Pour warm water into a large container prepared in advance (choose the temperature depending on what fabrics your bed sheets are made of). Dissolve and stir thoroughly with water or a suitable detergent. Make sure the soap is completely dissolved in the water before handwashing with soap.
  • Put the bedsheets in the prepared solution and let them soak. It is enough to leave the bed sheets for 5-10 minutes. Starting your wash immediately without soaking will not lead to the desired results.
  • Rub all particularly soiled areas with your hands. For greater efficiency, you can use a special brush with a suitable bristle stiffness.
  • Take each item of your bedding individually and start rinsing them in cold water. This should be done until the water remains clean and clear during the rinsing process.
  • After rinsing, wring the bedsheets thoroughly. If they are made of delicate fabrics, a terry towel must be used for the hand-wringing procedure.

How to Wash White Bed Sheets?

Washing white bed sheets is pretty easy, however, it is a bit different from washing coloured bed sheets.

  • Before washing white bedsheets, carefully read the label and make sure that you can wash the linen in a regular washing machine. Although in most cases the laundry can be machine washed, there are certain types of fabrics that require special care.
  • If white bedsheets became yellow, it is better to pre-soak them. Water needs to be not more than 40 degrees with a bit of detergent dissolved in it. You can also add a little bit of salt in the water. Soak your white bed sheets for half an hour, maximum an hour.
  • After soaking white bedsheets rub the most noticeable stains with powder or laundry soap and send the bedsheets to the washing machine.
  • How do you whiten yellowed clothes? It is easy to whiten yellowed bedsheets by boiling. However, first, make sure that this method of cleaning will not damage the structure of the fabric. You can boil bedding made from natural materials, as well as towels. Boil them directly after soaking, or wash them in a washing machine.
    During boiling, add a small amount of washing powder (in pure form or mixed in equal proportions with grated laundry soap). Fill the pot with water only a third, so that it does not boil away and the soap foam does not escape onto the stove. Do not forget to stir.
  • If possible, it is best to dry white bedding outside. Sunlight is a natural disinfectant that also helps white bedsheets to brighten up. It is advisable to dry your laundry this way every two months. If the weather is bad, load the clothes into the tumble dryer and add conditioner.
  • White bedsheets should always be ironed. Thanks to the high temperature, you can get rid of the remaining bacteria. It also makes it easier to roll your laundry and takes up less space in your closet.

Have you noticed that it is the snow-white sheets and pillowcases that create a feeling of cleanliness and freshness in the bedroom? It’s no secret that hotels use white colour sets for this very reason. But what we don’t understand is why all our attempts to make white sheets white again fail. If you follow the abovementioned tips, your white bedsheets will always stay white.

Your bed should be the perfect place to relax and you deserve perfect cleanliness and fresh-scented bedding. Follow our advice and your pillows and blankets will always be spotlessly clean.


I am passionate about making my home a better place and I want to share all my knowledge with you.

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