woman washing load of new white sheets

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You may have wondered in the past should you wash new sheets? With housekeepers being so keen on cleanliness, they’ve concluded that new sheets aren’t supposed to touch your skin before taking a tour inside the washing machine first. Accordingly, people welcomed the information with open arms, without questioning the source.

Woman washing load of new sheets - should you wash new sheets

Well, lucky for you, we’ll take you to the depths of the topic! After reading this article, you’ll know whether this is a fact or a myth, how to wash your new sheets, and how to care for different types of fabrics.

Do You Really Need to Wash New Sheets Before Using Them?

The bottom line is that whether you wash new sheets or not is totally up to you, but professionals highly recommend it. This is mainly because fabrics and textiles may have residue chemicals that stayed there after the production process. In addition, starch is used during manufacturing to give the new bedding a crisp and smooth finish.

Consequently, those residues can cause skin irritation and itching, especially to people with sensitive skin and allergy sufferers. That’s why it’s also recommended to wash your sheets with hypoallergenic detergents. They clean your bedsheets thoroughly without exposing your skin to harsh chemicals.

Similarly, for dyed and darker colored sheets, there’s a risk of the dye seeping into your clothes when you sleep. To prevent this, you should wash your brand new sheets before using them. In addition, you should avoid washing them with white sheets because they may transfer colors.

How to Wash New Bed Sheets

Washing new sheets slightly differs from your usual washing routine. There are many ways to wash your new sheets without damaging them, and we have them all listed here! You can either try them all or choose one according to your preference and available resources.

Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

For ultimate softness on your skin, you can use the magical mixture of baking soda and vinegar. All you have to do is use one cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar to remove the harmful chemicals from your bed sheets without damaging the fabric. Make sure to use warm water to get fresh and clean sheets.

Air Dry the Sheets

If you like soft pillowcases, you’ll love this method. Instead of using your dryer, you can try air drying your sheets after the first wash. This is because the dryer’s high temperature can cause damage to the fibers of your new sheets. Then, just leave them outside in the sunlight for a few hours and enjoy your new set of beddings!

Use Dryer Sheets

Do you know that fabric softener that you think you can’t do without? It can be replaced with dryer sheets. A dryer sheet can reduce static and leave your new bedsheets smelling fresh. It’ll also work wonders for the odd odor accompanying the new sheets after taking them out of their package.

Moreover, dryer sheets are generally cheaper than fabric softeners and much easier to use. Just pop them inside the dryer with all of your laundry, and enjoy the results!

Use Dryer Balls

Since dryer sheets are non-reusable, professionals recommend that you use dryer balls instead. They can be used many times, and they don’t cause allergies.

Moreover, dryer balls create steam inside the dryer, which helps in reducing static and relaxing fibers. Not to mention, they break up the sheet during drying and fluff them, creating the perfect level of softness. If you don’t have dryer balls, you can easily replace them with tennis balls. You read read here to learn when to add fabric softener.

Iron Your New Bed Sheets

As a known fact, ironing removes wrinkles and creases from fabrics, leaving them looking all clean and crisp. To maintain the appearance of your new sheets and leave your bed looking all elegant, try ironing them before using them for the first time.

Use a Mild Detergent

To get rid of the harmful substances that cause irritation, you can try washing sheets with a mild detergent. You’ll notice the difference after the initial wash as you say goodbye to the odd smell of newly opened sheets. 

In addition, you should avoid using high-temperature wash cycles for the first wash as they might damage the fabrics. Make sure to read the cleaning instructions listed on the sheets’ label first.

Use Borax

Do you know how grandmas always have a secret ingredient that they don’t tell anybody about? Well, when it comes to bedsheets, it’s borax! Try using half a cup of borax in a cool water tub and soaking your sheets in them overnight. Then, the next day, put your new sheets in the machine and enjoy the soft result!

The Right Way to Wash Sheets: Different Types of Fabric Edition

Organic Sheets

People with sensitive skin often prefer buying breathable organic sheets to avoid allergies. This is a great idea, but people often miss that organic sheets also have chemicals used in their manufacturing.

While wrinkle-resistant additives and formaldehyde products aren’t used in manufacturing organic cotton, they’re still processed in machines and covered with plastic for packing. As a result, they also need to be washed before use. 

The right way for washing those new sheets is to use cold water on a delicate cycle. Low temperatures will prevent the cotton from shrinking and will keep it fresh. Moreover, it’s advisable to use a plant-based detergent to clean the new sheets thoroughly.

Silk & Satin Sheets

Delicate fabrics like silk and satin work best with cold water. Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach and fabric softener when washing them since they can cause irreversible damage to the fabric. When it comes to drying, it’d be best to dry them in a no heat setting in the dryer, or you can just let them dry naturally on a clothesline.

Linen Sheets

Linen sheets hold a huge resemblance to cotton sheets, but linen fibers are weaker. This is because they’re generally lighter and more breathable than cotton ones.

As a result, they need special care. Use a gentle detergent in cold water to wash them correctly, preferably on a low heat cycle. You should also avoid using bleachers because they can cause adverse reactions to the fibers and cause them to wear faster.

Bamboo Sheets

It’s a rule of the thumb to wash bamboo sheets on a gentle cycle with cold water. For a perfect result, stay away from bleach and use a mild detergent. Finally, dry them on a clothesline to preserve their color and elasticity if you have enough time. Using the dryer many times can eventually change the fabric’s color.

Pro Tip: Try washing your bamboo sheets separately because they can cling to hooks and zippers from other clothing.

Flannel Sheets

To prevent the pilling of fibers and the quick fading of colors, you should wash flannel sheets for the first time with white vinegar. Then, for the several successive washes, make sure to wash them in medium hot water to avoid shrinkage. 

The wrong temperature can cause undesirable results. It’d also be best to steer clear of softeners because they leave chemical residues on the fabric.

Cotton Sheets

Cotton sheets are the easiest to take care of. All you have to do is put them in the machine with any detergent you’ve purchased on a warm water cycle. For drying, you can either use line drying or put them in the dryer on medium heat. Either way, you’ll enjoy a good night’s sleep and a fresh smell.

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Step by Step Guide to Washing Sheets

After getting introduced to the methods of washing different types of sheets, it’s now time to know how to give your fabrics a perfect initial wash. Follow these steps for crisp new sheets and a night of good sleep.

  1. Put the sheets in the washing machine on a cold wash cycle
  2. Use one cup of mild detergent, or use a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar on your sheets
  3. Close the lid and start the cycle
  4. Before the final rinse cycle, put white vinegar (Skip if not available)
  5. Take the sheets straight out from the machine
  6. Dry the sheet, preferably using air drying
  7. If you don’t have the patience to wait for air-dried sheets, you can use the tumble dryer on a low-temperature cycle. High temperatures will fade the colors of your new bedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should You Wash Bed Sheets?

It’s highly recommended to change and wash your sheets on a weekly basis. While you may think this is too much effort, it’s completely justified. We spend a minimum of eight hours daily in bed, shedding sweat, hair, and dead cells. Not a very good indication for hygiene, right? Accordingly, it’s the right choice for your overall health to avoid sleeping on unwashed sheets.

How Long Are Sheets Supposed to Last?

When you find cozy new sheets that give you a better sleep during the night, you want them to stay with you forever. Well, forever is extreme, but with the proper care instructions, your sheets can stay for up to ten years. Just make sure to read the care tag that comes with new sheets before throwing them in the machine.

How Do You Wash Sheets in the Washing Machine?

The bottom line is that you should carefully read the label that comes with your new sheets to wash them properly without causing any shrinkage or wear of the materials.

Should You Also Wash Brand New Linens and Beddings?

It’d be best if you washed blankets, duvet covers, and comforters, and any other bedding you have before using them. This is mainly because they also contain chemical residues as a result of the manufacturing process, which is bad news for people with sensitive skin. 

However, these items aren’t usually washed in washing machines. Instead, they’re best cleaned using dry cleaning.

What Is the Right Temperature for Washing Sheets?

This depends on the type of your sheets and the washing instructions on the product. But mainly, warm water is the best choice to wash your bedsheets in. This is because hot water can cause the colors of your sheets to fade quicker than they should. 

On the other hand, colder water may not give you sufficient results when it comes to cleaning. For example, it doesn’t totally kill bacteria and germs in sheets.

How to Avoid Sheet Piling

Sheet piling happens when little balls of fabric appear on your beddings and pillowcases after using them for quite a long time. To avoid this appearance, first of all, you should avoid using bleachers because they contain harsh chemicals that can worsen sheet piling.

Second of all, don’t wash your sheets at a high temperature. This can weaken the fibers of your fabric, leaving your bedding looking all faded. Finally, avoid leaving them in the sunlight for a long time.

To Wrap Up

There’s no better feeling than jumping into your bed and burying your head between soft and clean pillows to sleep, right? However, to enjoy this moment without being rough on your skin, you should wash your new bed sheets before the first use. Washed sheets are free of harsh chemicals and starch, thus good news for your skin’s health.

Of course, you can’t deal with your new sheets as you deal with your laundry. However, there are a few tips that you should follow beforehand. For example, you should wash them with baking soda and vinegar for the first time. Moreover, it’s best to air dry the newly purchased sheets rather than throwing them in the dryer. Did you find that helpful? Share your opinion with us!

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