How to Wash Bedsheets for Your Most Comfortable Sleep

There’s nothing better than slipping into fresh bedsheets at the end of the day. Knowing how to wash bedsheets the right way ensures clean and crisp sheets that last.

Sheets are commonly made from materials such as cotton, cotton/polyester blends, microfiber and silk, and come in just about any color you can imagine. How can you keep your sheets in top condition? Let’s find out.

Have an Extra Set or Two on Hand

Once you’ve found your ideal sheets, it’s a good idea to have two to three sets. This comes in handy when the sheets need to be changed but you don’t have time to wash them right away. When your child jumps into bed with chocolate-covered hands or the dog has a messy mishap, you’ll always have a fresh set ready. Rotating more than one set also helps the sheets last longer.

How Often Should You Wash Bedsheets?

Bedsheets should be washed every one to two weeks. Here are a few factors that affect how often washing is needed:

  • When someone is sick. Keep your home as healthy and sanitary as possible by changing sheets daily or every other day.
  • If you eat in bed. Having a slice of leftover pizza in bed is a tasty bedtime snack but can leave a trail of crumbs behind. Wash sheets weekly (or more frequently if needed).
  • If you perspire heavily. Sweat can lead to stained sheets and lead to the growth of bacteria. Wash sheets weekly (or more frequently if needed).
  • If your pet sleeps in your bed. Pets make cozy snuggle buddies but can soil sheets. Wash sheets weekly (or more frequently if needed).
  • If you shower before bedtime and wear pajamas. This bedtime routine keeps your sheets cleaner which allows you to wash your sheets every two weeks.

Tips for Washing Bedsheets

Bedsheets are an investment in a good night’s sleep. Washing them the right way can help them last longer and stay fresher.

Pretreat Stains

For overall stains use a laundry booster. For example, use an enzymatic stain remover for protein stains which include common sweat stains.   

Sort by Color and Material

Separate light and dark sheets to avoid color transfers. If you’re in a hurry and choose to wash lights and darks together, keep colors from bleeding with an in-wash color catcher.

Sort sheets by fabric type and review care instructions.

Don’t Overstuff the Washer

Between your job, vet appointments and workouts, it can be tempting to cram as many sheets as possible into the washer to save time. However, sheets need room for the water and detergent to fully penetrate the fibers for a deep clean.

Select Your Temperature Setting and Detergent

  • Cotton sheets. Use a heavy-duty detergent and a hot water setting to remove body oils and kill dust mites.
  • Cotton/polyester blends and microfiber sheets. Select a cool or warm water setting and use your usual laundry detergent.
  • Silk sheets. To hand-wash silk sheets, use plenty of water and a small amount of mild detergent. Gently squeeze out the water without twisting or wringing. To wash silk sheets in the washing machine, use cold water and a mild detergent on the gentle cycle.

For all material types, skip the fabric softener which can reduce the absorbency of natural fibers. As an alternative, add distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle for extra softness.

Time to Dry

If you have an outdoor area (and time), line drying preserves original fibers, colors and elasticity. Plus, direct sunlight is a natural disinfectant and brightener.

If line drying isn’t an option, use a low heat setting on your dryer. Once finished, remove your sheets immediately to avoid wrinkling. If you plan to iron your sheets, don’t dry them completely. Instead, iron while they’re barely damp.

For silk sheets, use the lowest heat setting and remove them while they’re slightly damp. Then finish drying the sheets on a drying rack. If you prefer to iron, use a cool iron with a pressing cloth between the iron and the silk to prevent scorching.

Fold and Store

Folding and storing sheets can be tricky. We’ve probably all wrestled with sheets to attempt a perfect fold. Here are a couple of tips:

  • Create a rectangle by fitting the rounded corners inside each other. Then fold into a square.
  • Use a pillowcase as a bag to keep sheets together.

Put your clean sheets away in a linen closet or another dark, dry space to keep them fresh.

For silk sheets, roll instead of fold to avoid sharp creases that could weaken the fibers and use lavender or cedar balls as a natural moth repellent if needed.

Repeat if Needed 

Do your sheets have a stale odor even after washing? Sheets can mildew if they’re not completely dry when you store them. Repeat the wash process again if needed.

Enjoy Fresh, Clean Bedsheets for a Good Night’s Rest

Now that you know how to wash bedsheets, you’re sure to experience the luxury of fresh sheets at the end of the day. Plus, your sheets will last longer so you don’t have the expense of replacing them as often.