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A Complete Guide to Cotton Sheets Care

Laundering your sheets seems simple enough – a run through the wash, a spin in the dryer, remake the bed, and you’re finished. But while that may appear to get the job done, there’s actually a bit more to proper bedding care. When you’ve invested in the perfect sheets and pillowcases, you’ll want to do all you can to ensure they stay as soft and strong as the first night you slept on them. Here’s a helpful guide to the facts about sheet care.

Washing and Drying Sheets 101

Your best bet is to follow the care instructions on the packaging and labeling, but when in doubt just follow a few simple rules will help you keep your bedding in top shape. For starters, it’s always best to wash bedding in its own load, and to avoid both the heavy-duty cycle and extra hot water, as both can break down cotton fibers more quickly. Choose a cold or warm water cycle, depending on label instructions, and use a gentle detergent, pretreating stains (as necessary – but please skip the bleach! Also you’ll want to avoid both dryer sheets and fabric softeners. While they may smell nice, that fragrance, along with the chemicals they use to create the illusion of softness, can leave a residue on your sheets and pillowcases that will cause them to lose their luxurious feel faster than if you’d skipped the additives.

How Often to Change Sheets

You might think that sheets only need to be changed when they look or smell dirty. In reality, you should be more concerned about the things you can’t see. Sweat, oils, and skin cells build up every night, and while they aren’t visible to the naked eye, they can cause irritation and attract allergen-causing dust mites. For that reason, you shouldn’t go more than two weeks before washing your sheets — from the flat sheet and pillowcases to the top sheet and duvet cover. Laundering every week is even better. If you’d prefer to reduce your laundry frequency, you can always alternate between two sets of linens and wash them together.

How to Wash White Sheets

It’s no surprise that white and other light colors are among the most popular options for sheets and pillowcases. But without proper care, those heavenly looking spreads can get dingy – and fast. With white sheets, it’s important to be diligent about removing makeup before bed and quickly treating any stains that occur. Just like all bedding, we recommend laundering white sheets separately and without fabric softener or dryer sheets. White sheets, however, can benefit from slightly higher water temperatures – usually warm or hot – and a whitening laundry booster or non-chlorine bleach to help keep them looking their best.

Should you wash new sheets?

Once you’ve found your ideal pima cotton bedding, you’ll want to make sure you start off on the right foot by washing and thoroughly drying your new sheets and pillowcases before putting them on your bed for the first time. This step removes any finishing agents and excess dyes that may be left over from the manufacturing process. It also helps open up the cotton fibers, enhancing their natural moisture-wicking properties. And of course, it’s important to begin with the highest-quality sheets possible – we recommend not just cotton, but the proven purity of Wamsutta sheets and pillowcases made with PimaCott. By investing in quality and taking good care of your sheets and pillowcases, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of luxurious bedding for years to come.