How to Care for White Bedding: The Ultimate Laundry Guide
Got questions about keeping your white linens as clean and bright as the day you purchased them?
You’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll cover all of the tips and tricks we use to achieve laundry nirvana. By now, you might know that FIX Linens was inspired by short-term rental hosts and made for everyone. As Airbnb Superhosts we know how to navigate our way around the business end of tough stains. So whether you’re outfitting your home or upgrading your vacation rental, we’ve got you washed, dried, and sorted.
The Great White Sheet Debate
What’s that old set of maroon sheets in the back of the closet hiding? A lot, probably. Colored linens can mask stains and tend not to hold up well to repeated washings over time. While white sheets can show every spill and spot, there are infinitely more options for laundering and stain treating. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep white linens looking fresh and even revive older sets. Let’s dive in.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
The best thing to keep sheets white is to wash them regularly. We repeat: wash your sheets! Of course, if you’re running a busy short-term rental this vital rule takes care of itself. But when it comes to your own bed, washing your sheets at least every other week is ideal.
Do we need to elaborate on why? When you sleep, you transfer a whole lot of sweat, body oils, dead skin, and more onto your linens, which can give your bedding a yellow, dingy cast. Keep that buildup at bay with frequent washing and we promise you won’t regret it. Especially after reading that previous sentence. Eeek.
When it comes to best practices for laundering your linens, always wash sheets separately from towels or other clothing on a low heat setting. Tumble dry on low and remove the linens promptly from the dryer to help minimize wrinkles and preserve the integrity of the fabric. Remember, good quality sheets will hold up better over multiple washing and only become softer over time.
Put The Bleach Down
This is a big one. Before stain treating your linens, you must first determine the type of stain you’re trying to remove. Bedding typically falls prey to protein stains: marks and discoloration caused by the human body (see above), leftover makeup, and hair products. Chlorine bleach is notorious for damaging the quality of fabrics and actually intensifies protein stains instead of removing them. But not to worry! We’ve got a few tried and true methods for keeping whites white and eliminating stains at the source.
Pro-tip for short-term rental hosts: Provide your guests with makeup wipes! For a more sustainable approach, stock the bathroom with inexpensive washcloths and a friendly reminder to use them to remove makeup.
High heat is never your friend, so avoid ironing sheets if possible. Instead, remove your sheets from the dryer as soon as the cycle is over and fold them, smoothing wrinkles away with your hands. If wrinkles have set in, dry the sheets for an additional five minutes with a damp towel tossed into the mix to add moisture. You can also use a spray bottle filled with water, spritz your sheets after you make the bed, and let them dry naturally. This will also help release wrinkles.
How to Keep White Linens White
So by now, you know not to use chlorine bleach on your bedding. Whew. But how do you effectively treat stains? We recommend using a stain stick or spot remover to pre-treat the potential stain immediately. You’ll find many natural options on the market that are both effective, environmentally friendly, and less likely to irritate sensitive skin. In a pinch, a good spot treatment with dish soap and water can do the trick.
Pro-tip for short-term rental hosts: if you employ a cleaning staff, provide them with a stain stick to pre-treat bedding with before sending linens off to the laundry service.
It’s normal for white sheets to yellow over time. To restore them to their former glory, an overnight soak in a laundry booster like Oxiclean or Borax typically does the trick. For a more natural approach, you can also add a quarter cup of lemon juice to the wash to take away the dinge. If you really want to get wild, using a laundry bluing solution like Bluette in the wash will actually counteract any yellowing, making your whites appear whiter.
How Often Should You Replace Your Sheets?
Eventually, all good linens are ready for retirement. We recommend replacing sheet sets every two years to maintain an exceptional sleep experience. When it’s time to replace your sheets, using a service like Recycle Now, American Textile Recycling Service, or Terracycle to recycle linens is a great way to minimize waste.
Pro-tip: You can prolong the life of your linens by storing them properly. Storing sheets in plastic bins can yellow them over time. Allowing your sheets to breathe will keep them at their best. We suggest storing sheet sets folded and wrapped in their own flat sheet. Learn more about our Simple Sort Sheet System. Keeping multiple matching sheet sets on hand to rotate through will also help your linens last longer.
Got laundry questions?
We’ve seen it all! Drop us a line.