There are few things more satisfying than that first night’s sleep after buying new bedding. No wrinkles, no worn fabric, no funny smells—just crisp, clean bedding perfection. If only that feeling could last forever, right?
While you can’t crawl back in time to that moment you first opened your new bedding, you can try to keep that new-sheet feeling. All it takes is learning how to keep your bedding looking new.
Washing Your Bedding
Choose the Right Detergent
With everything on our skin—sweat, dirt, dust, and makeup—it’s natural to want to get the sheets as clean as possible. But that doesn’t mean you should reach for the harshest detergent possible on laundry day. Harsh detergents aren’t necessarily more effective than milder detergents and may degrade fibers or even change your sheets’ colors.
When you go to wash your sheets, opt for a milder, more natural detergent. Also, avoid using excessive detergent, which can leave a coating of detergent on you sheets that can leave them crusty and uncomfortable.
Be Mindful of Temperature
The idea of washing our bedding to a diamond sheen also compels many sheet owners to wash their sheets in boiling hot temperatures. But that high heat can also degrade the fibers of your sheets if you do it consistently enough. Most washing labels recommend washing your sheets on cooler wash settings.
The one exception you might make for not washing the sheet on high heat is during cold and flu season, or right after someone gets sick. A run through a hot cycle is a good idea to then kill the germs. But when everyone’s well again, you can switch back to cool cycles again.
Pay Attention To Frequency
Most of us fall on one of two extremes—either we wash the sheets too much or not nearly enough. Both sides can be bad for our bedding. Too much washing, even on the correct settings, can wear out the fabric. But not enough washing allows all that dust and dirt and oil to accumulate in your sheets, which isn’t good for your sheets either.
Your best bet is to wash your sheets about once every two weeks. You can, of course, make exceptions to this rule if you spill some of your breakfast in bed, or if Fido decided he wanted to snuggle with you after running through a mud puddle.
Be Careful of Pillows
Your pillows are part of your bedding too, and if you’ve ever spent the night sleeping on a bad pillow, you know just how important proper head rest is. The last thing you want is for your pillows to be damaged in the washing machine—but you don’t want them to start smelling bad either. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to keep your pillows nice:
- Avoid washing them in a machine with an agitator, if possible.
- Use mild detergent.
- Stick to cool water if you’re washing a feather pillow.
- Use warm water if you’re washing a polyester pillow.
- Tumble dry pillows on medium heat. You can also add a clean tennis ball to the dryer to fluff them up.
If you’re washing a gel or memory foam pillow, don’t put it in the washing machine at all. It’s best to spot clean those with a mild detergent.
Storing Your Bedding
There are few sights more wholesome and nostalgic than the sight of a row of white sheets hanging on a line under the warm summer sun. Of course, back then, the reason people did that was because they didn’t have dryers. But even if you have a new-fangled dryer, it pays to let your sheets enjoy a little sunshine before going to rest.
If your sheets are still a little damp from the wash, drying them out on a line will be gentler on your fabric than tossing them in the dryer for five minutes. The exposure to bright sunlight will also help kill germs and keep your whites whiter without having to use bleach.
Choose Storage Space Wisely
It’s hard to believe your sheets can get damaged when no one is touching them. But if you choose to store the sheets in an area that’s damp without much airflow, they can become musty and moldy. Not exactly, “new sheet” material.
After you’ve pulled your sheets out of the dryer, look for a place that’s dry and well-sealed with some space for the linens to breathe. A linen closet is ideal, though if you don’t have one, you can place your sheets in a bin with a lid to keep moisture out. Just make sure they aren’t packed too tightly, or you may cut off airflow.
Making Your Bed Right
Making our beds has been second nature to most of us since we were kids, and our sheets benefit from it. Keep your sheets tucked away under the comforter and protected from anyone who might want to sit on our bed during the day like us, our kids, and our dogs. This keeps them from getting worn down faster than necessary.
However, you shouldn’t necessarily rush to make your bed the second you get out of bed. Remember—your sheets have just spent a long night of accumulating our dirt and germs and are still warm. Shutting that all in the dark will make even more germs accumulate. It pays to let your sheets air out for an hour or two before making the bed.
Have Multiple Sets of Sheets
One way to get around the ravages of washing your sheets too much is by having multiple sets of sheets. After washing one set, you can put them away and use a different set. That way, instead of having to go through the wash once every two weeks, they only have to go through the wash once a month.
You can also go further by using seasonal bedding. For example, in the summer, you can put a lightweight quilt on your bed and then put it away in favor of a nice, warm duvet during the winter. Those few months off every year will keep your bedding looking new for much longer.
Pick Good Sheets
Some sheets will stay new for longer. If you buy low-quality sheets, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. That’s why we always recommend our quality cotton bedding made in the USA for those looking for bedding that will stand the test of time. That way, every night will feel like the first night you bought them.
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