One of the best ways to celebrate getting a new bed is to get brand new sheets. Or maybe you like to buy new sheets for each season, making your bedroom into a wonderful display of color, even if you cannot change the color of your furnishings as easily as you can the sheets. The big question is, should you wash new sheets right away?
To keep the answer simple, yes. New sheets should be washed as soon as you bring them into your home. This allows you to remove any chemicals, residues, or excess dyes that might be lingering from the production/packing process. Or any traces of someone else handling them in the store before you bought them.
This is true for any type of bedlinen: sheets, duvet cover sets, pillowcases, or even bedding such as: blankets, throws, coverlets and more.
Should new sheets be washed right away?
Just because your sheets are ‘new’ does not mean they are not in some way dirty. A variety of chemicals are employed by manufacturers to keep the sheets fresh prior to purchase. These chemicals are not harmful when used properly, but better safe than sorry. Sheets with heavy dark colors might also have excess dye, leading to staining on clothes or other linens if not washed off.
How should I wash my sheets?
Before placing your sheets in any washing machine, it would be wise to check the tags for cleaning information. This way you will avoid damaging the sheets, washing out the color, or causing them to shrink in some way. Pay attention to the color of your sheets as well as the material they are made from, as this has a large impact on the optimal washing method.
Sheets made from 100% cotton or cotton blended with polyester benefit from being washed in hot water and with other items of similar coloration. Darkly colored sheets should be washed in cold water, regardless of material, to prevent color bleeding away from the sheets. Flannel sheets are more delicate than cotton, and thus are more sensitive to being washed in heat. Washing flannel sheets in water that is too warm can lead to shrinkages, potentially ruining the sheets. Use cool or cold water to wash flannel sheets to avoid this issue.
If sheets have been soiled in some way, via illness or if someone has had an accident, then using hot water should be done regardless. While this might cause damage to delicate sheets, you cannot be too careful when it comes to certain contaminants. There are laundry additives designed to supplement the wash cycle, removing the need for heat. Which brand you want to use is up to you, as whatever brand of detergent you make a habit of using likely carries a detergent designed specifically for soiled sheets.
How many times should new sheets be washed before use?
If your washing machine works properly, only one wash should be necessary to remove the chemicals and dyes that might call the sheet home. Some sheets can even be damaged by repeated washing, such as flannel sheets. Darker colors can also begin to run on sheets if washed in quick succession. Moderation is key to keeping your sheets clean while also not damaging them from the wash cycle.
Fabric softener is a useful tool when washing new sheets, as it can help to remove the chemical smell that might be present on freshly bought sheets. This can be especially helpful if you or whomever is using the sheets has a sensitivity to those chemicals. Washing with fabric softener can aid in masking the scent and reducing the chance of irritation from those chemicals.
How often should I wash my sheets?
Sheets should be washed on a weekly basis, to avoid becoming ill or having them be ruined by sweat or other bodily secretions. Bacteria can quickly grow in the moist environment provided by sweat stained sheets, potentially leading to illnesses. Should someone become ill, washing their sheets more frequently is a necessity so the bacteria/virus does not spread further throughout their living space.
Tip: If you have a small bedroom, that doesn’t have a lot of storage space for your bedding and clothes, consider getting a new bed with built-in storage. Check out the Kelly Storage Bed by Novogratz or the Morphis Storage Platform bed.
A clean bed is healthy for your body
Your bed is where you are going to spend most of your time asleep, and potentially a large amount of time while awake as well. This means that keeping that space clean is essential to both your physical and mental health.
Cleaning sheets as soon as you get them goes a long way in making them a fresh addition to your home and bed, just make sure you follow the proper instructions when it comes to washing them or you will end up disappointed.