It’s tempting to throw your new bed linen on the bed and start using them straight away. But have you noticed that new bed sheets feel stiff and have a repulsive smell? These products may not be safe to use right out of the package.
You should definitely wash your new sheets before using them, to remove chemicals and dust/dirt accumulated at the factory and during transit. Washing will remove the residual chemicals and dyes the sheets carry home from the factory.
So while you may want to just start using your new bed sheets, it isn’t the best idea health-wise for you or your family. So now, let’s look and learn how to handle your new bed sheets, from washing to drying.
Is it Necessary to Wash Sheets Before Using Them?
When you’ve just bought a brand new bed sheet, you might be tempted to throw it on your bed and start using it immediately. After all, it will look clean, crisp, new, and ready for use. However, there are many reasons why you need to wash your new bed sheets.
Dirty Factory Environment
The main reason is that these bed sheets are manufactured in dirty, dusty factories, meaning they are not as clean as you think. Along the way, they collect dust and other allergens. Bed sheets pass through many hands before reaching you, acting as agents for transmitting skin diseases or other infections.
Dyes and Chemicals
Secondly, the bed sheets are made with chemicals and dyes like formaldehyde, propane, and butane that can irritate your airways, skin, and eyes, especially if you have allergies or your skin is sensitive. They’ll be packaged and transported to retail shops when they leave the factories.
These explain why you must toss your new bed sheets into a washing machine before using them. Make sure you use a detergent to remove all chemicals and dust from the bed sheets. And though it isn’t a requirement, doing so is good for your health and those of your loved ones.
How Frequently Should You Change Your Sheets?
As you use your bed sheets, they’ll accumulate dust and dirt from your body. For example, the bed sheets will collect sweat, body lotions, and other chemicals you use on your body.
If these particles are allowed to accumulate for a long time, they may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. For this reason, experts recommend you wash your bed sheets at least once weekly.
While that’s a good suggestion, the number of times you wash your bed sheets in a week or month depends on how quickly they get dirty. For example, bed sheets used by kids are expected to get dirty faster than those used by adults.
Likewise, the bed sheets you use in your bedroom may get dirty faster than those in your guests’ bedroom. In essence, you should decide how many times to wash your bed sheets every week to keep them clean and healthy to use.
To make your bed sheets stay clean longer, you can make it a habit to take a bath before retiring. Also, don’t allow your kids or pets on your bed.
How to Wash Your New Sheets
Before tossing your bed sheet into a washing machine, check its tag for instructions on how to wash it. In addition, the label has specific instructions on how to clean particular materials.
Use Cool or Warm Water
Generally, cotton sheets can be washed in warm water, while dark sheets should be washed in cold water. Wash your sheets using cool water on a gentle cycle.
It’s unnecessary to wash sheets in hot water unless they have dust mites you want to kill. Also, remember to choose a friendly detergent for your bed sheets.
To get a thorough and deep clean when washing your brand new bed sheets, consider adding 1/2 cup vinegar and a cup of baking soda to your washing machine before tossing them in.
The vinegar-baking soda mixture will eliminate allergens and dirt from the sheets and soften them. But unfortunately, the combination will also destroy the starch used to make the sheets crisp for packaging.
Though the starch makes new bed sheets look smooth and clean, it makes them feel scratchy. Remember that some fabrics, like silk, linen, bamboo, and cotton, may require special care.
Keep them Separate
Don’t mix your sheets with other clothes or towels when washing them. This will ensure you get the best results and prevent damage or wear. If you notice any stains on the sheets, it would be best to preheat them before laundering them.
How to Dry Your New Sheets
Remove the bed sheet from the washing machine immediately after the washing cycle is complete and shake them before putting them in a dryer. This reduces wrinkles.
Also, add some dryer balls to accelerate the drying process and eliminate static when putting the sheets in the dryer.
Keep on Low Heat
You should tumble dry the sheet on low heat and remember to remove it from the dryer before it’s completely dry. Too much heat from the dryer can damage the sheets, making them feel rougher. High heat will cause them to tear easily when used.
Even if you wash the sheet in hot water, you must dry it on medium or low heat to reduce wear. Leave a little moisture, then move it to the sun to dry. The sun will dry it evenly and thoroughly, extending its lifespan.
Sun Dry Them
If you don’t have a dryer, it’s perfectly okay to dry your sheets in the sun if the weather allows. However, drying your sheets outside in the sun is a more effective, quick, and safe method to dry them.
It’s environmentally friendly, free, and efficient. On average, the drying time can be about half an hour to one hour, depending on the weather and the thickness of the sheet.