This is a good question and one that is always getting asked, how do you wash white cotton sheets? When you take out you new cotton sheets from the packet they feel amazing soft and silky and you just cannot wait to try them out. The second time you use them they will have just been washed and ironed, can you think of anything that feels as good as slipping between those freshly laundered bed sheets? Cotton is a resilient and unique natural fabric, it lends itself to being made into some of the finest bedding you can buy, with this premium price tag you really do want to make sure it lasts and taking good care of your linen is essential.
Modern high thread linen has been treated and refined in such a way that you do not need to use bleach or really hot water temperatures in order to keep the sheets looking white, optical brighter in most modern washing powders tend to make the sheets whiter but they can also strip of the dye. In deep dye colours this is more apparent and a greying process can occur if you use a cheap brand of detergent. Cotton is very absorbent and just wants to soak up as much moisture as possible, this is great in summer as the fabric helps your body maintain a healthy temperature all night long but can be troublesome when it absorbs large amount of caustic chemicals as this process can make the natural fabric deteriorate prematurely. This aging process can happen in a very short period of time and only makes the bedding feel and look awful, so take your time when you wash your sheets, try and follow the same set procedure every time. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended wash care labels and the sheets should last you for many years to come.
Drying cotton sheets also has an effect on the overall look of the bedding, the last thing you want is creased bed sheets that look like you have not even bothered to dress the bed properly. Tumble driers are the main cause of improperly laundered sheets, they dry the cotton out too much and cause the fibres to shrink. They are great for towels where you want the fluffy fibres to bunch up making them soft again but in your linen this only causes large amounts of creasing which is a nightmare to iron out. The best way to tumble sheets is to remove them from the drier while they are still slightly damp and lay them out on the bed and the vast majority of the creases will just fall out leaving you with a fabric that is more manageable and much easier to iron. For best results line drying is superb, not only do the sheets smell fresh and crisp but they also leave some moisture in the linen. This process is preferred over all other methods as this is a natural wicking process that is tried and tested.
So now you know how to wash the sheets that are soiled with general use, what about stains and those hard to remove spillages that sometime occur after a Sunday morning breakfast in bed. Look out for a quality stain remover such as Oxy Gel or Vanish Stain Remover, these are tried and tested and give great results if used within a certain time frame, quicker the better for optimum results. Heavy soiled bedding or cotton sheets that have been subjected to bed wetting or tea and coffee spillages may also need to be pre-soaked, once again use mild detergents and do not use a heavy industrial machine as the mechanical action used in high street or commercial laundries can be too harsh and fast.
So to recap:
* Use a good quality brand of detergent
* Read the wash care label
* Pre-soak if necessary
* Add stain remover to affected area
* Use a low temperature setting