Since I was a little girl I remember overhearing my mother and grandmother talking about the correct way to care for your bedding. My mother, the family nurse, always aired on the side of caution with the instructions, “Wash them once a week to remove dead skin and oils.” But, my grandmother, the frugal decorator of the house said, “Never over-wash; they will wear out too fast and the color will fade.”
Boy have we come a long way in the way of bed linens and sheets! That’s why I thought that this 3 part blog series might just come in handier than we think. Part One will serve as an overview of “General Wash and Care Instructions for Bedding”. Parts Two and Three will focus more on washer and dryer information that just may help your bedding stay fresher longer and increase the life of your sheets. Enjoy!
Part One: General Wash and Care Instructions for your Bedding
Step One: Always read the “Care Label” sewn into each piece of your bedding. Regardless of what your mother and grandmother taught you, the manufacturers of today’s specialty fabrics and bed linens know how to clean and care for your bedding better than they do. It’s our job!
At Wicked Sheets, we recommend how best to treat our fabric based on the performance of the average commercial washing and drying machine. However, it is important to note that everyone’s washer and dryer do perform differently. If you are the king or queen of laundry in your home, you know what I mean. I could tell you exactly at what settings 6 towels will dry (3 clicks between More Dry and Less Dry on my “Wrinkle Free, Auto Dry Fabrics” setting). *More on this later!
Step Two: If there are differences in washing and drying procedures for the separate pieces of your bedding, make sure to keep them separate and follow the instructions for each piece. For instance, if your pillow cases have a decorative trim, are printed or colored, wash them inside out to protect the decoration and hold the color.
Step Three: If you have purchased new sheets, always wash them as soon as they come out of the package. Although at Wicked Sheets, they never leave a sterile environment, you can never know what they are exposed to during shipping.
Martha Stewart calls this pre-wash, “Setting the Thread”. She says this helps prevent pilling on most fabrics, i.e. cottons or linens. (http://www.marthastewart.com/270618/bedding-care-101)
Step Four: Wash your bedding separate from all other laundry items. If you are concerned about the efficiency of separate loads, don’t be, it’s worth it! Zippers, Velcro, and jeweled edges are not friends of delicate fabrics. Also, keeping this load small can prevent tangling and an unbalanced washer.
Step Five: Wash sheets and bedding in warm water, on the gentle or delicate cycle.
Step Six: The No-No’s: NEVER pour detergent directly onto your dry sheets. This can and will create an uneven cleaning process and may lead to staining or residue. We recommend using “baby detergent” unless you have staining or heavy odor. *More on this later.
And most importantly, NEVER use fabric softener. Fabric softener makes you think that your sheets will be extra-soft, but in actuality, your fabric is designed to be soft and stay soft only if you AVOID softeners. They cause fabric breakdown, and in our case, affect the wicking ability of the sheets by clogging the pores of the fabric. Not good!
Step Seven: Hanging dry would be ideal, but let’s be honest…who has that kind of space these days? While using a machine to dry your bedding, choose “Low Heat” and be mindful of how long it usually takes to dry bedding or towels. You don’t want to over-dry because this causing fabric-friction and then… (drum-roll, please)…STATIC!
It is usually within the last few minutes of the drying cycle where fabric can overheat and dry out, so if you need to, take them out while they are still a little damp and air dry (completely). If your sheets do not dry completely before you store them or put them onto your mattress mildew can and will grow.
Step Eight: Store or Make the bed!
Keep spare sheets neatly folded, in a cool and dry closet or drawer. To prevent yellowing or discoloration caused by surface exposure, line your shelves with acid-free tissue paper. Avoid storing in plastic or air-tight containers as they trap moisture and foster the growth of bacteria.