How to Care for Bed Linens
Caring for household linens used to be as easy as beating them on a rock and drying them on a line.
Today, however, homemakers regularly use textiles that come in a multitude of fibers, colors, and sizes, each with specific care requirements.
If you've ever stood in front of the washer trying to decide between hot and cold, permanent press and extra rinse, then you know what we mean.
One of the best ways to know how to care for an item is to save the care directions that are packaged with it. Write the product name on it ("tan floral twin sheets" for example). Tape this card up in your laundry room or stick it into a card file kept on the laundry room shelf. If you're ever in doubt about laundering instructions this information will be a good place to start.
Yet beyond specific instructions are some general, common sense tips for purchasing, cleaning, and caring for household linens like sheets, towels, and duvets. Did you know, for example, that towels should be washed with vinegar before using? Or that sheets can be partially "unwrinkled" by drying them with a damp washcloth?
-Wash in cool or lukewarm water that's less than 104 degrees F.
-Set wash cycle on "gentle"
-Use the extra rinse cycle if available
-Use less detergent -- about half the recommended amount
-Avoid using bleach as it breaks down fabric fibers
-Dry sheets in the dryer only until they're dry
-Avoid over drying
-Remove sheets from the dryer promptly and fold immediately
Note:If sheets have cooled in the dryer and wrinkles have set, then tumble another 5-10 minutes with a washcloth that has been slightly dampened.
-Buy extra pillowcases for any sheet patterns you particularly love, as these are the pieces that will wear out the fastest.
-Iron pillowcases for fresh, crisp good looks on your bed.
-Change pillowcases at least twice a week in normal climates, more often in hot and humid regions.
-Have three sets of sheets per bed. Use one on the bed, one in storage, and one in the laundry.
-Rotate the sheets you use (vs. the sets you store) frequently so they wear evenly.
-Buy extra bottom sheets for any sheet patterns you particularly love, as these are the pieces that will wear out the fastest.
-Change sheets once a week in normal climates, more often in hot and humid regions.
-Use a mattress pad between the mattress and sheets. Wash it when needed, at least every few months.
-When sheets are used as fabric for pillow covers, shams, bedskirts, tablecloths, curtain panels and the like avoid washing them as they will lose body and become limp. Dry clean if necessary.