You start your day in your bed. You end your day in your bed. So don’t you want to make it the cleanest and most comfortable space in your home? When you take proper care of your bedding, it will take even better care of you.
General Bedding Care Guidelines
Knowing how to properly take care of your bedding will help you create that soft, fresh smelling and cozy bedroom oasis for a more soothing night’s sleep. Here are some general guidelines when it comes to cleaning your bedding:
- Read the manufacturer care label. Check labels on all your bedding for any special cleaning instructions.
- Separate by color. Just like you do with your clothing, keep your lights separate from your darks.
- Separate from towels. Some people try and save time and money by washing their sheets with their towels—stop this habit now. Towels produce lint, which isn’t going to provide your bedding with a smooth or comfortable night’s rest.
- Use the hottest water temperature setting listed on the care label. The hotter the water, the more dead skin, bacteria, dust mites and other allergens it kills. Cotton linens can usually handle hot water, while it’s recommended to wash polyester blends in warm water. Hot water can shrink your bedding, though, so keep that in mind.
- Don’t overdo it on the detergent. Excess detergent doesn’t get completely rinsed out, so it leaves behind a residue that coats the fabric of your bedding and can stiffen it. On a similar note, gentle detergent, like baby detergent, will help extend the life of your linens.
- Don’t overload your washer. It’s recommended to wash your sheets and comforter by themselves, even if they’re in the same color family. Sheets especially need plenty of room to get thoroughly washed and rinsed, so don’t try and jam too much into your washer at once.
- Line dry if/when you can. Sunshine naturally disinfects bedding, and it also naturally brightens white bedding.
- Iron bedding. Heat from the iron helps kill any remaining dust mites and germs.
Sheets and Pillowcases
Bed sheets and pillowcases come in contact the most with your skin, leaving them more susceptible to dead skin cells, oils, dirt, etc. That’s why it’s important to wash them regularly. Now how often you wash your sheets is totally up to you, but generally speaking, for the cleanest and softest sheets, you should wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week, or at least every other week.
How to Wash Bed Sheets and Pillowcases
Use a gentle detergent, make sure your washer is only about half full, so all the detergent gets rinsed out during the rinse cycle, and use warm water for polyester blends and hot water for cotton sheets.
How to Dry Bed Sheets and Pillowcases
If you have an outside clothesline and the weather is nice, hang your sheets outside on the line to dry. If you can’t air dry, dry your sheets and pillowcases in a dryer on a medium heat setting. Remove your sheets and pillowcases before they’re completely dry to minimize wrinkles.
Comforters and Duvet Covers
It’s recommended to wash comforters and duvet covers once a month unless you don’t use a top sheet, then you should wash them weekly like your bed sheets.
How to Wash Comforters and Duvet Covers
First, make sure that your comforter or duvet cover is machine washable. Some aren’t and need to be dry cleaned, while some people prefer using large, industrial-sized washers, like laundromats have, to wash bulky comforters.
Your type of comforter or duvet cover determines exactly how it should be washed. For example, down comforters and duvets should be washed on a delicate setting in cool water with a small amount of mild detergent. Non-feather comforters and duvets typically can be washed in cool or warm water using a gentle all-purpose detergent.
How to Dry Comforters and Duvet Covers
Dry both down and non-feather comforters and duvets in a large dryer on either a low heat or air cycle setting or air dry them. For a little extra fluff with down bedding, add a couple of tennis balls placed inside of white socks as it goes through the drying cycle.
The general rule of thumb is to wash mattress pads every two to three months unless of course you spill something on your bed and it goes through your sheets onto your mattress pad, then wash right away.
How to Wash Mattress Pads
Most cotton and vinyl mattress pads should be washed on a normal wash cycle in cooler water using a gentle detergent. Down mattress pads need to be washed on a delicate cycle using cool water and a gentle detergent. It’s also recommended to put down mattress pads through the rinse cycle twice, so there isn’t any leftover detergent on feathers.
How to Dry Mattress Pads
Dry cotton and vinyl mattress pads according to their care labels, and dry down mattress pads on the lowest heat setting your dryer offers. Again, tennis balls are good for fluffing down feathers and keeping lumps out of other mattress pads.