Healthier Beds = Better Sleep: How to Wash Your Bedding the Right Way

Sleep experts recommend that we get eight hours of sleep per night, and that means that we spend an entire third of our lives in bed. That equals almost sixty hours per week of sweat, dead skin cells, and body oils in our sheets. Yuck!

And of course, we should be washing that crud away on a regular basis to help us stay healthy and keep our beds a haven for quality sleep, but how often is a “regular basis”?

According to Whirlpool’s Institute of Home Science, there are some tried and true hacks for getting the most out of washing your bedding. Following their expert advice will not only give you cleaner sheets, it will also help them last longer, as well.

If you want to keep dust mites and other allergens at bay, you should be washing your sheets and pillowcases once a week. But what’s the best way to get your bedding clean?

Loading the Washer

  • Don’t jam too much bedding into the machine – sheets need more room than clothing to get clean
  • To avoid tearing and wrinkling, don’t wrap sheets around the washer’s agitator
  • Wash sheets separately from other items to prevent everything from getting balled up and tangled together

Choosing the Right Settings

  • Cotton bedding should be safe to wash at any temperature, but always check the care instructions on your sheets before tossing them into the machine
  • Choose the cycle that fits the level of clean that you need – normal for light soil, heavy for stains and extra soil.
  • Don’t over wash! Have several sheet sets available for bedding change rotations to avoid wear and tear

Picking the Ideal Water Temperature

  • Light-colored and white sheets can be washed at any temperature
  • Dark bedding should be washed on cool to avoid color fading
  • During cold and flu season, all bedding should be washed on the hot/warm cycle to prevent the spread of illness and allergens

Handling Stains on Bedding

  • For small stains, use a stain pre-treater or liquid detergent on the spots to remove soil
  • Larger stains or dingy sheets should be tackled with chlorine bleach for white bedding or color-safe bleach for darker sheets and pillowcases

Adding the Detergent

  • If your washing machine has a detergent dispenser, follow the instructions on the machine for each type of detergent. Note: Some machines may only take liquid detergent or you may need to adjust or remove the dispenser when using powder detergent
  • For washing machines without a dispenser, detergent should be added to the machine before loading your sheets into the drum
  • If you are using detergent pods, you should add the pod to the machine before your bedding to make sure that there is enough water flow to dissolve the pod and get your bedding clean

Drying Your Bedding

  • To avoid wrinkling, shrinking, and the weakening of bedding fibers, set your dryer to “less dry”
  • Check your sheets when the buzzer sounds to see if they need to be detangled and tossed back in
  • For extra wrinkle prevention, try adding a couple of tennis balls in an old pillowcase to the load
  • If you want to go green, consider drying your clothes outside for a fresh smell of the outdoors. Note: You can toss your bedding into the dryer for a minute or two after they’ve been line-dried to give them a softer feel

Following these quick tips for cleaning your bedding will give your sheets a longer life, help to prevent the spread of colds and flu, and will also help you to get a better night’s sleep. We call that a win-win!