There is something so delightful about sliding into crisp clean cotton bed sheets on a fresh spring evening or snuggling down into cozy soft flannel sheets on a cold snowy winter night. The scent of sheets that have been air dried on the outdoor clothesline in the sunshine brings back memories for me of sleeping over at Gramma’s house. A comfortable bed with clean linens is truly one of life’s little pleasures. So what is the best way to clean and care for bed sheets?
Firstly, sort your sheets by color. Even though you are only sleeping on them, it is nicer to have clean white sheets, not dull gray ones. Using warm or hot water, wash white cotton sheets separately with regular detergent. Do not use too much detergent. Less is better for sheets. Wash dark colored sheets together in warm water. If you wish to bleach your white sheets, use an oxygen-based bleach or natural whitening alternatives like vinegar or lemon juice mixed with water.
In the spring and summer, let your sheets and pillowcases air dry outside. Either hang them on a clothesline if you have one, or you may even lay your sheets on the grass. Be sure the grass is clean! Did you know that sunshine naturally sanitizes and brightens white sheets?
In the winter, tumble dry your sheets on warm in the dryer with a sheet of fabric softener. (If you are drying only a couple of sheets, you may want to toss in a few clean tennis balls which will help keep your sheets from twisting up together.)
The best way to store your bed linens is to keep them in a dry, airy closet on shelves that allow air through, or on shelves with scented paper. Try not to cram too many bed sheets and linens together so that no air can circulate around them. Don’t leave linens folded up in a closet or packed away for extended periods of time because the fabric will deteriorate along the creases.
Follow these simple hints on linen care to make your bed a wonderful place to be.