How To Wash White Sheets? My 7 Top Tips To Keep Them Fresh, Bright and Clean

how to wash white sheetsDo you love to slip in between white sheets each night that are fresh, bright and clean? In this post, you will find out keep your sheets looking and feeling great on your skin. My 7 tips on how to wash white sheets will give you a sleep experience, just like you were staying at the Marriot!

That Hotel Experience

My tips on how to wash white sheets in this post should help you recreate a hotel sheet experience with your own white sheets. I find hotel sheets so soft under your my skin as I slide into bed – oh so comfortable! They smell fresh, clean and they look so bright. In fact, so many people crave that hotel bed linen experience, that a lot of the hotels like the Marriot, Westin and Hilton, have brought out their own linen collection that you can buy.

How to Buy White Bed Linens

The best sheets are made from natural fibers. No matter what fiber the sheet is made of, it’s really important to follow the instructions on the packaging on how to wash white sheets so they keep fresh and crisp as long as they can.


Most people like high thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. They get softer with each washing.

Two other kinds of cotton to look for are Pima and Sea Island.  

Supima cotton isn’t as soft as Egyptian Cotton. However, it’s a more durable fabric and can handle frequent washings. It’s a hybrid of Pima cotton.

Unfortunately, some manufacturers stretch the truth when they label their sheets “Egyptian Cotton.” Make sure it’s 100% and not a blend or described “like Egyptian cotton.”


Bamboo blends are also wonderful. They can keep you cooler in the summer than a traditional cotton sheet. They’re also sustainable to produce, naturally antimicrobial and excellent at absorbing water. So if you have a problem with sweating, get bamboo.

Real linen

Real linen also is fantastic in hot weather. It wicks away moisture and you feel cooler. The only downside is that linen wrinkles a lot. And it shrinks.

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During the colder months, you should look into flannel sheets. They will keep you super warm and cuddly.

Silk and Satin

Silk and satin sheets are ideal if someone in your household suffers from allergies as they’re hypoallergenic.

Silk sheets are also very durable.  

Satin sheets are more delicate.

It’s a personal choice if you like the slippery feel of the satin sheets.

Also, these sheets tend to make you feel what type of sheets are the best because they reflect your body heat.


Next is sateen which is not another name for satin.  But it does provide a glossy luster. Some people feel that sateen woven sheets are smoother and silkier. So if you like the feel of satin but prefer cotton or bamboo, look for a sateen weave.


Finally, you’ll hear about percale sheets.  It provides a smooth and crisp fabric. If you love the feel of crisp sheets, get percale. Percale sheets are also durable and will hold up under frequent washings.

What Is Thread Count?

Thread count is a number of threads used when the fabric is woven.  

Some people feel a higher thread count is better and creates a more luxurious sheet.

A lower thread count sheet will be more durable.

So it’s a toss up.

And a lower thread-count of a better quality fiber feels softer than a higher thread-count of a poor quality fiber.  

So you need to research everything.

Regardless of the thread count – and durable or not – you still need to pay attention to the manufacturers’ instructions so you know how to wash white sheets properly. For example, did you know adding too much bleach can simply burn the sheet fabric, making it deteriorate and disintegrate?

What Difference Does The Weave Of The Fabric Make?

There are even differences in how a sheet is woven.

First is the standard weave that matches one to one.  

Next is the pinpoint weave where there will be two stitches over and one under. It makes a softer fabric.

How To Wash White Sheets – My Seven Top Tips

Tip 1 Use the correct amount of good detergent

Often, people don’t read the manual for their washing machine. They rely upon using the measurements in the cap of the liquid detergent.

And there are front loading washers and top loading washers.  They both require different amounts.  And don’t get me started about the new High Efficiency types.

Unfortunately, when you use too much detergent, it builds up in the clothes making them look dingy.

Cheap detergent also builds up and doesn’t rinse out as easily.  So read the manual for what the manufacturer recommends.

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Tip 2 Use a laundry booster

There are quite a few boosters you can add to your laundry to improve the colors and reduce dinginess and yellowing.  While all are natural, some you may prefer to use over others. Like me, not everyone likes the smell of bleach or ammonia. It reminds me of hospitals – ugh!

Most everyone thinks about using bleach to make whites brighter. And that’s what it does. It removes other colors and leaves things white. You have to be careful not to get bleach on your colors or you’ll have speckles.  

You also don’t need a lot of bleach to get the job done. And be sure you mix the bleach with water and don’t just pour it into the laundry.  Too much bleach in one spot can cause fibers to burn away.

Borax and oxygen boosters improve the ability of detergent to remove stains. They also deodorize your laundry.  For it to work well, use a pre-soak cycle and let your linens soak with a half cup of borax.  

Oxygen boosters tend to be made from sodium percarbonate. It releases hydrogen peroxide which acts as a mild bleaching agent. So it also

Salt is a great stain remover and helps reduce yellowing in clothes. But you need to use at least a cup of salt when you add detergent.  Salt doesn’t do much to brighten whites. It’s better for protecting your colors from fading.

Ammonia smells vile but cleans greasy items like pillowcases and sheets better than detergent alone. NEVER mix ammonia and bleach because it will create a toxic gas. So if you just happen to have very oily linens, do one wash with some ammonia to get it cleaned up. But this isn’t something you would want to do regularly.

Tip 3 Rinse with Vinegar or Baking Soda

As I mentioned in 3 Simple Ways to Get Yellow Stains Out of White Sheets, vinegar and baking soda help remove detergent build-up. It also improves the rinsing of your linens. Both are inexpensive options to boost your bright whites.

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Use a small ¼ cup of baking soda with the detergent. And then add ½-1 cup of vinegar with the rinse water.

Tip 4 Use hot water wash and cool water rinse

Hot water dissolves body oils.  That’s why it’s important to wash in hot water. The oils loosen up and the detergent can really go to town with them.

Then use a cool water rinse to wash out detergent thoroughly. This will prevent the build-up that makes the whites look dingy.

Then immediately remove the sheets from the washing machine and place into the dryer. If you want very stiff sheets, try line drying.

Tip 5 Don’t overstuff the machine

I can’t stress this enough. When you overstuff the machine, the linens won’t get clean. And the detergent won’t rinse away properly. You will have linens that are dingy and smelly because they weren’t cleaned and deodorized.

Just like pasta needs lots of water to cook correctly, laundry needs water to agitate properly. Don’t try and save money by stuffing too much in. You will pay for it later when you have to replace your linens more frequently.

Tip 6 Wash your sheets every 2 weeks

Why every 2 weeks? You can read How Often Should I Wash My Sheets?

Over time, you may notice your sheets start to yellow. Read How To Get Yellow Stains Out Of White Sheets to know what do to.

Tip 7 Wash any new sheets you buy

Yep, even though they come straight out of the packaging, the answer to the question “Should I Wash New Sheets?” is yes!

Take Care of The Other Bedding

You should treat the other bedding like your sheets.

Pillowcases should be washed at least as often as your sheets. If you have acne, you should change your pillowcase every few days.

Your mattress cover should be washed when you wash the sheets. In fact, you should keep around an extra mattress cover with your extra sheets to make changing the bed easier.

Finally, blankets and comforters should be washed as often as needed. If pets come up on the bed, you may wish to clean more frequently.

I provide more guidelines in How Often Should I Wash My Sheets

Finishing Up

Everyone wants to sleep in a sanctuary. You can certainly recreate a lush and indulgent hotel experience with following my 7 tips about knowing how to wash white sheets properly with some care and attention.