4 Steps to Properly Wash Bedding

You use your bed every night. Proper cleaning and care can improve the quality of your sleep and help your bedding look better and last longer. 

#1 Decide On a Washing Schedule

The first thing you’ll have to decide is how often your sheets need to be washed. This will be informed by many factors, including:

  • How often the bed is slept in 
  • Whether you wear pajamas
  • How much you tend to sweat at night
  • Whether you bathe before bed
  • Whether you’ve been ill
  • How much time you spend in bed 
  • Whether you eat in bed

It’s important to be honest with yourself about the answers to these questions because bedding is soiled by body oils and fluids as well as actual dirt and grime. These build up pretty quickly as do dustmites and shedding skin cells. 

If you wear PJs, bathe daily, and only use your bed for sleeping, you can probably get away with changing your sheets weekly or bi-weekly. No one should go longer than two weeks without washing their bedding. 

#2 Pay Attention to the Fabric Care Instructions  

All sheets have fabric care tags sewn inside them. This should tell you the fiber content (cotton, bamboo, rayon, silk, etc.) and how to wash the sheets. They will likely include information about the temperature of the water, the use of bleach, and drying instructions. 

Generally speaking, cotton sheets are washed in hot water and bleach-safe as long as they are white. Microfiber sheets and polyester blends require warm water to prevent shrinkage. But you should check the fabric care instructions carefully and follow them closely to ensure the longevity and attractiveness of your sheets. 

One thing that’s often left off the care instructions is information about fabric softener. While many people love soft sheets, fabric softeners and dryer sheets can actually dry out the natural fibers which makes them less absorbent. If you perspire when you sleep, don’t use fabric softeners or you’ll end up with even soggier sheets in the morning. Adding distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle can help remove residue and stiffness naturally!

#3 Washing Quilts, Comforters, and Duvets

Specialty bedding should almost always be cared for professionally. Duvet covers are an exception–just be sure that you check the fabric care label for proper instructions on how to wash it. Remember, when a tag says “Dry Clean Only”, it means it. Comforters aren’t cheap, so make sure you don’t accidentally ruin your bedding by washing it at home. 

As for how often you should clean your comforter/duvet, this depends on how you use it. Most comforters and quilts are protected from body soil by the top sheet between it and you. If you sleep without a top sheet, your comforter is going to become soiled much more quickly. 

Generally speaking, a comforter or duvet only needs to be cleaned 2-3 times a year. Changing bedding when the season change is a good practice. And remember that you should always clean all bedding after someone has been ill to prevent reinfection. Obviously, if you spill something on your comforter or there’s an accident, you should have it cleaned sooner rather than later to prevent stains. 

#4 Pillow Care 

Did you know that pillowcases should be changed more often than your sheets? The oils, sweat, makeup, and residue from your face and scalp make pillowcases a breeding ground for bacteria. Many people choose to change their pillowcases daily to prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria and help keep allergies at bay. But at the very least you should be changing them weekly. 

Your pillows themselves should also be cleaned regularly! Once or twice a year is standard, although you should certainly have them cleaned after someone ill uses them.

Always read care instruction tags, but feather pillows can usually be washed right in your washing machine on a cold, gentle cycle. Use just a teaspoon or two of detergent to prevent soggy, sudsy feathers. 

Polyester-filled pillows can also be washed in the washer on a cold or warm gentle cycle. Try to wash two pillows at a time or add towels to balance the load and prevent clumping.  

If you have questions or need your bedding cleaned, contact Hangers Dry Cleaners today!