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How to Care for Bed Linens

A good night’s sleep in invaluable. Like a great mattress, high-quality bed sheets are a worth-while investment. Learn how to properly care for them to ensure that they last a long time.

 

Wash Regularly

Dirt, dust, oil and sweat build up quickly on bedding. The longer they accumulate on the sheets, the more stress is put on the sheet fibres. Grubby sheets are also more appealing to microscopic mites.

It’s a good idea to change your bed sheets and pillowcases once a week, or every two weeks. Pillow protectors and mattress covers also require washing at least once a month.

 

Special Fabrics

Silk is strong, but needs special laundering to keep its fibres intact. Wash silk items by hand the first few times. Afterwards, you can switch to machine washing, but choose the gentle or hand-wash cycle and resist the urge to use the extra spin cycle option.

Linen is a soft yet durable natural fibre. The more frequently linen sheets are washed, the softer they become. The material dries quickly, so the sheets don’t need a long or hot drying setting. Better yet, air-dry them.

Bamboo fibre sheets are best laundered with cold water and soap made for natural fibres, or with neutral pH levels. Colours may run during the first few washings, so make sure to wash this material separately.

 

Rotate Your Bedding

Keep at least three sets of sheets per bed. This way, you can have one set on your bed, one in the laundry, and one tucked away in the closet. By rotating the sheet sets, they will last longer and won’t wear out as quickly.

 

When to Replace

Bedding can last for many years, but too frequent and improper washing will break down even high-quality bed linen. Replace them when the fabric gets thin, shows fading, or develops pills (small balls of fluff on the surface). If the edges of the sheets look shabby and frayed, it’s time to retire them.

While it’s tempting to crank up the heat on your washer thinking it will make your sheets cleaner, hot water is actually harsh on fibres, and hard on colours. Always use cool or lukewarm water and a gentle wash cycle to extend the lifespan of your bedding.

 

Looking for a handy cleaning checklist (great to pass on to helpers!), we’ve got it here!

 

By Verlaine Ramos-Marquez, Home & Décor, May 2015

Photo: 123rf.com

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