White & Bright
White bed sheets can be found in almost every linen cupboard, and for good reason. They’re a seamless addition to most bedroom styles and look comfortable and welcoming to sleep in. But, as much as we love them, they can also be very impractical. Any stains are quickly noticeable, and discolouring can occur very quickly if they’re not looked after properly. But this doesn’t mean you need to avoid this bedroom staple. Instead, it’s all about the correct care.
Why they get discoloured in the first place
It’s in the nature of white sheets that any discolouring is very easily noticeable, but what is it that causes this discolouring in the first place? Naturally, eating or drinking anything in bed is likely to cause some staining but other than this, the culprit is probably yourself. Every night your bed sheets absorb any bodily fluids, oils and sweat that your body produces. Despite this being perfectly normal, it will turn your white sheets yellow and, if not cleaned properly, can result in long-lasting stains.
Some level of discolouring is inevitable and, as we said earlier, completely normal. But there are some things you can do to slow down the process. The best is to shower before bed. This will wash away some of the oils and sweat that your body has produced throughout the day and reduce the amount that your sheets absorb. On this note, however, don’t go to sleep with wet hair. The water will absorb into the pillow and increase yellowing over time. A long pair of clean pyjamas can also offer your sheets some additional protection.
To keep your bed sheets white, it’s important to wash them regularly so any build-up is washed out before it gets a chance to stain. Ideally, wash them every 7-10 days with half a cup of baking soda in the drum and distilled white vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser. These are natural whiteners that are more environmentally friendly than your standard detergents. Once they’re washed, simply line dry them in the sun, which naturally bleaches fabrics. If this isn’t possible, either line dry in the shade or tumble dry them on a low setting.
If, however, your sheets are already stained, don’t just throw them out straight away. Adding a quarter of a cup of lemon juice with your normal detergent will naturally bleach your sheets and, as an extra plus, give them a pleasant smell. To ensure your sheets last as long as possible, it’s best to avoid actual bleach. This is quite harsh and can damage the fibres of your sheets, making them less soft and, over time, even more yellow.
Ensuring your sheets last as long as possible will save you money and reduce waste in the long term. With a little care and regular washing, it’s more than possible to keep your white sheets looking fresh and welcoming for years.