How to Keep White Sheets White with 4 Simple Tips

keep sheets white

As any linens-loving lady can attest, sharing a bed with a sweaty partner wreaks absolute havoc on white sheets. (Not to get graphic, but we’ve all seen its telltale yellowed ombré effect.) We love our pristine white bedding...and we want it to stay both pristine and white. So we checked in with Melissa Homer, chief cleaning officer of MaidPro, for some pointers from the pros.

1. Introduce Oxygen Bleach To Your Laundry Routine

Using an oxygen bleach solution (monthly, or as preferred) will definitely help bring back brightness. Simply add the manufacturer's recommended amount right into your wash load, or do a pre-soak for 30 minutes beforehand if your sheets are looking super dingy. Important: Never, we repeat never use chlorine bleach, as it can fray the fibers and prompt yellowing.

2. Utilize the Power of the Sun

Good old sunlight is a wonderful whitening agent, guys. Hanging your sheets in the sun to dry (weather permitting) gives the natural bleaching power of the sun the chance to work its magic (plus, it makes your sheets smell great). If you live in an urban area where line drying is impossible or unappealing, Homer recommends opening the shades and turning down your bed sheet in the morning.

3. Don’t Go Budget When It Comes to Detergent

Bottom line: Most of the dinginess and discoloration you’ll see in sheets is a result of soils from body oils, fabric dyes, grooming product residue, etc.—so your cleaning solution is not a place to look for a bargain. Homer recommends buying from larger brands that are known for investing big dollars into research (like P&G or Unilever), and whose formulas have advanced brighteners and degreasers for the most thorough clean.

4. Hot Wash Your Sheets at Least Every Other Week

Sorry to get gross here, but your body sheds 1.5 million dead skin cells and 25 milliliters of sweat every hour you sleep—meaning frequent laundering of your sheets is critical to both good hygiene and good looks. Homer says bi-monthly washes are essential to keeping dinginess at bay, and reminds us to always wash whites in hot water (which gets ’em way cleaner than a warm or cold cycle).

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Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.