Should You Wash New Bedding Before Using It?

Nothing feels as good as sliding under fresh, clean, crisp new bed sheets. Which is why it can be tempting to take new sheets straight from the packet and put them onto your bed.

However, is this wise? Or should you wash new sheets before using them? This is one of those subjects where everyone has an opinion, some say they need to be washed first whilst others say they feel better straight out of the packet. Many experts agree that it is important to wash new bedding before use.

If you’re unsure whether you should wash new bedding before use, keep reading because in this article we look at new bedding and why it is recommended that you wash it before using it.

Why Should You Wash New Sheets Before Use?

Although those brand new sheets come in a sealed packet and look all clean and crisp, there’s a good chance they could cause you some discomfort. Especially if you have sensitive skin and are allergic to certain chemicals.

You see, your brand new bed sheets will have been made in a dirty, dusty factory and been handled by lots of people before finding their way into your home. Plus many of the processes needed to manufacture those sheets use chemicals that could be harmful.

Those chemicals could cause dermatitis or in some cases, the chemicals used could be carcinogenic. 

If you have ever noticed your skin becoming itchy after sleeping in new sheets, it is most likely caused by the starch used to make the sheet look presentable in the packet. That starch is called “sizing” and although it makes the sheets look amazing, it can feel stiff or scratchy. 

The best way to remove “sizing” and other chemicals from bedding is to run them through a wash cycle in your washing machine.

This will also help you notice any defects in the fabric like loose threads, tears or holes, which, if found early enough can be returned for a replacement set or your money back. This is because you usually have a short window of time in which you can return any defective products.

How to Wash New Bed Sheets

distilled white vinegar washing machine

Once you have your new bed sheets you should always wash them before use for the reasons stated above. We recommend;

  1. Washing the sheets using bicarbonate of soda & white vinegar
    Add 1 cup of bicarbonate of soda to the drum of your washer before placing the sheets & pillow cases in the drum. Run a warm wash cycle and add ½ a cup of white vinegar just before the rinse cycle.
  2. Use dryer sheets
    Dryer sheets work in much the same way as fabric softener and help to reduce static. They will also make your new bedding smell great.
  3. Iron the sheets
    To make those new sheets feel like they’re brand new, be sure to iron all of the creases out of them.

Tips For Keeping New Bedding Looking & Feeling Great

To ensure you get the best from your new bedding, follow these tips;

Check The Wash Care Label

The wash care label will give you all the relevant information for washing and drying your new bedding. For instance coloured sheets might not be able to withstand high wash temperatures without the colour running. 

Wash Your Bedding Often

To keep your new sheets looking and feeling new, you should aim to wash them at least twice per month. Be sure to check for any stains and spot treat those before washing. 

Wash On Their Own

Sheets and pillow cases should be washed on their own or with other items made from the same materials and colours. This will prevent any damage to the fabric, or colour bleed.

Never Wear Makeup To Bed

To keep your bedding looking its best, you should avoid applying or wearing makeup in bed. The creams, primers and powders can make a mess of your bedding. Always apply makeup away from the bedroom and ensure to remove it before going to bed.

Never Eat In Bed

Breakfast in bed or midnight feasts might seem like fun, but they can be disastrous for bedding. You should keep food and drink well away from bedding to prevent staining.

Use Natural Cleaners

When washing your sheets and pillow cases, try adding 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in the wash cycle with no detergent. Then run another wash cycle using ½ a cup of bicarbonate of soda (and no detergent).

This will help to remove any detergent or fabric softener buildup and deodorise as well as clean your bedding.

Let The Sunshine In

Whenever possible, open the window in your bedroom and allow the sun’s UV rays to help remove bacteria and dust mites. You should also allow your sheets, pillow cases and bedding to air dry in the sun when the weather permits.

Avoid Chlorine Bleach

If you are unfortunate enough to have stains on your bed sheets, it can be tempting to reach for the bleach. However, using chlorine bleach on stains can cause more unsightly stains.

This is because chlorine bleach can react with some stains like sweat or other protein stains and turn the stain yellow. If you feel the staining needs to be treated with a bleach, use oxygen bleach in the wash instead.

Why Do Hotels Have White Bed Sheets?

Hotel Room

If you’ve ever stayed in a hotel you’ll be aware that the bed sheets are always white. Did you ever wonder why that is? Well, the reasons why hotels use white bed sheets are because;

  • They Look & Feel Good
    White sheets always look fresh and clean and often feel luxurious. Even though there will have been many people who have slept in the same bed, it doesn’t seem like it because the sheets are fresh, crisp and white. Any stains would show out on white sheets which gives you more confidence when sleeping on them in a strange bed.
  • They’re More Hygienic
    Due to the fact that any stains would be clearly visible, hotels have to wash their sheets frequently. This means they should always be hygienically clean for each new guest.
  • They’re Relaxing
    Many people find white a relaxing colour, but more importantly, if the white sheets are visibly clean, you’re more likely to relax in the bed and get a better night’s sleep as a result.

So, Should You Wash New Bedding Before Using It?

While there’s no hard and fast rule that says that you have to wash new bedding before use, it is advisable. After all, nobody wants to expose themselves to potentially harmful or irritating chemicals.

As bed sheets are often made in dirty, dusty factories and exposed to many chemicals during the manufacturing process, it makes sense to give them a quick wash before use.

SEE ALSO: What Temperature Do You Wash Bedding At?

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you don’t wash new bedding?

If you don’t wash new bedding you could expose yourself to dirt, dust or potentially dangerous chemicals left over from the manufacturing process. Washing new bedding removes any possible contaminants and prevents skin irritation.

Can you use sheets straight out of the package?

You can use sheets straight out of the package but it’s best to wash and dry them before their first use. This will remove any dirt, dust or potentially harmful chemicals left after the manufacturing process.

Why is new bedding itchy?

If you use new bedding without washing it first, it can be itchy. This is because of the starch (known as “sizing”)  which is used to make the bedding look good in the packaging.

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