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How To Wash White Sheets in a Washing Machine

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Washing white sheets might seem like a straightforward task, but there are some specific techniques and best practices to keep them looking fresh, clean, and bright. This comprehensive guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to wash white sheets in a washing machine, from the preliminary steps to the dos and don’ts, and even specific recommendations for drying and ironing.


To wash white sheets in a washing machine, first, check the care label and sort your laundry to separate whites. Pre-soak your sheets in warm water with a whitening agent and choose a mild laundry detergent designed for white clothes. Wash your sheets at the warmest water temperature indicated on the care label and add a laundry booster like baking soda. Finally, dry your sheets in the sun if possible, or tumble dry them with a dryer sheet. Avoid washing white sheets in cold water, using chlorine bleach, or overstuffing the washing machine.

Preliminary Steps

Before you throw your white sheets into the washing machine, there are a few steps you need to take:

  1. Check the care label: Not all sheets are created equal. Some may have specific cleaning requirements or restrictions. Make sure to check the care label on your sheets before washing them.
  2. Sort your laundry: To prevent color bleeding, always separate your white sheets from colored clothes.
  3. Pre-soak your sheets: For best results, soak your sheets in warm water with a whitening agent like OxiClean, borax, baking soda, distilled white vinegar, lemon juice, or hydrogen peroxide for about an hour before washing.
  4. Choose the right detergent: Opt for a mild laundry detergent specifically designed for white clothes, such as Tide Bright + Whites Rescue In-Wash Laundry Booster Pacs, OxiClean White Revive Laundry Whitener Stain Remover, and Tide Ultra Stain Release.

Washing White Sheets

Now that you’ve completed the preliminary steps, it’s time to wash your white sheets. Here’s how:

  1. Set the right temperature: Always wash your sheets at the warmest water temperature setting listed on the care label. Polyester blends are best washed using warm water, while cotton can tolerate hot water.
  2. Add a laundry booster: To enhance the whitening effect, you can add ½ cup of baking soda along with your detergent. Alternatively, you can use oxygen bleach or hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Dry: If possible, hang your sheets to dry on a clothesline outside. Sunshine is a natural disinfectant and helps brighten whites. If weather or time doesn’t permit, tumble dry your sheets with a dryer sheet.

Dos and Don’ts

To keep your white sheets bright and fresh, here are some dos and don’ts to follow:


  1. Wash your sheets once a week or every two weeks.
  2. Use eco-friendly laundry detergent to leave less chemical residue.
  3. Use baking soda or vinegar to refresh your whites.
  4. Hang sheets to dry in the sun when possible.
  5. Treat stains strategically with an enzymatic stain remover.


  1. Don’t leave your sheets on too long.
  2. Don’t eat in bed.
  3. Don’t go to bed with makeup on.
  4. Don’t wash white sheets in cold water.
  5. Don’t use chlorine bleach on your sheets.
  6. Don’t overstuff the washing machine.

Drying and Ironing White Sheets

After washing, you can tumble dry your white sheets on a low-heat setting or line dry them outside. If you choose to iron your sheets, do so while they’re still slightly damp and fold them lengthwise into quarters to make it easier.

By following these steps and guidelines, your white sheets will stay fresh, clean, and bright for longer. Happy washing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach to wash my white sheets?

It is not recommended to use chlorine bleach on your sheets as it may weaken the fabric and cause yellowing over time. Instead, you can use oxygen bleach or a whitening agent like baking soda, vinegar, or lemon juice.

How often should I wash my white sheets?

It’s best to wash your white sheets once a week or at least every two weeks. Regular washing helps to remove oils and skin cells that accumulate on the sheets and can lead to discoloration.

Cold water is generally not as effective at removing stains or whitening fabrics as warm or hot water. Always check the care label on your sheets for the recommended washing temperature.

What can I do if my white sheets have become yellow or dull?

If your white sheets have become yellow or dull, you can try soaking them in a solution of warm water and a whitening agent like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice before washing. Also, using a laundry booster along with your detergent can help restore the whiteness.

Can I dry my white sheets in the dryer?

Yes, you can tumble dry your white sheets on a low-heat setting. However, line drying them outside in the sun is more beneficial as the sun is a natural disinfectant and helps to brighten whites.

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