Break down the steps to whiten your yellowed sheet (Also things to avoid to prevent your white sheet from yellowing again)
The white sheet removes our stress
The white sheet is the ultimate relaxation companion. It embodies the satisfying feeling of slipping into a clean, crisp bed after a long, exhausting day at school or work. What's interesting is that science backs this up: lying on white or light-colored bed sheets can actually help our nervous system relax because our brains have to process less visual information.
The white sheet is hard to stay white
But there's a catch. White sheets have a tendency to lose their pristine appearance over time, developing a yellow tint. It's perfectly normal, given that we transfer a lot onto our sheets—sweat, body oils, and dead skin, to name a few. These factors can lend your bedding that unwanted yellowish hue.
Important note: don’t use bleach unless it’s your only option!
So, what can you do to bring back the brilliant white to your sheets? First things first, don't rush for the bleach—believe it or not, it's not the best long-term solution. Bleach, with its chlorine content, can react with protein stains (like sweat and body oils) to create even more stubborn yellow stains. Plus, it can make your cotton sheets lose their softness and become rough.
Instead, let's explore some eco-friendly household cleaners that are both safe and sustainable. Here are a few:
- Baking Soda
This versatile ingredient is known for its stain-removing abilities and can effectively neutralize stains and tints on your sheets.
- White Vinegar
White vinegar is another fantastic option for whitening your sheets. It can be used as a pre-soak or in combination with another sheet-whitening solution.
- Lemon Juice
If you enjoy a subtle citrus scent, lemon juice can be your go-to option. Some believe its acidity can help combat mites and bacteria, although there's no scientific proof.
- Liquid Bluing
This is similar to adding a blue layer to make photos appear whiter. Liquid bluing counteracts yellow hues, creating a crisp white look. Just remember to dilute it properly, as it can stain.
Steps to make white sheets white again
Now we have every ingredient to make our white sheet back again, but we just getting started. Be patient with us because we are going to go through the whole process in several steps.
Pre-soak the Sheets
- Pre-soak in warm water for more than 1 hour; use 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- Pre-soak the yellowed sheets overnight in cold water; use 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- Either way, you can also use the laundry booster together with white vinegar
Wash for the 1st Cycle
Begin with 1/2 cup of baking soda and your regular detergent. During the rinse cycle, add in half a cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. These natural whiteners also have a softening effect, so you can skip the fabric softener.
Wash for the 2nd Cycle
If you notice any lingering odors or detergent buildup, start a second cycle with just a rinse to eliminate them.
Consider Sun Drying
Nature is always generous to us, and it’s free! If possible, allow your washed sheets to dry in the sunlight. Sunlight has natural bleaching properties and won't set stains like a dryer can.
Here are some additional tips to maintain the whiteness of your sheets:
- Avoid mixing white sheets with other colors; wash them separately.
- Wash white sheets regularly, ideally once a week.
- If you tend to sweat a lot while sleeping, try to stay cool.
- Use a smaller sheet or pad on top of your white sheet to protect it.
And lastly, here are some habits to avoid if you want to keep your sheets white:
- Avoid consuming juicy or messy foods in bed. Who likes to lie down and eat snacks? But it will burn all the energy we had at breakfast if we have to wash the white sheet;
- Always remove your makeup before bedtime. Some makeups are oil-rich and really hard to remove, so make sure to remove them from you first;
- Address stains promptly; the longer they sit, the harder they are to remove;
- Regularly clean your washing machine to prevent rust and mineral buildup that can affect the whiteness of your sheets. Only the cleanest machines can give you the most whitened sheets.
With these tips and tricks, you can enjoy the fresh, clean feel of your white bed sheets for a long time to come!