How To Make Your Yellowed Sheets White Again (And What To Do and Not When It’s White)?
The white sheet relaxes our brain most
It is about everyone’s satisfying feeling when climbing into a clean, crisp bed, after a long hard day at school or work.
It’s also supported by data that when we laying on white or light-colored bed sheets, our nervous system feels more relaxed because our brain receives and resolves less information.
White is easy to be not white (and why)
There are many reasons that make our white bed sheet sets yellow or stained as time goes by. Yellow discoloration on your sheets is not abnormal. Your sheets may develop a yellow tint just from regular use or aging.
"White sheets show every stain and will almost definitely take on a yellow cast over time, even with regular washing," says Racked. "When you sleep, you transfer a whole lot of yourself onto your sheets, which leaves them full up with your sweat, body oils, dead skin, and so on, all of which will lend your bedding a yellow, dingy cast."
Ingredients we can use to whiten our yellowed sheets
Whether you just want to whiten the whole sheet to remove a stain, or to remove a yellow tint that has built up for a period of time, you can start to remove discoloration from it with some ingredients you may already have in your hands.
First note: don’t use bleach, or at least don’t use it as your only option.
It seems the easiest and direct way to whiten your sheets, but believe us, it’s maybe the worst way if we consider long-term sustainability for the sheets.
The reason is simple: bleach contains chlorine, which chemically reacts to protein stains like sweat, body oils, vomit, etc., to create a yellow and dingy stain, and it will make your cotton sheets lose its softness and feel hard. Instead, let’s turn to eco-friendly household cleaners that are safe to use on a regular basis.
Baking soda is used in many ways to whiten clothes and bedding. It can neutralize some popular stains and tints on sheets.
White vinegar is another great option for the whitening purpose. White vinegar allows you to create a wonderful pre-soak that can be used individually or with another sheet-whitening option.
Just a small group of people know this, but for me, I prefer lemon juice from others, because I like the slightly citrus smell which makes me feel fresh and happy, while at the same time I think the acid feature of lemon juice can kill mite and bacteria. (no proof, but I insist to believe it works, lol)
Just like when we want our photos to look whiter, we add a blue layer on it, liquid bluing works in the same way, and it counteracts the yellow hues to create a crisp white. Anyway, be sure to follow the instructions very carefully because you’ll need to dilute it quite a bit, as it stains.
Steps to make white sheets white again
Finally, we get everything we need to find our white sheet back again. But also prepare some patience, because we need to break the whole process into several steps.
Pre-soak the sheets
- Pre-soak in warm water for more 1 hour, use 1/2 cup of white vinegar, or
- Pre-soak the yellowed sheets overnight in cold water, use 1/2 cup of white vinegar
- For either way, you can also use the laundry booster together with white vinegar
Wash for 1st cycle
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda with normal detergent at the beginning. Then, at the start of the rinse cycle, pour in half a cup of white vinegar or lemon juice. These two natural whiteners also have a softening effect, so you can skip the fabric softener.
Wash for 2nd cycle
If you notice any odor or buildup of the detergent, baking soda or vinegar, just start the second cycle. No need to use any detergent, just rinse the odor away.
Sundry if you can
Nature is always generous to us, and it’s free! Sunlight has bleaching capabilities and will not set stains as the dryer does. So consider changing your washed sheets to dry in the sun if you can.
Some other small tips you should not miss when whitening sheets.
- Don’t mix the white sheets with other colors, especially the dark colors. Wash them separately, every time;
- Wash white sheets regularly, once a week, or even more frequent, like 4-5 days;
- If you sweat a lot when sleep, try to make yourself cool, check here for our previous article;
- Use a separate, smaller sheet or pad on the top of the white sheet, to protect it.
What you should avoid keeping the sheets white
Repairing is always harder than keeping. Follow some simple rules to keep your white bed sheet white as when it’s open from the box!
- Don’t eat juicy food on the bed. I know you’re a bed-breakfast lover, who doesn’t? But it will burn all the energy we had at breakfast if we have to wash the white sheet;
- Remove your makeup before going to bed. Some makeups are oil-rich and really hard to remove, so make sure remove them from you at first;
- Wash it immediately if there is a stain. Stains will keep longer on white sheets if don’t wash in time;
- Wash your washer. Seriously, our washing machine is a good place to collect rust and mineral, and these can cause our white sheets to become dingy over time;
We hope you’ve found a proper way to keep your white bed sheets white, and also got some clues when they’re stained. Enjoy your fresh-made, clean sheets again!