According to an article in Real Simple magazine, properly cared for sheets should last three to five years! It also says the best way to wash your sheets (but read down further for a totally different thought), is to avoid very hot temperatures when washing and drying because it weakens the fibers. They suggest you use a mild detergent (such as Wisk or Arm & Hammer dye-free formula) and wait until the detergent is diluted before putting sheets in the washer. Undiluted detergents can discolor fabric. And they recommend that you use half the manufacturers’ recommended amount of detergent because too much detergent can make sheets feel stiff. Adding one cup of white vinegar to the rinse water can remove all traces of detergent. The article goes on to say avoid brighteners and other bleaching agents because they also weaken and discolor fibers. To dry your sheets, dry on low or medium setting because overdrying them can (again), weaken fibers and bake off finishes.
Tammy’s Tip ‘O the Day!
To brighten whites you can add 1/4 cup lemon juice to the wash cycle instead of bleach.
Storing laundered (and completely dry) sheets in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight is best. They also suggest keeping three sets of sheets for each bed and rotating weekly. (I guess I need to buy more sheets!)
Tammy’s Other Tip ‘O the Day!
To keep sets together and your linen closet neat, store each set in a matching pillowcase.
And Now For Something Completely Different…
NOW, the next article is totally different. In a Wall Street Journal article, Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr., director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, says using the hottest temperatures when washing and drying sheets is the only way to do it.
Now he does have the title and credentials to seem to know what he’s talking about…..
So do you get your sheets totally cleaned and buy them more often because you’re breaking down the fibers or do you keep your sheets lasting longer but perhaps not getting them properly cleaned? I’m thinking that by adding vinegar to the wash, you can use a milder temperature but still kill germs and dust mites since vinegar is a natural germ killer and disinfectant (but I’m not a scientist…).
What are your thoughts? And do you have any successful tips on getting your sheets clean…or how to launder in a “green” way? We’d love to hear from you.