A new set of bedding is always a nice buy, and it brings joy just to look at the fresh and bright linens. It often has a delicate shine and scent, and feels very smooth. Many housekeepers wonder if they should wash new linens.
Do I need to wash them?
Experts believe that you should always wash new linens. It goes for all types of bedding sets, whether they are for kids or adults, ordinary or expensive designer ones. Not washing the linens before using them can negatively affect a person’s general health. There are a few reasons for this:
- there may be bacteria on the fabric;
- you can be allergic to chemicals that are usually applied to the linens;
- the fabric dye used to create the pattern on the sheets;
- the linen is usually stiff until washed.
Despite the wish to use the new crisp bedding set right away, it is better to wash it first in the washing machine to avoid negative consequences. Before arriving at the store, it goes through a long process of manufacturing, so there may be dust and bacteria on it.
At the factories, fabric rolls are usually received from the warehouses, where they may be stored in unsanitary conditions. During the manufacturing process, the material goes through various workshops, where it contacts with machines and workers’ hands. At the very least, each factory has dust that will inevitably get into linens.
Some manufacturers of expensive linens claim that their bedding sets are washed with fabric softener before packaging. But they can also be treated with special mixtures that make the fabric soft and shiny. It is done to ensure the buyer that the bedding set is of great quality.
In many stores the customers are offered to open the set to touch the fabric. So, there is a possibility that your bedding set was touched by a lot of people. In this case, there would be a large amount of bacteria on the fabric.
Unlike synthetic, natural materials are a favorable environment for insects’ breeding. If the fabric storage conditions were wrong, there is a big risk of them living in the linens.
Some manufacturers make bedding sets with bright prints. The dye is applied directly onto the material, and there is a chance that it will leave colored stains on your skin because of the rubbing of the skin against the fabric. Besides, printed fabrics often have a specific dye smell. Wash such bedding sets with powder or liquid laundry detergent for colors, and make sure you use a fabric softener to prevent colors from fading away.
New satin bedding sets made of long staple cotton can be rather stiff. But after washing the high-density satin linens will soften and become more smooth.
The linens washed in the washing machine will be clean, soft and pleasant to touch. You will also be sure that they are completely safe for you and your children.
So, before washing the bedding set, read the care label instructions. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully. The care label will help you choose the type of wash (hand or machine wash), the right temperature, it can also tell you if you can use your machine’s spin cycle, etc.
The manufacturer usually gives specific washing temperatures – for the linens it is below 40°C, but sometimes can be 50°C or 60°C. You can also wash most bedding sets in the washing machine, hand wash is rarely necessary. It is recommended to hand wash linens made of natural silk, because it is a very delicate fabric.
In order to avoid ruining your linens, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully! Do not set a higher temperature than indicated, it can have a negative effect on the fabric.
Use specific detergents for different types if fabric (for cotton, synthetics, etc.). It is better to use liquid or gel detergents, because they are gentler on the material. For the first wash, do not use detergents that contain bleach.
If you are washing more than one set of linens, make sure you separate colored and white items. Also, do not wash natural and synthetic materials together.
To hand wash a bedding set, fill a bathtub with water of needed temperature, then dissolve some detergent in it. Before washing, turn your items inside out. Then soak the linen in the bathtub and wash thoroughly. Do not rub too hard in order not to wear the fabric out.
After washing, rinse the linens using significant amounts of clean, lukewarm water. If the linens are colored, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water for color fixation. This will make the fabric even shinier.
To wash a new bedding set in the washing machine, turn it inside out and put in the drum. Choose the right settings based on the type of fabric (cotton or synthetic) and the recommended temperature. If the linens have ruffles or lace, you can use a delicate cycle.
If the duvet cover or pillow cases are decorated with rhinestones and other decorative elements, cut them off in order not to damage the fabric. Sew them back on after washing, drying and ironing.
To wash a satin bedding set in the washing machine, select the right settings first. Satin linens made of cotton are usually washed at 40-50°C. For bamboo and silk satin, manufacturers may recommend washing at 30°C.
Keep in mind that after washing, a bedding set made of natural materials may shrink a little (up to 10 centimeters). Shrinking is an essential process, anticipated by the manufacturer when sizing the bedding set.
Ironing and drying
When drying a bedding set in the washing machine, choose a delicate cycle. If you air-dry it, do it on the wrong side. During warm seasons you can dry it outside, so the linens would air out.
Iron the linens per the material they are made of. Select the correct temperature (for linen fabric, cotton or synthetics) and iron the items thoroughly. If there is a print or embroidery on your duvet cover, iron it on the wrong side. Do not spray such materials as silk, bamboo and viscose with water – it can cause stains.
It is absolutely necessary to iron linens after washing, because this way you will neutralize residue of harmful agents that detergents may contains. Besides, ironed linens look nice and neat.
Follow these recommendations on caring for your linens to avoid negative consequences. Wash and iron them in the right way, and your bedding set will look pretty and serve you well for a long time.