Washing clothing

How to Wash Cotton Bed Sheets

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Wash Cotton Bed Sheets

Cotton sheets are those that we use most frequently to dress our bed. They are absorbent and do not retain moisture, making them ideal for hot and sweaty summer nights. Fibres are natural and, therefore, allow much better the air flow through them and they don't cause allergic reactions in susceptible people. If you want to keep all the properties of these sheets, it is important to follow a series of precautions when washing them. In this OneHowTo article we give you the keys to know how to wash cotton bed sheets so they can last longer and in better condition.

You may also be interested in: How to Remove Coconut Oil Stains from Sheets

Steps to follow:


Before you wash your cotton sheets, you must read the washing instructions carefully. You will find all the washing information on the label of the sheets. In this labels you will find important information concerning the product as materials, colour or yarn sheet. Remember that cotton sheets can be made of different fibre types and even mixtures of materials, such as polyester.


Toss those cotton sheets in the washing machine with warm water using a mild soap. Never use very hot water to wash your cotton bed sheets, as they can shrink and lose colour. In the event that your sheets are embroidered with fine and elaborate details, choose to use a suitable washing machine program for your delicates and apply a gentle spin.

How to Wash Cotton Bed Sheets - Step 2

Remember to change the sheets every 5 to 7 days, wash them and, if possible, dry them in the sun. If you let them dry outside, the air and the sun will help them dry faster as well as keeping the colours. However, it is important not to leave them outside for too long, as the sun could have the opposite effect and start taking out the colour of your sheets. Remove them from the sun once they are already dry.

If the weather outside is very bad and you have to dry the cotton bed sheets in the dryer, dry them at low temperature, which will better maintain the quality of the sheets.


Do not mix cotton bed sheets with knitted garments such as socks or sweaters as they can dislodge lumps of lint that will adhere to your fabrics. Also, it is recommended to wash stamped or coloured sheets alone for the first time right after buying them to avoid faded fabrics and to remove traces of dye, chemicals and other substances.


If you don't like ironing, there is another way to prevent wrinkles on your cotton bed sheets. Just after pulling the sheets out of the washing machine, stretch them carefully. After, hang them up as straight as possible, avoiding folds. Following these simple steps you won't need to iron your bed sheets any more.

If you prefer ironing them, moisten the garment and use the iron at a heavenly medium temperature.

How to Wash Cotton Bed Sheets - Step 5

Other information that you should consider when washing cotton sheets:

  • Quality cotton shrinks a little and only in the first wash. The decrease is already calculated and it's considered to be of a 3%. However, the worst quality cotton bed sheeds can shrink up to 12%.
  • Mites nest in mattresses and bedding. To avoid this, cover the mattresses and pillows with a zipper and wash them once a month.
  • Add half a cup of baking soda to the detergent, so you get to deodorise the sheets, lighten the white colours and banish yellowing.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Wash Cotton Bed Sheets, we recommend you visit our Home cleaning category.

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How to Wash Cotton Bed Sheets