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Posted by Nicholas Crusie

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Hot water kills allergens and sanitizes your sheets so that stains can be easily lifted out.

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How to Keep White Sheets White Without Bleach

6 min read

There’s really nothing worse than constantly having to wash your white sheets with bleach because you can’t seem to get rid of those pesky sweat stains any other way.

Using strong and toxic chemicals like bleach on a regular basis is never ideal, but what else can you do? As it turns out, there are other ways that you can keep your white sheets looking bright, white, and brand new! Stay tuned to learn more about these handy laundry secrets and how to prevent yellowing sheets in the first place. 

What Causes Your White Sheets to Change Colors?

If you deal with white sheets that seem to turn yellow after a week or so, you’re probably wondering why this happens in the first place. It’s actually pretty nasty when you think about it. White sheets can develop a yellow tinge thanks to things like sweat, skin oils, bodily fluids, body lotions, and other skin products. I mean just think about how much time you spend in your bed. Let’s say that you get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night. That means that you’re spending around 56 hours in your sheets every week! That’s a lot of time for you to sweat, release oils, and basically just dirty your sheets to the point that they start to turn yellow. So what can you do about this?

How to Wash Your White Sheets to Get Rid of Stains

Even though you might automatically think that washing your sheets with bleach is the best way to return your sheets to their beautiful white color, that’s not exactly the case. Even though bleach can be used to brighten and lighten stains out of white fabrics, it’s not ideal for the types of stains that usually occur within your sheets. This is because bleach contains chlorine and chlorine doesn’t react very well to protein stains like sweat, body oils, bodily fluids, etc. So instead of turning your sheets white, using bleach will actually make them even more yellow than they were in the first place! So if bleach isn’t the answer, then what is?

There are several different tricks that you can use to get rid of stains on your white sheets:

Before Washing: If you’re looking to really get out some nasty stains from your white sheets, then doing a pre-wash treatment might be the way to go.

 

  • Borax: One thing that you can use to help boost the power of your detergent is to soak your sheets in Borax before you wash them. Add a half a cup of Borax to one gallon of water and allow your sheets to soak in this solution overnight. In the morning, wash your sheets as usual with regular detergent.
  • Vinegar: Another pre-wash treatment for your sheets involves vinegar. Add a half a cup of vinegar to one gallon of water and allow your sheets to soak in this solution for one hour. Afterward, wash your sheets as usual with regular detergent.

While Washing: Here are some things that you can do to promote the whitening of your sheets while they are in the wash...

 

  • Hot Water: We always recommend washing linens with hot water. Hot water kills allergens and sanitizes your sheets so that stains can be easily lifted out.
  • Regular Detergent: Regular detergent can still be effective against sheet stains! Just make sure that you use the right amount based on the guidance on the bottle. When it comes to detergent, it’s tempting to use more than it says but that doesn't make it more effective.
  • Baking Soda: Adding in baking soda with detergent into your washing machine can help to brighten whites. Just add in a half a cup and watch your sheets come out bright, white, and odor-free.
  • Lemon Juice: Since citric acid in lemons is a natural bleaching agent, you can add the juice of one lemon into your washing machine along with your detergent to get white sheets that smell like fresh citrus!

After Washing: After you’re done washing -- you aren’t done with removing stains!

 

  • Sunlight: Believe it or not, but natural sunlight can actually help remove yellow sweat stains from your white sheets. All you have to do is hang up your sheets outside to dry in a sunny location. After two to three hours, bring them back inside and marvel at how clean, white, and beautiful they are!

How to Prevent Staining Your White Sheets

While there’s no way to prevent 100% of stains on your sheets, there are some things that you can do to prevent them from occurring as quickly as they normally do. Here are some things that you can do to prevent staining your white sheets to save you time (and money) from doing nonstop laundry:

  • Shower before bed or at the very least, wash your face so that you can remove sweat and oils that are already there.
  • Don’t eat in bed to avoid unsightly stains on your beautiful white sheets!
  • This is hard to hear for pet parents -- but have your pets sleep in their own bed. Pets are a huge source of sheet stains so keeping them out of bed can really help prevent stains from occurring in the first place.
  • Wash your sheets on a regular basis. The recommended frequency is once every week or once every two weeks.

The Best White Sheets to Fight Stains and Odors

Sure, there are things that you can do to prevent staining your white sheets, but unless you can completely get rid of your sweat and body oils while you sleep, then you’re going to be dealing with some amount of staining. However, starting off with the right sheets can actually help you fight stains and odors that occur over time. That way, you don’t have to wash your sheets all the time and you can still feel clean and smell good while you’re sleeping!

There are actually antibacterial sheets out there that can help fight the bacteria that grow as a result of your body sweat and oils within your sheets. For example, the Miracle Brand makes sheets that have all-natural silver fibers that are able to kill 99.9% of bacteria in the fabric. When bacteria are killed, your sheets smell good and look bright and white up to three times longer than regular sheets. This means that instead of having to do laundry every week and use all of those time-intensive and intricate laundry routines to remove pesky yellow stains from your white sheets, you can instead do laundry every three weeks and not have to worry about taking extra steps to remove those stains.

We know that “silver” sheets sound a little bit questionable. How can that be comfortable? As it turns out, the fibers are so small and are combined with luxuriously soft cotton that you can’t even tell the difference when it comes to the feel of the fabric. Miracle Brand offers both a Signature Sheet Set with a 350-thread-count and an Extra Luxe Sheet Set with a 500-thread-count for sizes ranging from twin to king. Of course, they offer the color white in each category so that you can achieve hotel-worthy bedding that requires less maintenance and still feels amazing on your skin.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you definitely don’t need to use bleach to keep your sheets looking white, bright, and new. Instead, try out some of these laundry hacks along with changes to your nightly routine -- or even new antibacterial sheets altogether!



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