How to Wash White Sheets | The Do’s and Don’ts

how to wash white sheets

There’s nothing better than walking into your bedroom, pure white sheets on your bed, the smell of freshly washed laundry in the air. But keeping your white sheets white isn’t as easy as it looks. The smallest of stains can make white sheets look dirty, so it’s important to know exactly how to wash your sheets and what could be making your white laundry, well, not so white.

Your cleaning techniques could make or break your white sheets, so let’s take a look at what you should and shouldn’t be doing to keep your sheets bright and clean.


how to wash white sheets


The Do’s of How to Get Sheets White Again

Washing your white sheets can feel like a tricky task, but there are a few full-proof techniques that work every time. Here’s what you should be doing to clean white sheets.


Liquid Bluing

Bluing is a technique that’s often used by clothing manufacturers as the finishing process on white fabrics. Unfortunately, every time you wash your white sheets, this effect wears off a little more.

You can get this effect back by buying liquid bluing at your local grocery or hardware store and apply it to your white sheets. It’s most effective if you repeat this every couple of washes to keep your sheets looking brand spanking new.



Borax is a highly effective whitening agent available at most grocery stores. It’s a powdery white mineral that aids in lifting discolorations and stains, returning garments back to sparkling white. It works best when it’s exposed to the fabric for long periods of time. For this reason, adding it to water and soaking your white sheets overnight is often the most effective way to use Borax.


how to whiten sheets



If you feel your sheets need a little something extra, vinegar makes a great natural pre-wash. Soak your sheets in a bucket of warm water and half a cup of vinegar for about an hour before you put them in the wash. This helps to whiten the sheet and also works as an incredible fabric softener.

Pro tip: If you are worried about the smell of vinegar sticking around on your sheets, air dry your sheets in the sun. This eliminates any lingering vinegar smell from your newly washed bedding.


Lemon Juice

Lemons contain loads of citric acid, which is great for whitening sheets. It’s also an easy-to-use solution for those under a time crunch. By adding the juice from one lemon to your washing machine, along with your regular detergent, you will see an increase in the brightness of your sheets.

One added benefit of this natural solution is that your sheets come out smelling lemon-fresh. This is especially helpful if you also opted to soak your sheets in vinegar before the wash, as the lemon completely takes away the smell of the vinegar.


fresh white sheet routine


Baking Soda

Although baking soda is often thought of as an odor neutralizer, it can also aid in whitening your sheets. Simply add baking soda to your normal detergent and it will enhance its whitening effects.

This is a great painless option for those who don’t have time to wait for their white bedsheets to soak before throwing them in the washing machine.


The Don’ts of How to Whiten Your Sheets

The way you clean your white sheets could be making a bad situation worse. These are a few of the cleaning techniques that can actually make your white sheets less white, while damaging their integrity.


Bleaching Your White Sheets

If you’re wondering how to bleach white sheets, let me interrupt that thought for a second. Bleaching your white sheets is not the answer. In fact, applying bleach to white sheets can actually have the exact opposite effect that you’re looking for. Although it’s known for whitening any and every color garment, on white, it causes the sheet to yellow.

Bleach contains a lot of chlorine, which chemically reacts with body oil and sweat, often causing yellow spots and stains to appear. If you wash your sheet before bleaching it, it can be effective, but it’s a risky process and best avoided.


cleaning white sheets


Tumble Drying Your White Sheets

The drying of your sheets might not strike you as the most important or effective way to whiten them, but staying away from the tumble dryer just might. Tumble drying your sheets will make them look dingy and often damage the fabric. Air drying your sheets will preserve their lifespan, but also keep your white sheets from looking drab.


Final Thoughts on How to Get White Sheets White Again

Laying your head to rest on a clean white puffy cloud of white sheets after completing your bedtime routine is possibly one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. So don’t let dirty sheets ruin the little pleasures in life. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure your white sheets stay white without compromising their integrity.

Reading next

full fitted sheet
making a sustainable home

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.