Hotel Secrets: 9 Tips on How to Wash White Sheets

Person putting white sheets on a hotel bed

Have you ever asked yourself, “How do hotels keep sheets white all the time?” Regardless of the number of guests, the sheets never seem to lose their white glow which can leave us feeling a little envious sometimes. So how do they do it?

If you’re struggling with yellow bedding and want to know how to make sheets white again to achieve that hotel look, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to wash white sheets at home to restore their brilliant clean appearance. Let’s get started!

How Do You Wash White Bed Sheets?

While every hotel might have a slightly different approach to washing white sheets (some even use professional equipment and services), here are 5 easy at-home tips on how to wash sheets to achieve that sparkling white glow:

1. Baking Soda

If you have sheets made from delicate material such as bamboo (like these bamboo bed sheets), you’ll want to stick to natural and gentler whiteners like baking soda (which is also known to neutralize odors). All you need to do is add half a cup of this household staple to your usual laundry detergent for clean white sheets!

2. Vinegar

Vinegar is another natural whitener (and fabric softener) that you can add to your wash or rinse cycle for fresh white sheets. Simply fill the line of your fabric softener dispenser with white vinegar and machine wash as you normally would.

You can also use vinegar to pre-soak your sheets before throwing them in the washing machine:

  1. Mix half a cup of vinegar with one gallon of warm or hot water in a bucket or tub.
  2. Soak the sheets for at least an hour.
  3. Use a gentle detergent and machine wash.
  4. Air-dry your sheets to eliminate any vinegar smell.

3. Lemon Juice

Did you know that the citric acid in lemon juice can be used as an alternative for bleach? If you’re looking for another natural tip on how to keep white sheets white, then try adding the juice of one lemon to your washing machine with your normal detergent. 

This method may sound a little unusual, but bleaching white sheets with lemon juice is much gentler on the material and adds a nice citrus fragrance (which is good if you decide to pre-soak your sheets with vinegar).

4. Bleach

It’s no secret that bleach has whitening power. In fact, many hotels use bleach in their washing process to fight stains on sheets. But did you know that bleaching white sheets can actually have the opposite effect and ruin them when done incorrectly? This can happen because the chlorine in bleach chemically reacts with the proteins found in common stains (e.g. sweat and body oil). 

To whiten your sheets with bleach, follow the steps below:

  1. Machine wash the sheets with your normal detergent (this will get rid of traces of sweat, body oil, or other fluids).
  2. Add a half cup of bleach to the drum of your washing machine and run a normal cycle.
  3. Run another cycle with regular detergent and hydrogen peroxide if the beach smell remains.

If you have sheets made of delicate material like bamboo, then you’ll want to avoid using bleach altogether since the harsh chemicals will ruin the material. Instead, try a more natural whitening method (such as those mentioned above).

5. Liquid Bluing

Liquid bluing is a great solution to try if you’ve ever wondered how to whiten yellowed sheets. In fact, many manufacturers use liquid bluing on white fabrics during the finishing process; however, the bluing wears off with every wash. To restore your sheets to their former glory using liquid bluing, follow these instructions:

  1. Dilute one teaspoon of liquid bluing in one gallon of cold water. Avoid directly adding liquid bluing to your sheets as this may stain the fabric.
  2. Pour the solution into the drum of your washing machine along with your normal detergent. Avoid mixing liquid bluing with other laundry products (except for detergent) or pouring it in the automatic dispenser of your washer as this may cause staining to fabric.
  3. Machine wash as you normally would.

Woman sitting on a white bed wearing pajamas

How Do You Keep White Sheets White?

Now that you know how to wash white sheets properly and achieve the sparkling clean look that many hotel sheets have, it’s time to talk about maintaining the whiteness. After all, washing white sheets is only half the battle. Here are 3 tips on how you can preserve your sheets’ cleanliness:

1. Wash your sheets frequently

How often should you wash your sheets? While everyone has a different laundry schedule, it’s best to wash your sheets at least once a week. For white sheets specifically, you should wash them once every four to five days to get rid of any dust, dirt, debris, body oil, sweat… you get the idea.

Here are a few extra helpful tips on how to wash bed sheets:

  • Don’t overload your washing machine. Doing a moderate load of laundry can prevent missed stains and uneven laundry detergent distribution.
  • Spot clean your white sheets. Instead of dumping all your bedding together, pay extra attention to your white sheets and separate them in another load for spot cleaning.
  • Use cold water unless your sheets are heavily stained. Hot water can damage material quicker.

2. Separate your lights from darks

No one likes having dingy sheets. To avoid having color bleed onto your white sheets, separate your lights and darks from each other. You can also whiten dingy sheets by adding bleach, baking soda, or vinegar to your load of white laundry.

3. Avoid eating in bed

As tempting as it is to eat in bed, you should try to avoid doing this to prevent any potential messes. No amount of comfort is worth the hassle of cleaning coffee spills or chocolate stains off your beautiful white sheets. Besides, more time in the laundry means more wear and tear for your sheets.

How Do You Wash White Sheets Like Hotels?

As we mentioned before, every hotel has their own way of washing white sheets. A lot of the time, professional cleaning methods are used to achieve the white glow we all secretly envy. 

But even if you don’t have access to professional cleaning services, the tips we provided on how to wash white sheets and maintain their cleanliness are enough to get the job done at home. If you’re looking to upgrade your bedding with brand new sheets, feel free to visit our site today!

Contributing Writer: Rebecca Lee