Spoiler: no bleach is necessary.
Hold the bleach, sister. There are alternative methods to get your murky laundry sparkling white again. Here, we will share our tips and tricks to keeping your sheets white and up to scratch with five-star hotel standards.
We’ll start with the basics. Wash your white linens separately. Mixing your crisp white sheets with non-white laundry or with dissimilar textures (like towels, for example) often causes discolouration or pilling. Play it safe, keep it separate.
The good thing about white sheets is that in order to keep them clean, your face will inevitably also remain clean. Ladies, you must be diligent about removing your make up. This one is fairly self-explanatory, but unless you like transferring black and orange stains on to your pillowcase, it pays to wash your face before bed.
Regularly laundering your white sheets is critical. Throughout the night, you transfer a whole lot of DNA on to your sheets which leaves the fibres full up with your sweat, body oils, dead skin, hair strands and so on. This will ultimately give your beautiful white bedding a dingy yellow shadow… gross! Washing your sheets regularly will help keep this at bay, therefore you should aim to wash your sheets once a week, and wash the bed cover every second week while you’re at it.
Keep clear from the bleach. Even though chlorine bleach is the go-to for heavy duty whitening and stain removal, this shouldn’t be used on your sheets – save it for the bathroom tiles. Heavy duty whitening can react with your natural body oils and consequently make your sheets more yellow, not less. Bleach also eats away at the fibres in your linens, compromising the quality and longevity of your bed sheets.
When laundering your whites, we recommend adding half a cup of baking soda in with your detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle. Next, at the beginning of the rinse cycle, pour in half a cup of white vinegar. The distinct vinegar odour will rinse out. These two natural whiteners also provide a softening effect, so you can skip the fabric softener. This is an easy and eco-friendly home remedy to whiten your sheets without purchasing expensive fabric bleaches.
Water temperature is important. Unless your linens are heavily soiled, there’s no need to wash your bedding on any other temperature than cold. High heat also breaks down the fibres in your linens, again compromising durability and longevity. Washing in luke-warm is fine if you prefer; however cold washing is the ideal method and additionally the most energy efficient method. Win-win.
For an extra whitening boost, hang your linens in the sun to dry. Sun light has bleaching capabilities (think of your locks in the summer sun), and won’t set stains the way tumble dryers do. Though line drying is the best method, for those who don’t live in the right climate, don’t have the time or the outdoor space for line drying, tumble drying on a low heat is acceptable. If you have the time, take the sheets out of the tumble dryer while they are still slightly damp. Shake them out and let them air; this will give the fibres time to rest and breathe and prevent wrinkles from setting in. This will also increase the life span of your bed linen.
Do you have any laundry tips and tricks you’d like to share with us? Any secrets to white washing we should know? Leave a comment below – we’d love to hear from you!
Today's blog post is going to discuss the main things you should look at when you're purchasing your next bedding item, or what to keep an eye out for as you're building your top-quality bedding collection.
We spend at least one third of our lives in our beds, so it makes sense to create a luxurious haven where we can relax, refresh and rejuvenate.
It can take time to build up your bedding collection when investing in top quality bedding and sheeting, however the durability and longevity of quality bed linen is well worth the wait and ticket price. A good quality cotton or linen sheet will become softer with each wash and can last for over a decade. The benefits are two-fold: a gorgeous bedroom and a great night’s sleep.
It’s a common misconception that the quality of bed linen can be determined by thread count. The quality of cotton is determined by length, fineness and strength of the individual fiber. Thread count is a literal measurement of the number of threads in each square inch, which indicates a denser weave as opposed to the quality of the actual cotton.
As a general guide, good quality bedding will typically have a 300-1000 thread count. However, it's worth noting that a high thread count alone doesn't truly indicate quality; fabric type should always be factored in too. For example, a 500 thread count Egyptian cotton sheet, such as Baksana's 500TC sheets, will be softer and feel more luxurious than an 800 thread count polyester-blend sheet.
The country of origin is a good starting point when considering quality. European cottons, such as Egyptian and Turkish cotton, are well-known for their fine quality. They are also known for their ethical production methods, as opposed suppliers operating in other continents.
Cotton is the most popular sheeting fabric, although poor quality cotton can pile and become course quickly due to its shorter fibre length. It pays to look for a longer fibre; European-derived cotton is always a safe bet.
Linen and bamboo are both well known for their breathable insulation benefits, keeping you cool during the summer evenings, yet warm in the winter.
We recommend keeping scratchy polyester out of your bed, full stop. As it is a synthetic fibre, it won’t last as long and won’t be as warm or comfortable as other natural fiber options. Polyester or poly/cotton blend bedding is usually cheaper upfront, but you’ll find yourself replacing them much more frequently than good quality cotton or linen.
Different types of weaves have different characteristics and, as such, the type of weave used affects the softness and feel of your bed linen. Modern weaving is carried out on sophisticated machines, with a “warp” yarn which is the basis of the cloth and goes on vertically on the machine and “weft” is the horizontal yarn that gives you the type of weave and the design.
PLAIN WEAVE (Percale Weave)
A basic weaving technique utilising a simple alternate interlocking of warp and weft. Percale is a plain-weave fabric whereby the fibers are tightly woven to create a fine texture and finish. The result is a crisper, cooler and more luxurious fabric that feels the same on both sides. Typically a percale weave must have a minimum thread count of 180 so it's a good benchmark for quality bedding.
Another basic weave when generally the warp is floated over the weft. The yarns are interlocked in such a way that there is no apparent pattern, resulting in a smooth and shiny surface effect. Generally used for applications requiring a sheen.
Sateen weaves are the next step up in terms of softness. This is a technique similar to Satin weave, except the weft is floated over the warp to give a more lustrous, smooth and slippery feel.
A complex French technique often used on Baksana bedspreads. The warp yarn is manipulated with the weft yarn to create intricate designs in multi directions. This is also one of the main techniques used to make bed linen.
Things to consider when purchasing quality bedding:
- Fiber type and origin of fiber
- Thread count
- Weave type
- Versatility – as good quality bedding lasts a long time we recommend building up neutral and subtle or timeless designs as opposed to seasonable fashion trends. You’ll have more options to mix and match with, keeping your space fresh.