Given that we spend a third of our lives on them, bed linens tend to accumulate dead skin, dust mites, sweat and hair oil residue. This makes it important to launder our bedding regularly.
Proper care and maintenance of bedsheets doesn’t rid our beds of allergens and bacteria. Laundering them correctly extends their longevity, reduces damage such as fraying and shrinking, and can provide a more comfortable surface to rest on.
Many washing machines in the marketplace come with intelligent wash programs and customised settings for different types of fabric materials. From luxurious cotton weaves to soft bamboo fibres, the options in bedding materials have grown and require proper laundering to stay in optimal conditions.
One of the most common materials, cotton, tends to come in two types for bedding: 100 percent cotton or Egyptian cotton. Recently, organic cotton has increased in popularity as it is harvested without harmful pesticides and is considered environmentally friendly.
In all cases, it is best to use a gentle wash cycle with cool or lukewarm water, as high temperature washes can cause cotton to shrink. It is also best to dry them in tumble dryers which offer gentle, low temperature drying cycles.
Linen is a luxurious fibre that can feel nice and cool in hot weather, and it gets softer with use. Regular washing of linen helps the softening process. They can be washed at high temperatures of up to 95C, but it is best to wash them at a warm 60C. High wash temperatures can wear linens out faster, so use them only on heavily-soiled beddings.
Thread count refers to the density of the weave in threads per square inch. The thread count of bed sheets is commonly used to denote the quality of the bedding. A high thread count of 400 to 1,000, for example, is considered luxurious, since the material needs to be spun more finely.
As with all fine materials, high thread count bedding requires more care when laundering because they are easily damaged by high heat or rough handling. Some high thread count sheets are best hand-washed or even dry cleaned. When they can be laundered, use a cold or lukewarm wash with a high-quality, gentle detergent.
If you prefer sleeping in a natural environment without the air conditioner, it might be best to change your sheets once a week or bi-weekly. Spare sheets should be neatly folded and kept in a cool, dry closet or drawer. If you want to keep your fabric from yellowing, you can line the surface of the storage area with acid-free tissue paper.
Elizabeth Png is the brand and consumer communications director for Electrolux Vietnam. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org