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This is Why Your White Sheets are Turning Yellow (and How to Prevent it)

This is Why Your White Sheets are Turning Yellow (and How to Prevent it)

Posted by The Canningvale Team on 25th Apr 2024

Ah, white sheets - our bedtime BFFs. They give off that hotel-like vibe, instantly calming and serene. There’s just something about their minimalist charm that makes slipping into bed feel like a little luxury every night.


But, we’ve all been there: you invest in a set of crisp, white bed sheets, only to find them gradually turning a less-than-desirable shade of yellow over time. It’s a common woe, but fear not! There are steps you can take to prevent and tackle this pesky yellowing phenomenon. So, let’s dive into the reasons why your white sheets may be losing their brightness and how you can keep them looking fresh and white for longer.


The Culprits Behind Yellowing Sheets

Believe it or not, the main culprit behind yellowing white sheets is… well, us! Our bodies produce oils and sweat and shed dead skin cells, which all find their way into the fabric of our sheets. Over time, these residues build up and cause that unsightly yellow hue we’re all too familiar with.


Additionally, the products we lavish upon ourselves - from moisturisers to hair treatments - leave their mark on our sheets. And let's not forget functional mishaps like improper washing and storage; they're guilty parties too.


Bedtime Habits That Protect Your White Sheets

Now that we know the villains, let’s talk tactics. Here are some simple tweaks to your bedtime routine that can help preserve the pristine whiteness of your sheets:


1. Shower Before Bed: A quick rinse before hitting the hay can significantly reduce the transfer of body oils to your sheets

2. Wear Pajamas: PJs act as a barrier, minimising direct contact between your skin and the sheets, thus reducing the buildup of oils and dead skin

3. Prohibit Pets: Fluffy and Fido might be adorable cuddle buddies, but their presence in bed contributes to yellowing. Consider giving them their own sleeping quarters (with dark-coloured bedding)

4. Be Mindful of Bath Products: The lotions and potions we apply can leave residues on our skin, which in turn transfer to our sheets. Opt for thorough drying before bedtime or limit the use of beauty products right before turning in


And when it comes to long-term storage of white sheets, steer clear of plastic bins or bags. Plastic limits airflow, leading to yellowing over time. Instead, choose linen or cotton storage bags or bins for optimal preservation.


Tips for Washing and Storing White Sheets


Ah, the dreaded laundry day. But fear not, for with a few strategic moves, you can maintain the brilliance of your white sheets:


1. Wash White Sheets Weekly: Regular washing prevents the buildup of body oils, thus staving off yellowing

2. Treat Stains Strategically: Address stains promptly to prevent them from setting in and contributing to yellowing over time

3. Don’t Overstuff the Washing Machine: Allow your sheets ample room to move for a thorough cleanse

4. Be Mindful of Dye Transfer: Separate whites from colours to prevent discolouration

5. Treat Stains as Soon as Possible: Act quickly to tackle stains and maintain the pristine appearance of your white sheets


And now, the pièce de résistance: the four-step process to restore your sheets to their former glory:


Four Steps to Make Your Sheets White Again

1. Pre-Soak: Prepare a solution of warm water and one of the following: white vinegar, lemon juice or borax. Let your sheets soak for at least an hour to loosen stains

2. First Cycle: In the wash, add one of the following: baking soda, lemon juice, white vinegar or liquid bluing. If you are using detergent, measure carefully to prevent product buildup, and consider using an extra rinse cycle to remove any excess detergent or treatment residue

3. Second Cycle: If needed, run a second cycle with your usual detergent to ensure thorough whitening

4. Dry: Air-dry your sheets if possible, harnessing the natural bleaching power of the sun

📸 by @my.burleigh.reno featuring Vintage Softwash cotton sheet set and quilt cover set

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