Do you ever wish the housekeeping service from your favorite hotel could come in when you leave for work? Then magically, you come home to a spotless room with crisp, white bed sheets and freshly laundered towels hanging in the bathroom.
While you may not have staff on hand to take care of your cleaning, there are ways you can achieve that hotel bedding look by following some simple cleaning tips.
To bleach or not to bleach
When you think white, you probably think bleach. And while bleach will certainly get the job done, it may not be the best way to go.
Bleach, with its harsher chemicals, can be damaging to your bedding and bathroom towels. Hotels may use bleach in large quantities. But remember, hotel bedding and towels get switched out and completely replaced quite often. So, hotels aren't really worried about damaging a sheet here or towel there because replacements are close by.
One article suggests that some hotels actually use a 3-step cleaning process:
- Wash with laundry detergent
- A second wash with softener
- A final wash with just bleach
Will your bedding get white? Absolutely. And if you have the extra time, then this may be a great option. But unless you're a recent lottery winner, you probably don't have a closet full of extra bedding to replace towels and sheets damaged from over washing.
When it comes to hot, maybe not
Another approach many people take to cleaning sheets and towels is to use the hottest water possible. As with bleach, this may not be the best way to clean and make your sheets and towels last.
For the washing process itself, try these tips.
- Use cold water, unless you have really heavy stains. Hotter water tends to damage material quicker.
- Load your machine properly. If you overload, your detergent won't distribute evenly and stains could get missed.
- Try a lower dry setting. Intense drying can wear out fabrics faster. Better yet, if you have time and space, hang your sheets and towels in the sun.
By using colder settings or eliminating the dryer altogether, you not only give longer life to your sheets and towels (or clothes), you also make less of an impact on the environment.
Try eco-friendly cleansers
There are lots of factors that affect the life and look of your sheets, towels and clothes. From day one, you expose them to:
- Dirt and sweat
- Food and drinks
- Shampoos, soaps and other body cleansing products
- Detergents, bleaches, softeners and other cleansers
- Water and heat
As an alternative to your traditional laundry detergents and bleaches, there are products that are gentler on fabrics and the environment, while still providing the same cleaning power.
- Natural whiteners like baking soda during a wash cycle or white vinegar during a rinse cycle
- Other "green" whiteners like borax
- Oxygen- or enzyme-based products like Shout or OxiClean products
Add a protector
As stated above, your bedding is constantly being exposed to elements that can make it look yellow and dingy. Since it takes a lot of time and effort to wash and dry your pillows and comforter, we recommend you protect them. A pillow protector goes over your pillow and under your pillowcase to catch excess oils, dirt, and sweat. This makes cleaning an easier ask, as you can remove the protector and wash with your sheets. The same can be said with your comforter. Adding a duvet cover adds color, design AND protection to your comforter!
By incorporating these simple tips, you too can keep your sheets whiter and your bedroom cleaner. It may not be hotel bedding white, but you can certainly take steps to increase the life and improve the look of your bedding and towels.