I’m a vacation rental host – here’s how to wash bed sheets the right way

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If you’re anything like me, you know that maintaining a clean and inviting bedroom for yourself and for your overnight guests is key to a restful sleep. And one of the most important aspects of that cleanliness? Yep, you guessed it – washing those bed sheets! Today I want to share how to wash your bed sheets the right way, ensuring that your sheets are cared for properly and ultra clean.

I’ve been a vacation rental host for almost three years now, and I spend A LOT of time washing sheets. We keep pristine white cotton sheets in our rentals, so keeping them clean and looking their best is an important part of my job as a host. (Curious about being a vacation rental host? Here’s my blog post all about it!) I’ve learned so much about washing bed sheets over the years, so I’m excited to share all of my tips & tricks here with you today.

Modern coastal bedroom makeover with deep blue shiplap wall, vinyl plank flooring, IKEA furniture, and gold accents

How Often Should You Wash Your Sheets?

Ah, the age-old question: how often should you wash your bed sheets? I recommend washing them weekly to ensure optimal cleanliness and hygiene. This regular washing schedule helps to remove dirt, sweat, oils, and other debris that can accumulate over time, keeping your sheets smelling fresh and looking bright.

However, there are a few factors to consider that might warrant washing your sheets more frequently. If you or your guests are particularly sweaty sleepers, have allergies, or if anyone in your household is sick, it’s a good idea to bump up the washing frequency to ensure a clean and healthy sleep environment.

Sweat, dead skin cells, and body oils can accumulate on sheets, creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and allergens. Washing your sheets more often can help reduce the risk of skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even potential respiratory issues.

Your pillow will get the dirtiest, so if anything – wash your pillowcase the most!

How to Wash Your Sheets the Right Way

Gather Your Supplies

Before you start the washing process, make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. This includes laundry detergent (preferably fragrance-free to accommodate sensitive noses), stain remover (for those pesky spills and stains), and fabric softener (optional, but it can add a touch of luxury to your linens).

Sort and Pre-Treat

Separate your bed sheets by color and fabric type to prevent any color bleeding or damage. If you notice any stains, it’s best to pre-treat them before tossing the sheets in the wash. Simply apply a small amount of stain remover directly to the affected area and let it sit for a few minutes before laundering.

Use the Right Settings

Check the care label on your bed sheets to determine the appropriate water temperature and wash cycle. In general, it’s best to use a gentle cycle in your washing machine with cold or luke warm water to preserve the quality of the fabric. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause colors to fade and fabrics to shrink (especially natural fibers like cotton and linen sheets).

That being said, I do wash my white cotton sheets with hot water at my vacation rentals to help sanitize them and keep them white. It doesn’t make them last as long, but I know that they are extra clean for my guests.

Add a Little TLC

To keep your bed sheets looking and feeling their best, consider adding a few extra steps to the washing process. For example, adding a half cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle can help remove any lingering odors and brighten whites. And if you’re dealing with particularly stubborn stains or dingy linens, a sprinkle of baking soda in the wash can work wonders. I’m also a huge fan of Oxiclean White Revive oxygen bleach in the wash when I want my white bed sheets brightened. It really works!

Dry with Care

Once the washing cycle is complete, remove your bed sheets promptly from the machine to prevent wrinkles. If possible, hang them outside to air dry for that fresh, sun-kissed scent. If using a dryer, tumble dry your bed sheets on low to prevent shrinkage and damage to the fabric. And for an extra touch of softness, toss in a couple of wool dryer balls or a clean tennis ball to help fluff up your linens.

Finishing Touches

Once your bed sheets are clean and dry, make your bed & give them a quick once-over with an iron or steamer to smooth out any wrinkles. Alternatively, make your bed while your sheets are still very slightly damp (about 95% dry), pull them tightly around your mattress, and then they’ll smooth out on their own. Add a throw pillow and blanket at the end of your bed for a beautiful touch.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your bed sheets are always fresh, clean, and inviting. And remember, a little extra care and attention to detail can go a long way in creating your ultimate sleep experience!

Happy laundry day!

My Favourite Bedding

Did you know I have a bedding and decor shop? You can find the linen-cotton blend sheets, blanket, and duvet set featured in this post right here.


How to wash bed sheets the right way - from a vacation rental host

One Comment

  1. I had an event rental company in SK, I can attest to oxyclean! Awesome from the Dollartree worked great for stains as well. Sometimes I made my own laundry spray with dawn dish soap, baking soda and ammonia with warm water, then stored in a glass jar and used in a spray bottle with a ratio of about 10 to 1. I always used vinegar in the rinse cycle. I had many comments asking how I kept my table cloths so white!

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