Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated September 4, 2021Keeping your sheets white over time can be difficult. Washing and drying are known to lead to color fading. However, regular washes are vital to keeping your bedding clean and preventing skin irritation. Dirt, body oil, dust mites, dead skin cells, and bacteria can all accumulate on your bed sheets if not washed regularly.Bright white sheets give off a pleasant appearance that can make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. In addition, they are aesthetically pleasing and a good indicator that your sheets are in good shape. When sheet discoloration or yellowing occurs, there are ways to bring back the whiteness in your sheets.In this article, we’ll break down the sheet whitening process into four steps. We’ll also provide you with a list of household items you can use to refresh and brighten your white sheets. For those who want to prevent sheet yellowing, we’ll give you tips for maintaining sheet witness. To wrap up, we’ll answer some sheet care and maintenance questions.How to Keep Your Sheets WhiteThe simplest way to make your sheets white is to keep them white from the get-go. To help your sheets maintain their original vibrant shade, there are a few strategies you can imply. The first strategy is to avoid using traditional fabric softeners.The chemicals in fabric softeners can stick to your sheets and prevent them from being fully cleaned. This, in turn, leads to your sheets developing a yellow cast or dinginess. In place of a fabric softener, you can pour ½ cup to 1 cup of vinegar on a regular washing cycle.Another common culprit of faded sheets is mixing colors and whites. While it is easier to just throw everything into the washer at once, this can lead to color bleeding. Color bleeding occurs when the colors from dyed fabric leak onto light or white-colored fabric. For example, if you have white sheets and a colored comforter, it’s better to wash your comforter separately from your sheets.It is a lose-lose situation for both. Your colored items lose brightness and your whites become discolored. To eliminate color bleeding, always machine wash and dry your whites separately from your colors.Washing your white bedding and sheets regularly is key to maintaining sheet whiteness. Most sheets need to be washed at least once a week. For optimal brightness, you can wash your sheets every 4 or 5 days.Washing your face and showering each night before bed can aid in preventing sheet fading. Going to bed with a clean, makeup-free face and body minimizes the amount of dirt and bacteria that you expose your sheets to, maintaining a pristine appearance. The same goes for going to be with clean clothes on. Carrying dirt and sweat into the bed from your dirty clothes will impact the color of your sheets.SEE ALSO: The Meaning Behind All Laundry Care Symbols4 Steps to Whiter SheetsThe instruction you need to follow for whitening your sheets depends on which common household item you choose to use. However, the process always begins with a regular wash cycle and ends with line drying your sheets. In between, you may need to soak your sheets in a solution and then rewash them.1. WashBefore you decide to add anything to your sheets to whiten them, you must first wash them. Washing sheets beforehand eliminates bacteria and odors, plus it allows whatever whitening agent you choose to work properly. Remember, it is best to wash your white sheets separately from your colors.2. SoakSome whitening agents need to be mixed with warm or hot water. Cold water will not work. If that is the case, do so and allow your sheets to soak in the mixture. The soaking stage allows your sheets to absorb the whitening agent.3. Wash AgainRe-washing your sheets following the addition of a whitening agent is essential for your sheets to experience the full benefits. Skipping out on this rinse cycle prevents full sheet whitening from taking effect.4. Line DryThrowing your sheets into the dryer after adding the whitening agent to them can impede the whitening process. Therefore, it is best to line dry your sheets. Keep in mind that you should not expose some sheet materials to direct sunlight for an extended period. This prolonged exposure can damage sheet durability and increase discoloration.Ingredients That Aid in Sheet WhiteningBaking SodaBaking soda can help refresh your yellowing or fading sheets. For optimal results, add ½ cup of baking soda with your normal detergent when washing your sheets. The addition of baking soda can also decrease odors.BleachBleach is commonly used to remove stubborn stains. To use bleach to whiten your fabric, first wash the sheets. Then, add ½ cup of bleach without laundry detergent and re-wash your sheets.Lemon JuiceLemons are natural whiteners. Natural lemon juice is acidic enough to whiten your faded sheets while also giving them a fruity, citrus scent. Use the juice from 1 standard lemon with regular detergent the next time you wash your sheets. You can also pair it with vinegar for softer sheets.VinegarSoaking your yellowed sheets in vinegar can help add help to improve their witness. Use ½ cup of vinegar with 1 gallon of warm water. Let sheets soak for 60-minutes in the bathtub before washing as normal.Which Sheets Stay White Longer?While caring for your sheets to prevent fading or discoloration is important, some sheet types maintain their whiteness better over time. If sheet color and appearance are big buying factors for you, consider opting for these sheet types.CottonSheets made of cotton are cheaper, more durable, and easier to maintain. Cotton sheets get softer with each wash. If you’re looking for breathable, cooling sheets that minimize overheating at night, cotton sheets are a great option.SEE ALSO: Organic Cotton vs. Regular Cotton: What’s the Difference?MicrofiberMicrofiber sheets are thick, durable, and stain-resistant. You won’t have to worry about these sheets experiencing abnormal discoloration or yellowing when caring for them. This type of sheet is soft and beneficial for keeping you warm during the winter months. For an in-depth comparison of microfiber’s and cotton’s other benefits, see our cotton vs microfiber sheets guide.LinenBed linens are often used in hotels and motels because they have incredibly low upkeep. Yet linen sheets still provide great comfort and can complete the look of a hotel mattress.This type of fabric is both soft and sweat-wicking. So, there won’t be any discoloration due to perspiration or night sweats. The high breathability of linen makes it ideal for warmer climates and the summer months.FAQsWhat color sheets help you sleep better?Sheet color influences sleep quality and your ability to fall asleep quickly. The same rule applies to the color of your bedroom and comforter.Sleep-inducing colors include pink, blue, orange, yellow, silver, and green. These specific hues have been shown to lower stress and calm the nervous system. Neutral colors and pastels are also helpful in creating a relaxing and soothing ambiance.How often should you wash your sheets?You need to wash your sheets at least once a week to keep them clean and vibrant. You’ll want to replace your bed sheets every 3 to 5 years. You don’t want to hang onto bed sheets that are too old or worn out. These sheets won’t keep you comfortable or properly protect your mattress.Why are my sheets turning orange?If your white bed sheets have turned orange, it may be a result of color bleeding or sweat. To avoid orange sheets, wash your colors separately. If the orange tint of your sheets is caused by sweat, look at how often you’re washing your sheets.If the washing frequency isn’t the issue, consider sleeping with a fan or investing in more breathable sheets. Breathable sheets include sheets made of bamboo, silk, Egyptian cotton, or percale cotton.Why do hotel sheets smell so good?There are a few reasons why hotel sheets smell better than standard sheets. The first reason is that these sheets are washed in special, higher-capacity washers and dryers. In addition, hotels have access to detergents and fabric softeners that you can’t buy at normal retail stores. Finally, some hotels iron their sheets or have air diffusers present in their rooms.Can yellowed silk be whitened?It is possible to white yellowed silk fabric or sheets. To prevent a yellow tinge in the first place, make sure you are washing your sheets once a week, separate from your colored fabrics. You can soak your sheets in vinegar and warm water solution to return them to their previous white state. Using vinegar in place of a chemically harsh fabric softener is also recommended.ConclusionThere are many steps you can take to prevent sheet fading and yellow stains. If your sheets are losing their witness, you can soak them in a solution or try adding a whitening agent to them on the next wash cycle. Line drying is key for ensuring the whitening agent can take effect.Proper sheet maintenance and care ensure you get the most out of your sheets. You should wash your sheets at least once per week. Replace your white fabric as needed, or every 3 to 5 years. Having breathable bed sheets that minimize sweating is key for comfort and maintaining sheet whiteness.About the author Narwan AminiAfter graduating with her Bachelor of Arts degree, Narwan Amini set out to connect with others through writing and narration. She’s often intrigued by sleep’s impact on all aspects of life and aims to assist others in achieving a good night’s sleep. Being multilingual, she’s able to reach a larger audience and hopes to share the importance of restorative sleep and quality bedding. Find more articles by Narwan Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Name Email I agree to the Terms and Conditions of this website.