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Baby + Kids

Tips For Keeping White Bedding Bright

Do you love the look of crisp, white sheets, but find them looking a bit dingy after several months? Don’t worry—with the right care, it’s easier than you think to keep them looking fresh. Here, our tried-and-true secrets for bright whites.

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BEST PRACTICES

  • Clean up spills ASAP. When your morning coffee inevitably drips on your white duvet, spray on a small amount of Shout or other stain pre-treatment and work it into the stain. If you can’t wash it immediately, run the fabric under cold water. Warm water can cause protein-based stains to set prematurely.
  • Take off your makeup before bed! It’s not only good for your skin, it’ll help keep your sheets mascara-free.
  • Wash your sheets weekly. This helps loosen and remove stains before they set. But go easy on the detergent: Extra soap will actually stick to your sheets after washing, attracting dust and grime. If possible, run an extra rinse cycle to remove any lingering detergent.
  • Wash white linens separately—other items can discolor them. Even washing sheets with other textures, such as towels or clothing, can cause pilling.

WHITE REVIVERS

  • Put down the bottle of bleach. It might seem counterintuitive, but chlorine bleach can actually yellow your sheets over time. It also breaks down the fibers.
  • At least once a month, add an oxygen-based stain remover such as OxiClean White Revive, OXO Brite or Seventh Generation to your wash. If linens are dingy or stained, presoak them for several hours or even better, overnight.
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NATURAL REMEDIES

  • Mix ½ cup of lemon juice with a gallon of very hot (but not boiling) water. Let the sheets soak for an hour before washing with detergent in your washing machine. Adding ½ cup of baking soda to your wash is another natural whitener; add ½ cup white distilled vinegar at the start of the rinse cycle.
  • When weather and time permit, dry your sheets outside in the sun to help brighten them.

IF ALL ELSE FAILS

  • Try old-fashioned bluing. Bluing is a form of dye that does exactly what it says—adding trace amounts of blue to white linens counteracts yellowing, making your whites appear whiter.

Remember to be proactive—if you follow these steps before your sheets are completely stained, you’ll keep them looking fresh and extend their lifespan.

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