Should You Wash New Sheets? The Answer is Simple

Should you wash new sheets or can you just use them as soon as you receive them? If that's your question too, we've got you covered! So, you have finally done it, you have finally gotten rid of those old sheets and invested in some brand spanking new ones. You get home, take the sheets out of the packaging, and…


Should you wash new sheets before you fit them onto a bed? Great question, and don't worry, we have the answer for you here.

Should You Wash New Sheets?

The short answer is, yes! Even though not washing your new totally cute, totally chic sheets before enjoying your first good night's sleep on them won't harm you, it is recommended to wash your new sheets first. There are a few interesting reasons as to why this is and we will happily be going over them with you below.

3 Reasons Why You Should Wash Your New Sheets

There is more than one good reason why you should give your brand new sheets a proper wash before sinking into them for a relaxing night's sleep.

1. The Smell

I don't know about you, but I am definitely not a fan of that “new sheet smell.” After being encased in plastic so long the sheets can easily absorb some of that plastic odor and hold onto it even after being removed from the packaging.

A quick toss in the wash will do the trick of freshening up your new sheets and giving them a crisp aroma. There is nothing quite like that clean fabric freshness to delight your nose.

2. The Quality

After just one wash, it will be a whole lot easier to find defects in the product. Keep your eyes open for loose strings, rips, tears, or discoloration. This is also a great time to check for any color bleeding, color fading, or shrinkage.

The faster you can find any flaws in your buy, the faster you can return them and get them replaced.

3. The Feel

While your sheets may be brand new, they were still (probably) produced in a factory and stored in packaging on the shelf for who knows how long. Some people have reported skin irritation and itchiness from sleeping on new sheets before washing them.

At Mattress Warehouse they explain that a starch called “sizing” is used to keep the sheets from wrinkling in the packaging. This keeps those sheets looking fresh, crisp, and clean until they find a new home.

However, that starch has done its job and can now be dismissed before you fit the sheets to your bed. The best way to get rid of it? A good wash!

How To Best Wash Your New Sheets?

This is a great question because there are definitely wrong ways to wash new sheets. Which we definitely don't want to make the mistake of doing! Martha Stewart has a great explanation on how to best wash your new sheets.

However, I am going to do a great summary of that great explanation so you can save some time. Here are a few of the main points that you will want to consider when washing your new or even your used sheets.

1. Check The Label

This is probably the most important step to washing your new bedsheets. How should you wash new sheets without knowing what you're doing first? The label will give you the scoop on the best way to wash while keeping the product in a quality state.

2. Use Warm Water

Although it is recommended to wash your sheets every so often with hot water, stick to warm water for the first wash. Hot water is great for killing germs and bacteria, but since your sheets are already clean, there's no need.

Warm water will do an excellent job at loosening up the stiff fabric fibers. Plus, you can wait for the load to be done knowing that your sheets won't come out a size smaller. Warm water doesn't cause shrinkage as hot water does.

3. Turn Them Inside Out

If your new sheets are a bright and bold color, try flipping them inside out before washing to prevent color bleeding. Pilling can also occur during washing, and although flipping your sheets inside out won't prevent pilling, it will allow it to happen only on the inside.

4. Time To Dry

Obviously, air-drying your bedsheets is the best option if you have the space and the climate for it. However, if you do not, then a machine dryer will work just fine.

Set the dryer to a low tumble setting for the best option that will leave the sheets with few wrinkles. Then, throw in a couple of dryer balls to help release any leftover stiffness. This will really freshen up those linens before your first night's sleep on them.

How To Soften Your New Sheets?

As we talked about before, you may feel that your new sheets are scratchy, rough, or stiff when taking them out of the package. Can you blame them? They have been wrapped up in that plastic and haven't had a chance for fresh air.

Even though after a few uses you may find that your sheets lighten up and become less stiff, there is a quicker way to get them feeling soft and silky smooth.

The Good Sheet talks about some sure-fire ways you can soften your sheets with simple items you probably already have at home.

1. No Need For Fabric Softener

First of all, skip the fabric softener. Even though your sheets may feel fabulously soft at first, the fabric softener has coated the fibers, therefore, reducing the breathability of the material. Over time you will find that your sheets become less and less soft.

2. Forget Detergent And Try Baking Soda

Pop your brand new sheets into the washing machine, but instead of using a clothing detergent, use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) instead. One cup should do the trick with cold to warm water in a gentle cycle. Afterward, enjoy just how soft and fresh your sheets are.

3. Forget Baking Soda And Try Vinegar

If you don't want to use baking soda, consider vinegar! No worries about any lingering vinegar smell though, as the aroma fades shortly after the wash. A great natural alternative to a chemical fabric softener.

4. For The Final Touch, Use Dryer Balls

If you don't have the means to air-dry your new sheets, then the dryer will have to do. As we mentioned before, the best way to dry your new sheets is a tumble dry on a low setting. Throw in a dryer ball or two to help work out any of that stiffness leftover.

Are You Ready For Bed?

So all in all, I think we can all agree that it is best to throw those new sheets into the washing machine before throwing yourself into your bed. It doesn't take long and it's better to be safe than sorry.

You never know what the sheets have gone through before arriving at your house, so it's definitely worth a quick wash before wrapping them around your mattress.

So, let's take a look at the quickest and easiest way to get your sheets ready for a long night of dreaming:

  1. Wash sheets with warm water and a natural detergent,
  2. Tumble dry on low,
  3. Fit to bed and jump in!

Do you have any tips or tricks on how to wash new sheets? Let us know in the comments below!