How to Bleach Sheets

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to Bleach Sheets
Chlorine bleach keeps white sheets looking bright and stain-free. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Bleaching your bedsheets helps remove stains and keep them bright-looking. Bleach is available in liquid and powder forms. Chlorine bleach kills germs on the fabric, but may cause fading of coloured sheets. It is acceptable for use on whites, such as sheets, underwear, towels and socks. Oxygen bleaches are usually in a powdered form and are safe for all fabrics. The care label on the sheets indicates whether bleach is appropriate for the fabric. Washing your bedsheets weekly keeps them looking clean and attractive, and smelling fresh.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Washing powder
  • Pre-treatment stain removal
  • Chlorine or colour-safe bleach
  • Fabric softener

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  1. 1

    Apply a stain remover to any spots or stains on your sheets. Many liquid laundry detergents are suitable for stain removal. Apply just enough liquid to cover the area and let it sit for a few minutes before laundering. You can also make a paste out of powdered detergent and water.

  2. 2

    Add the chlorine or all-fabric bleach as well as any fabric softener in the correct dispensers on your washing machine. If your washer does not have automatic dispensers, set a timer to alert you when it's time to add the bleach and softener.

  3. 3

    Place the sheets in the washing machine. Do not overcrowd the sheets as this can cause the washer to spin out of balance and reduces the effectiveness of your laundry products.

  4. 4

    Set the dials on the machine for water level and temperature. Most sheets can be washed in hot or warm water, but follow the care label instructions for the best results. Close the lid to begin the wash cycle.

  5. 5

    Remove the sheets from the washing machine once the cycle is complete. Dry them according to the care label instructions.

Tips and warnings

  • Wash your sheets only with similar colours to avoid fading or discolourations. Towels and washcloths are appropriate items to wash with your sheets.
  • Soak blood, urine or other protein stains in cool -- never hot -- water about 30 minutes before laundering. Hot or warm water sets the protein stain.
  • Chlorine bleach may darken yellow stains on white sheets. Pre-treat the stain and wash the sheet as you normally would. Check the stain before drying. Never dry stained sheets because the heat sets the stain. Wash the sheets again if the stain doesn't come out.
  • Never soak any fabrics in chlorine bleach for longer than 15 minutes; it causes the fibres to start to disintegrate.

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