You've finally gotten an incredible set of bamboo sheets or are planning to and are wondering if there's a specific way to wash bamboo sheets and care for them. Do they need special care like silk, or do you care for them the same way you would cotton? Bamboo fabric does need proper care if you want to prolong its lifespan and enjoy all the benefits it offers. It requires a more gentle approach, and in this guide, we will go over how to wash bamboo sheets and the best way to keep them in great shape.
The rising popularity of bamboo sheets and bedding in recent years has been rapid, and it's easy to see why. Bamboo fabric is incredibly soft to touch, making it one of the most comfortable bedding available. It's also more breathable and won't trap excess heat in hot weather, so that you can stay cool and comfortable throughout the night. Its thermal regulation capabilities also make you feel warmer in cool weather.
Bamboo sheets are pretty durable and are less likely to pull or tear. They will absorb less sweat and oils from your skin, allowing them to last longer with less discoloration. And with superior wicking capabilities, these sheets are highly absorbent and can dry much faster than linen and cotton. With these and more benefits, who wouldn't want a set of bamboo bed sheets?
Washing and Cleaning Bamboo Sheets
Washing bamboo sheets is a simple process, although it should be done correctly and with care to ensure the longevity of your bed sheets. Bamboo sheets are more delicate than regular sheets and will require a bit of extra care when washing so you don't ruin their unique softness. Bamboo sheets are machine-washable, but they can still be hand-washed.
Either way, it's recommended to use cold or lukewarm water that doesn't exceed 30°C (86°F), and on a gentle cycle for the best, least damaging results. Cold water washes your sheets more quickly; plus, hot water can cause pilling or shrinking. Secondly, it's best to wash bamboo sheets separately because zippers, hooks, rough fabrics, etc., can cause pilling and abrasion. Towels and blankets could also add a buildup of lint. Always use a mild detergent! Following these bamboo sheets washing instructions ensures that your sheets retain their softness and their silky feeling remains for a long time. It's important to note that your bamboo sheets will feel stiff or rough. Don't panic though, its super lush and soft feeling will return once dried.
Should I wash bamboo sheets before first use?
The majority of bamboo sheets are not 100% organic and have chemicals added to them during manufacturing. Washing them before use helps to remove any chemical residues. However, it would be best not to use a detergent during this first wash as it will lock those chemicals in. Instead, you can use baking soda and vinegar.
Picking the Right Cleaning Solutions
The best detergent for bamboo sheets is the liquid kind that doesn't contain any harsh chemicals. These chemicals can cause fibers to break down, making your bamboo sheets become loose and less tightly woven. This will, in turn, make them wear down much faster and prevent them from providing the proper protection and comfort that bamboo sheets are known for. If you prefer powdered detergent, dissolve it in cold water before tossing the sheets into the wash to avoid abrasion in your bamboo fabrics.
Can you use fabric softener on bamboo sheets?
No, most contain chemicals that could break down the composition of the fabric and damage the sheets. They can also leave a film on the fabric, thus reducing moisture-wicking properties. Although there are gentle ones, bamboo sheets are already extra soft and smooth and will maintain that even after a wash, making fabric softeners unnecessary.
Can you bleach bamboo sheets?
No, you shouldn't. Bamboo fabric is quite delicate, and bleach is loaded with harsh chemicals that will quickly damage it. It will also leave your sheets feeling crunchy and itchy. What if you have a stain or are desperately trying to whiten your sheets?
How to get stains out of bamboo sheets?
All beddings get stained now and then. Soaking is the key to whitening or removing stains. Add any oxygenated detergents like Oxyclean to a basin of cool water and soak the said sheet for 1-2 hours. You can remove general stains with a mixture of one part vinegar and four parts water. Natural stain removers that contain baking soda are also great options. The longer you allow the sheets to soak in the solution, the whiter it gets and the less noticeable the stains. It would also help if you soaked the sheets periodically to get rid of any major stains. Once you're done soaking, clean bamboo sheets as directed earlier. For more difficult stains like blood stains, flush your sheet in cold water immediately to prevent the stain from further setting in. Then, soak the sheet in an enzyme cleaner and cold water for about 15 minutes. Note that the older the stain, the longer you should soak. You can also moisten the stain with a few drops of ammonia and 3% hydrogen peroxide. Finally, check if the stain is gone and put the sheet in the washing machine.
Drying Bamboo Sheets
Once you know how to wash bamboo sheets, the next logical step is to dry them. Hang your sheets outside and let them air dry away from direct sunlight. This is necessary to keep the softness and color while preventing UV rays from degrading the fibers. If air drying is not an option, probably due to climate, you can use a dryer as a last resort. Ensure it's on low or no heat setting to prevent damage to the fabric.
Can I iron my bamboo sheets?
One of the downsides of the bamboo sheet is that they tend to wrinkle out of the wash. Many of the wrinkles will fall out though, if you hang-dry the sheets and even when you sleep on them. Wrinkle-free bedding is lovely to see, and there's no harm in ironing bamboo sheets as long as it's on a low setting with preferably no steam.
Do bamboo sheets shrink?
Yes, excess heat during machine-drying or ironing can cause shrinkage.
How Often Should I Wash My Sheets?
It's not just how to wash bamboo sheets that's important; it's how often you wash them as well. Laundry experts recommend washing your bamboo sheets every 7-10 days, depending on the circumstances. However, in summer, more sweat and other bodily fluids are produced, which can quickly turn your sheets yellow. In that case, every 4-5 days will suffice. If you sleep on your sheets for too long, the fabric will become stretched, making it difficult to recover its shape and more prone to tearing. Plus, it's not healthy.
When to Consider Replacing Your Bamboo Sheets
Learning how to clean bamboo sheets is key to maximizing their longevity while keeping them healthy and clean. Unfortunately, even the best products don't last forever. We suggest replacing bamboo pillowcases every 6-12 months due to stains and frequent usage. They get covered with make-up, oily skin, and greasy hair every night. Sheets may require replacing every couple of years, say 2-3 years, depending on how the fabric looks and feels over time. A good way to extend the life of your sheets is by having multiple pieces available. Changing between five or more pairs of sheets can save at least two years of needing new bedding. Bamboo fabric is biodegradable, so the best way to discard it is to recycle.