Simple but Vital Care Instructions for Bed Linen

Updated on: January 22 2013

Would you wash the dishes but leave the sink full of leftover dirt afterwards? Or religiously clean the exterior of your car without giving the engine some TLC too? The same goes for the smaller, but just as important elements of small hotel care, like your all-important bedding. There’s a reason why they all come with care instructions.

We rely on bedding at the end of every day to make us feel cosy and comforted, and we’ll spend at least 1/3 of our lives snuggled up in it. Proper bedding care is the key to making this important home comfort last for a long period of time, so let’s take a look at some key strategies for caring properly for, and making the most of your guests’ bedding.


Washing any kind of bedding, whether a budget or luxury set, shouldn’t be a daunting task. Simply following the manufacturer’s care instructions will help prevent the premature deterioration of your bed linen, as well as abiding by three foundation pillars of bed linen care: always use a mild detergent soap, wash your bedding in cool or lukewarm water (preferably around 40 degrees C or less), and set your machine on a gentle cycle.

Although it might take a little more time and attention, you can also help prolong the lifespan of your bedding by doing the following:

– Rinsing sheets thoroughly to avoid an unpleasant stale smell developing.
– Bearing in mind that excessively using detergent and not rinsing for long enough can harden the fabric of bed linen.
– Never using bleaching agents for risk of damaging the fabric fibres.
– Washing dark and light linens separately to avoid colour running, and washing coloured linens with a colour care detergent.
– Paying attention to the fabric, thread count and make-up of your bed linen, as each one requires different wash times and treatments to keep it looking its best.


The drying of your linens is just as important a part of the cleaning process as the actual washing. Correct drying ensures that your sheets will be as soft, smooth and crisp as possible, making your bedding last longer, saving you valuable ironing time and making your rooms look their very best. Follow these care instructions to dry bed linen properly.

– Avoid hanging coloured sheets directly under the sun to prevent discolouration. On the other hand, white sheets can benefit from the sun’s bleaching and bacteria killing properties.
– Remove any sheets from the tumble dryer immediately to avoid deep creases developing.
– If sheets have been left in the dryer to crease, toss in a dampened cloth and set another 5-10 minute cycle to loosen out the wrinkles.
– If you plan on ironing your bedding straight away, start when it’s still a little damp. If not, then fold it immediately to keep it smooth.

Protecting Bedding

The final stage of bedding care involves a bit of extra TLC and protection. Correctly protecting your bed linen doesn’t just preserve its look and feel, but helps keep out unwanted pests such as bed bugs and mites and anything else that could aggravate allergies or bite during the night. These care instructions will ensure your bedding remains protected.

To preserve the look and feel of cosy bedding:

– Buy pillow cases that accurately match the size of your pillow to avoid them sagging and creasing easily.
– Keep extra bedding and pillowcases on hand to avoid overstraining them. The recommended number of sets for any one bed should be three, providing enough room for rotation to give each set a break.
– Change all bedding and pillow cases once a week to avoid a build-up of unwanted dust, odours, stains and pests.
– Use a mattress protector to prevent stains seeping through to your mattress.
– Choose bedding that has a higher thread count to ensure quality and durability.
– Tuck duvets into bed frames to prevent both the duvet and its cover from sagging.
– Carefully follow the manufacturer’s washing and care instructions.
– Avoid storing bedding on top of wooden surfaces that aren’t finished as the resins from the wood can stain sheets, and never store it in a plastic bag. It’ll turn into a breeding ground for bacteria before you know it, so a specialised storage bag should be part of every bedding collection.

To keep away the nasties:

– Vacuum bed linen at least twice a week to remove smaller dust particles and dirt that can attract microscopic pests.
– Give mattresses proper ventilation by leaving them uncovered for at least 1-2 hours a day to free the odour, preferably outside if the weather permits. Make sure you let in all that fresh air and scent.
– Shake out bedding every day to give it some air and maximise its durability and loftiness.

Related Articles & Links:

Buy hotel quality bed linen
Buy bedding storage bags
What does thread count mean?

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Hilden Team
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Hilden Team

Michelle Pegg is the Assurance and Compliance Manager at Hilden Linens.