Find out how to properly wash your coloured bed linens.
"Do not bleach"? Do not fret. Our research editor, Mary Levitski, shows you how to launder coloured sheets.
Photography by Kim Christie
How to wash coloured bed linens
Step 1 Coloured bed sheets typically can't handle as high a water temperature as white ones can (saturated tones tend to fade in intense heat), so pre-treating stains is key. Make a paste of equal parts washing soda and water and work it into stains with a small brush. Let dry before washing.
Step 2 To maintain bright colours and vivid patterns, turn bed linens inside out before laundering. Wash them in lukewarm water; the mild temperature will help keep the fibres strong. Use gentle detergent and the most powerful wash setting the fabric can handle (always check the label first). Do not use fabric softener, which can decrease absorbency and damage delicate fibres.
Step 3 If possible, hang dry the sheets, as the dryer can cause wrinkles and weaken some fabrics, such as cotton. If you opt to tumble dry, double-check that all stains are completely gone first (the heat may set them). Remove the linens near the end of the cycle, while they're still damp. For that hotel-worthy crispness, take the extra time to iron the sheets, or cut this corner and hang or lay them out to finish drying.
Counter linen closet clutter: Keep sheet sets organized by placing the neatly folded pieces into one of the pillowcases. Stacked atop one another, these tidy little packages are easy for family members to grab without making a mess.
Pressed into action
Ironing sheets is a big job (especially if they're king-sized). Get a pro machine like one of these to make it count.
1 Expert tool
A large reservoir and anti-calcium technology mean this steam station just won't quit, while 4.5 bars of pressure make the job quick and easy. Express Anti-calc steam station, t-fal.ca, $290.
2 Go-to brand
This machine by industry leader Rowenta boasts 463 tiny holes for better steam distribution and a motion sensor that halts the steam when the iron is stationary. Steam Force iron, rowenta.ca, $180.
This iron has legs that hold it above the surface when it's not in use (no need to prop it upright!). They retract at the touch of a button, so when you're ready, you can proceed full steam ahead. Oliso TG1600 Pro Smart iron, bedbathandbeyond.ca, $230.