7 Secrets to Washing Your Bed Linens

Photograph by Mel Walbridge for Remodelista

There’s nothing like a freshly made bed—particularly during hibernating season. But is your bed (where you sleep, relax, watch Netflix, and, quite possibly, eat and work) really clean? It’s a question we almost couldn’t bear to ask. “It pays to go deeper,” says bedding maven Tricia Rose of Rough Linen. Here are a few of Tricia’s pointers for keeping your bedding clean—and a few myths dispelled.

Photograph by Mel Walbridge for Remodelista

Photograph by Jonathan Hokklo

Tricia says to clean “sheets and pillow slips at least every two weeks, duvet covers and shams as needed, maybe every four weeks," since they're not right next to your skin.

1. Don't wash too often.

Photograph by Richard Round-Turner,  courtesy of Lisa Jones

To clean sheets: “Use a small amount of a modern eco-detergent and select cold wash for linen; spot clean with Shout or soak with Biz if you need to," though she adds "make sure to "follow the directions on the package.”

2. Do no harm.

Pillow protectors and a mattress cover "protect your investment and can be machine washed as often as you see fit, a couple of times a year at a minimum," says Tricia.

3. Use protection.

Photograph by Matthew Williams for Remodelista

Says Tricia: “There is no need to use dryer sheets or fabric softeners...They coat the fibers of your fabrics to make them less absorbent, and they give you problems with your dryer filters too.”

4. Ditch the accoutrements.

Photograph by Justine Hand for Remodelista

"If you have a cleaner with a transparent receptacle you will be horrified at the amount of dust that comes up...Yuck factor: that scurf is composed of dust mites, skin particles, and lint.”

5. Vacuum your mattress.

Photograph by Justine Hand for Remodelista

“Shut all your windows and doors for a day, and if the bedroom feels close and stuffy or even slightly ‘teenage-y’ when you re-enter, a spring clean is in order, even if it is midwinter.”

6. Your bedroom shouldn't feel stuffy.

Photograph by Kate Sears, styling by Kate S. Jordan,  courtesy of Shapeless Studio

If you've tried everything to get rid of a stain, maybe let it go: “Speaking as someone who uses a fountain pen and sometimes writes in bed, I can live with the odd spot, as long as I have a fresh-smelling bed,” says Tricia.

7. Don't fuss too much over stains.

Photograph courtesy of Rough Linen