The Ultimate Care Guide:
How to Wash Egyptian Cotton

The Ultimate Care Guide: How to Wash Egyptian Cotton

When it comes to luxury bedding sets and furnishing your bedroom with the most plush and comfortable fine linens, choosing the right bedroom sheets and duvets is key. Nothing beats the feel of soft and luxurious sheets against your skin for a great night’s sleep.  An excellent choice for your bedroom linens is Egyptian Cotton sheets and duvet covers. Peacock Alley offers a high-quality selection of fine Egyptian cotton bedding options for your home and invites you to learn more about these luxury linen and accessories.

What is Egyptian Cotton?

Often referred to as the best cotton in the world, Egyptian cotton is coveted for its superior softness and strength and is considered to be some of the finest available. The term Egyptian cotton is used generally to describe the extra-long staple (ELS) cotton produced in Egypt. Since the country has the ultimate climate for the crop, it allows the cotton to thrive and grow much longer than typical cotton, at an average of 1 ¼ to 2-inch staples. These longer staple cotton fibers are classified as an ELS fiber.

Egyptian cotton can be used in its purest form to create high quality percale or sateen bedding that offers exceptional comfort and durability.  Notable is the term Pima cotton, which is also used often in the luxury bedding industry. Pima is closely related to Egyptian cotton, and is basically a generic label that is applied to any extra-long staple cotton created in the United States in the 1900’s.

Any bedding sets, high quality sheets, duvet covers, and other luxury bedding pieces made from Egyptian cotton are sure to please and offer you amazing comfort, warmth, and the perfect setting for sleep. Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets are a great investment to ensure you have many cozy nights in your bedroom. To protect your fine sheets and linens and keep them feeling soft and fresh, learning to take care of them is a must.  

Why is Egyptian cotton better than other cottons?

For centuries, Egyptian cotton was known as the finest in the world. Now it is more widely referred to for the threads it produces versus where it’s grown. Egyptian cotton is known for its very fine, strong fibers that are long in length without breaking - thus the term long staple cotton. The long fibers do not pill or tear and in fact get softer over time. Bedding made with long staple Egyptian cotton has a luxuriously smooth, silky texture that lasts much longer than regular cotton. Egyptian cotton is commonly used in luxury bedding.


Can You Machine Wash Egyptian Cotton?


You will be happy to know that taking care of Egyptian cotton sheets, duvets, and blankets does include machine washing for ultra-easy care. If you follow these Egyptian cotton washing instructions to learn how to wash your Egyptian cotton duvet cover and sheets, these luxurious sheets will last years and years and actually get softer and plusher with every single laundering. Here are some tips from the fine bedding experts at Peacock Alley for washing your Egyptian cotton sheets and duvets.


How to Wash Your Luxury Egyptian Sheets & Duvets

  1. Pre-Treat – Before laundering, check your sateen or percale bed sheets for any obvious stains. Things like blood, sweat, and any other noticeable marks should be noted. Smaller stains can be easily removed with hydrogen peroxide. Simply apply pure hydrogen peroxide to the stains, dabbing lightly with a white cloth to avoid transferring any of the stain to other parts of the fabric. Larger stains can be removed in the wash using vinegar and baking soda. Place your sheets and duvets in the washing machine using cold water on a gentle cycle. Add one tablespoon of baking soda to the washing machine and one cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. This removes stains naturally and effectively, softens the sheets. It also returns them to their natural color instead of a dingy yellow.
  2. Machine Wash – Your Egyptian cotton duvets and sheets should be washed in cold water on a gentle wash cycle. Washing Egyptian cotton bedding on a low, gentle spin cycle will help keep your bed linens or blankets safe from the agitator and properly clean them. It is also a good idea to avoid overloading the washing machine, so the rinse cycle has a chance to properly clean your luxury bedding. Your luxury Egyptian Cotton linens should always be washed separately from any other items. Jagged hooks, zippers, and buttons from clothing could wreak havoc on your laundry and tear the sheets or duvets while they are in the various washing cycles. 
  3. How to Soften Egyptian Cotton Sheets - One of the most amazing qualities of Egyptian cotton sheets is that they actually become softer and more luxurious with each wash and dry. It is a good idea to wash your new Egyptian cotton duvet covers and sheets with vinegar. It may sound odd, but vinegar works well to soften new Egyptian Cotton sheets, which can sometimes be just a tad too coarse to sleep on straight out of the package.  
  4. Preferred Laundry Detergent – Your fine Egyptian cotton bedding sets should be washed with a high-quality, pH balanced laundry detergent that is gentle enough to ensure their care. This will work well for white Egyptian cotton sheets, as well as colored and patterned sheets, and the right detergent will also help to keep colors vibrant. It is a good idea to use only half of the amount of laundry detergent that you would typically use, which will help to reduce any risk of damage to the cotton fibers from the chemicals in the detergent. Take note to ensure that the detergent does not contain bleach, as this may not only damage your fine linens, but can also cause bedding to wear out faster than usual. It is also important to note that it is not appropriate to use fabric softeners when washing Egyptian cotton bedding pieces, as the harsh chemicals can damage the natural fibers.
  5. Yes! You Can Use a Dryer for Your Egyptian Cotton Bedding – Thankfully, these amazing sheets are so easy to care for that you can actually put them right in the dryer after they are washed. Promptly remove the sheets and shake them hard before putting in the dryer to help prevent wrinkles in your luxury linens. Be sure to put your dryer on a warm setting to prevent shrinking of the cotton sheets. Dryer sheets should not be used with Egyptian cotton, as the chemicals can harm the natural fibers. Felt wool dryer balls can be used instead, with no harsh chemicals. Air drying your fine linens is always a good idea when you have the time. Hang sheets and duvets on indoor or outdoor clotheslines for fresh-smelling, soft bedding sets.

Does Egyptian Cotton Shrink?

All-natural fibers shrink when washed, including Egyptian cotton. The main cause is due to the manufacturing process of spinning the cotton into thread that stretches the cotton fibers. When washed, those threads return to their original length, which in turn causes your items to shrink.

This being said, it is best to wash your Egyptian cotton bedding sets in cold water to prevent them from shrinking during the washing cycle. In addition, avoid situations and items that can damage the fibers like washer agitation, harsh chemicals, and strong detergents. Also, avoid over-drying your cotton bedding, as the constant tumbling action of the dryer combined with the heat, will cause your items to shrink more. To further reduce shrinkage of your luxury duvets and sheets, (as well as wrinkling), line dry when you can.

More Care Tips for Egyptian Cotton Bedding

How to Iron Egyptian Cotton Sheets

For a crisper appearance, iron your Egyptian cotton sheets and duvet covers. For the best results, iron sheets when they are still slightly damp on a very low iron setting. Take care not to burn the natural cotton fibers and though it may seem like an obvious choice, do not use the cotton setting on your iron because this is too hot and may cause serious damage to the fabric.

Peacock Alley Has Luxury Egyptian Cotton Sheets to Fit Every Style

Once you sleep on Peacock Alley Egyptian cotton sheets, you are likely to make these your preferred linens, so it is important to learn more about your luxury bedding choices and how to properly wash and maintain them so that they will not only last, but will actually get better, and better throughout the years.