How to Wash Sheets:
Guide to Washing Luxury Sheets

How to Wash Sheets: Guide to Washing Luxury Sheets

Luxury sheets and bedding are a special indulgence that will only get better with time if cared for properly. When your fine linens are laundered according to the best care instructions, these high-quality sheets and bedding items can provide comfort and enjoyment for many years to come.
While it is not a hard task to care for your luxury sheets, it is important to know how to wash your sheets and what it takes to care for the different types of sheets to ensure you get the most from your investment.

Should You Wash New Sheets Before Using Them?

Be sure to wash your sheets before your first use because they may feel a bit rough right out of the package. Some experts even recommended that you pre-wash your new sheets with one cup of baking soda to start the wash, then add one cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle. Only do this the first time you wash them; after that, use the suggested washing instructions below.

How Do You Wash Bed Sheets in the Washing Machine?

Since most luxury sheets wash well in your home machine, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the procedures so that cleaning and caring for your fine linens is a breeze!  Here’s a step-by-step guide to washing your sheets at home in the washing machine.

Steps to Washing Luxury Sheets Properly

  • Pre-Washing - Before you wash your fine bedding, be sure to read the care instructions for washing and stain removal. It is a good idea to have a pre-wash stain remover on hand for washing sheets for when a little extra cleaning power is needed to clean your sheets and bedding.

  • Washing Sheets - Sheets launder better when they have plenty of room in the machine, so be sure not to overcrowd when washing your fine linens. In addition, make sure the sheets are properly placed in the washing machine to ensure that they do not get damaged by the agitator if you have a top load machine.

  • Separate Sheets - Always wash your sheets separately so that other items do not get tangled in the sheets and get damaged. 
  • Washer Setting - While it is best to always check the care label on your sheets first, it is typically a safe bet to choose the gentle cycle if you are in doubt about what washing machine cycle to choose when you wash your sheets.
  • Water Temperature and Detergent - The best overall temperature to wash your sheets in is warm water. Hot water will fade colors and can be harsh on fine threads. Cold water may not clean your sheets as well as you would like. Choose your favorite detergent or a mild one that will help you care for your sheets properly. The key is to make sure you do not use too much laundry detergent, as this could cause your sheets to wear out faster than they normally would. Typically, around a quarter-cup of liquid detergent is enough for a normal laundry load of sheets.


  • The key to successfully drying your luxury sheets at home is to make sure you remove them from the washing machine promptly to avoid mold and excessive wrinkling.  When you remove sheets, gently shake and separate them in preparation for drying.

  • Air Dry on a Clothesline – If the weather is good and you are able to, hang your sheets outside on a clothesline to air dry. Be sure to use clothes pins to securely attach the sheets to the line to avoid wind damage.
  • Dryer - Use the medium or low setting to dry your luxury sheet sets. Using a setting that is too hot may cause the sheets to wear out faster. In addition, the high temperatures may also cause shrinking of the fabric of the sheets, so this is important to note. If your dryer has an automatic setting that senses when the sheets are dry to stop the heat, this is a great option to use for your sheets.

Pro Tip: Believe it or not, using a dryer for your sheets actually gives them an added softness. So much in fact that if you choose to air dry your sheets, a quick tumble in the dryer will enhance their softness before use.


white sheets folded in a basket

Caring for Luxury Sheets with Different Fabrics

Certain bed sheet sets are made from fabrics that may have special laundering needs, so it is important to be aware of the attention your luxury sheets may need. When a fabric has recommended care instructions, this means that you will want to ensure they are followed to keep your sheets and fine bedding looking and feeling their best.

How to Wash Silk and Satin Sheets

Choose a detergent for delicate fabrics to wash silk and satin sheets. A gentle setting in cold water works best. Take care not to use any harsh chemicals that can damage the delicate fabric such as bleach, or fabric softener. Silk and satin sheets should not be put in the dryer, as heat may cause damage to them. Use a clothesline to dry the sheets or put in the dryer on a no heat setting.

How to Wash Cotton Sheets

Luckily, cotton sheets are very easy to care for. Simply toss them in the washing machine with your favorite detergent on a warm water setting for the best results. Line dry or tumble dry on low or medium heat and promptly remove from the dryer for less wrinkles. It’s really that simple to care for your luxury cotton sheets.

How to Wash Linen Sheets

Although linen sheets are somewhat similar to cotton sheets, due to the weaker fibers of linen, special care is needed for cleaning. Use a gentle, natural detergent in cold water to wash luxury linen bed sheets properly. Low heat to gently tumble dry.

How to Wash Bamboo Sheets

Always wash bamboo sheets in cold water on the gentle cycle. Wash bamboo sheets separately to avoid things like zippers and hooks that can damage sheets.  Select a mild detergent and stay away from bleach! Line drying is best for bamboo sheets, as it helps to preserve the fine fibers, color, and  elasticity of your bedding. If using a dryer, select the low heat option and remove promptly when dry.

How Often Should You Wash Bed Sheets?

It is suggested that bed sheets be changed and washed every week. While this may sound extreme to some, consider that we spend eight hours each night, for a total of around 60 hours each week lying in our bed sheets, and you will probably start to see the advantage!

How to Avoid Sheet Pilling         

Pilling is what we call those pesky little balls of material that develop on sheets and pillowcases after they have been slept on and washed several times. These uncomfortable, tiny fabric balls can be avoided with these tips:

  • Avoid hot temperatures when washing and drying sheets because they weaken fabric fibers.
  • Bleach and other products with harsh chemicals weaken and discolor fibers and can add to the pilling problem.
  • Do not over dry sheets, as this will weaken fabric fibers and cause pilling.

How Long Do Sheets Last?      

Nothing beats a comfortable and cozy pair of luxury sheets when it’s bedtime. With proper care, a good pair of fine sheets can last from five to 10 years, making your sheets from Peacock Alley a great investment in your comfort for years to come!

Peacock Alley Is Your Luxury Linen Source

Peacock Alley is your leading authority on luxury sheets and fine bedding. In fact, our founder, Mary Ella Gabler, is credited with establishing the luxury linen market in the U.S.!  Peacock Alley believes in the strong tradition of fine luxury bedding and invites you to explore our high-quality selections for your home.