Do you really need to wash new sheets before first use? People share different opinions about this idea.

This article will explain why you should clean sheets right when taking them out from the package and tips on how to wash new sheets. Now it’s time to prepare for your brand new sleep.

Should You Wash New Sheets for The First Time?

1. To Get Rid Of Harmful Chemicals and Dirt

Contrary to what you might think, bed sheets that have never been used are not clean at all. Any skin contact can exchange germs and dead skin cells between the sheet and your skin.

Sheet manufacturers usually use additives called sizing or clothes starches to keep the sheets look their best inside the package. As you can see, unwashed sheets at stores or those delivered to your house are always crisp, look fresh, touch smooth, and have no wrinkles.

sleeping on new sheets

In some factories, additives like formaldehyde or propane will be added to the fabric’s surfaces during the manufacturing process and stay there until you get them.

In fact, these chemicals are legally safe when used in the proper dosage. However, they can cause skin irritation for some reasons.

What’s more, new sheets are taken out of their package for checking or displaying. There must be dust or harmful impurities on their surfaces that you can’t point out with your naked eyes.

Therefore, washing is the best way to remove all of these chemical residues before letting them touch your sensitive skin.

2. To Avoid Odors/Chemical Smells

New stuff, especially those that come straight from their packages after weeks of storage and delivery, often has unpleasant odors.

To get rid of these smells, some people hang their new sheets outside to let the sun and fresh air do their work naturally. But to eliminate the odors completely, we recommend washing bedsheets first and then hang them outside, like your new clothes.

3. To Check The Sheets’ Quality

Bed sheets are also home-decorate items with many stunning colorways. Residual dyes are what make dark-colored sheets look bold, and bright-colored linens look more vibrant. However, they will fade away and bleed, so washing the sheets right when taking out of the box is the way to test color fading or bleeding.

If the dyes are of bad quality, this action helps prevent color from transferring to your mattress and bleeding, which can cause skin rashes.

Give your sheet a light wash first to see whether it fades or not. A slight fade is acceptable, but you should consider a better product line or another brand if it’s too much. Remember to wash each item separately, especially when you have white sheets.

How to Wash New Sheets

1. General Instructions


  • Read the washing instructions on the tag and follow them. We will discuss care instructions for each fabric later on.
  • Use a stain remover to clean up some stubborn stains before completely eliminate them in the machine (optional)


  • Always wash your sheet separately to avoid damage, color transfer, etc.
  • Detergent: Depend on the fabric type, but mild and natural detergents are most likely to suit any material. Pour in about a quarter to half a cup of liquid detergent (for a regular bedsheet laundry)
  • Settings: Choose the cycle and water option depend on the care instructions. Hot water might be harsh for delicate fabrics.


  • Line dry: Hang your sheet onto a clothesline to let the sun and fresh air naturally dry it. Only suitable on nice weather days and sometimes make the sheet too dry.
  • Tumble dry: Choose medium, low, or no heat, depending on the fabric. Take the sheet out as soon as it dries to avoid wrinkles. Offer a softer sheet than line dry.

2. Cautions When Washing Different Materials

Sheets made from certain types of fabric require special laundry instructions. We suggest you carefully follow these caring notes to keep your high-quality sheets always at their premium quality.

Cotton Sheets

Cotton fibers are the easiest to take care of. You can use any detergent and set the standard settings of your washing machine.

  • Warm water setting is recommended
  • Low or medium heat is recommended

Linen Sheets

This material is similar to cotton but has a weaker fabric fibers structure.

  • Use a natural, mild detergent
  • Cold water setting is recommended
  • Low heat dryer setting

Bamboo Sheets

The critical purpose when washing a bamboo sheet is to maintain its elasticity and color.

  • Wash bamboo fabric separately to avoid tearing
  • Use a mild detergent for delicate fabrics (no harsh chemicals, no bleach)
  • Cold water, gentle cycle settings
  • Use a clothesline to dry the sheet
  • Low heat dry setting is acceptable

Silk/ Satin Sheets

They are both delicate and vulnerable fabrics that need gentle washing and drying.

  • Use a mild detergent for delicate fabrics (no harsh chemicals, no bleach, no fabric softener)
  • Only wash in cold water
  • Line dry the sheet instead of using a dryer (or at least don’t choose heat setting when putting it in the dryer)


So there you have it, our answer and detailed explanation to one of the most popular bedding questions: Should you wash new sheets?

When cleaning bed sheets, pay attention to water temperature, synthetic fabrics, etc. Doing the right initial washing can add softness to the sheets, remove the risk to your health, protect your mattress, and increase your sleep quality.

We hope this article helps you get fresh sheets of the package and ready for some sweet, dreamy sleep hours.

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