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Should You Wash New Sheets Before Using Them?


When you get a new set of bed sheets, it’s tempting to just throw them on your bed and slip into sleep without washing them. After all, they’re brand new and look crisp and ready to go, so why go through the hassle of washing them first? 

There’s actually a good reason why you should wash new sheets, as well as other items, before using them. By the time you finish this blog post, you may be cringing over the times you didn’t.

Do You Really Need to Wash New Sheets Before Using Them?

The short answer is — yes. 


Because sheets are produced in dusty, dirty factories and often made with dyes and chemicals like butane, propane, and formaldehyde that can irritate skin, eyes, and airways, especially for those with sensitive skin or allergies. Your bedsheets have also gone through a great deal of handling by a variety of people. We know, it doesn’t sound cozy, but it’s true of many manufactured items. 

To restore as much purity to your bed sheets as possible, toss them in the washing machine with some detergent before ever putting them on your bed. Wash your pillowcases, too. Anything that’s going to touch your skin — wash it. Washing sheets before use isn’t a requirement, but it’s highly recommended if you want fresh, clean sheets. 
If you don’t feel like washing them yourself, consider a service like Wash & Fold pickup and delivery to take the hassle out of prepping your sheets for dreamland.

How to Wash New Sheets for the First Time

If you choose to wash your sheets and other new items yourself, always check the care tag for instructions on how they should be washed. Darker colored sheets should typically be washed in cold water, and 100% cotton sheets or cotton blends can often be washed in warm water with similar colors. Follow the instructions on the tag carefully to avoid ruining your new sheets. 

Here are a few other tips:

  • Add a cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar to the wash to get an even better clean
  • Use fabric softener to soften the sheets before use
  • Wash with a mild detergent if you’re prone to skin irritation
  • Tumble dry on low heat to avoid shrinking
  • Toss in a dryer sheet to reduce static

What About Other Linens and Bedding? Do Those Need to Be Washed Before Use, Too?

Not only should you wash brand new sheets, but other bedding like duvet covers, blankets, quilts, comforters, or mattress pads should also be sanitized before the first use. However, these types of items often don’t fit or can be damaged by traditional washing machines. Dry cleaning for linens and bedding is often the better option for these types of items. 

If caring for your bedding or other items feels daunting or you just don’t have the time and energy, Mulberrys can provide you with excellent garment care. View our full list of cleaning services and check out our locations to start laundering with us today!

Learn how often you should wash your comforter for a deeper clean.

What Happens if You Don’t Wash New Sheets?

If you don’t wash new sheets before using them, you might expose yourself to potential dirt, dust, chemicals, and germs left over from the manufacturing and packaging process. Washing new sheets removes these contaminants and ensures a cleaner and more hygienic sleeping environment.

Mulberrys Garment Care

We hope our tips on how to wash new sheets proved helpful! If you need help dry cleaning linens and bedding or your other laundry, Mulberrys Garment Care is more than happy to help.

We are an award-winning full-service dry-cleaning company. Our laundry list of services includes dry cleaning, shoe polish and repair, clothing alterations, wedding dress preservation, and more.

Interested in learning more about our services? Contact us today!