New Egyptian cotton sheets are an investment in luxury cotton bedding that will feel amazing and is of a quality that should last the test of time. That test of time, however, is hugely impacted by the way you treat your sheets. It is so important that you care for your Egyptian cotton sheets properly. Proper care and washing will help your new sheets stay soft and strong for longer and prevent damage and problems like shrinkage and color loss.
Here is our guide to correctly washing and drying your Egyptian cotton bedding.
Washing is actually a very important part of increasing the softness of your Egyptian cotton bedding. When done properly, washing the sheets helps to soften the extra-long cotton fibers that give the sheets its soft quality feel. This means that the softness of your sheets will get better with age, just like a fine wine. If you have just pulled new sheets out of the packaging and find that they feel stiffer or a bit scratchier than you expected, giving them a good wash will help increase the soft, gentle feeling they are known for. It is always a good idea to give new sheets a wash before use anyway!
The first step to washing Egyptian cotton well is to wash them on their own. Avoid adding any other items to the washing machine cycle. Things like stray zips, buttons, and clasps from other items can cause damage to your expensive sheets. Egyptian cotton is also known for its absorbancy, which is great when it comes to its own dye and depth of color but also extends to unwanted dyes from other clothes and materials. To maintain your sheet’s color, make sure it is not put in the washing machine with other colored clothes, sheets or items.
Machine washing your sheets is very acceptable, and hand washing is only suggested if your machine does not have a gentle cycle. When washing the sheets in the machine, use a low water temperature to prevent the sheet set from shrinking. The Cotton Egyptian Association’s recommendation for the water is 40 degrees Celsius or 104˚ Fahrenheit. A gentle machine cycle is the best option to use and depending on your machine, you may need to do an extra rinse cycle to ensure you’ve washed out all the detergent.
Your decision of laundry detergent, conditioner or bleach will also affect your sheets. It is highly recommended that you only use a minimal amount of a gentle laundry detergent on your Egyptian cotton sheets. Avoid using bleach, even though it might help get your whites looking extra white, it will actually cause damage and corrosion to the cotton fibers. One of the biggest rules when caring for Egyptian cotton is also to not use fabric conditioner! Fabric conditioner destroys the long cotton fibers that give the sheets its soft quality in the first place.
The best way to dry Egyptian cotton linen is to air dry it on a clothesline. Hanging them out correctly can even mean that you end up with minimal creasing, saving you effort later ironing them.
It is not recommended to put the linen in a dryer. If you must use a dryer, however, make sure it is set to a low temperature and remove the sheets from the dryer immediately so as to avoid the need for ironing.
- Can I wash my sheets too much?
Short of going crazy and washing them multiple times a day – washing your Egyptian cotton sheets regularly is actually good for them! So long as you wash them correctly, washing them helps increase the softness of the cotton fibers meaning they will get softer over time.
- How do I remove stains on Egyptian cotton?
It is recommended not to use bleach for washing Egyptian cotton; however, if you have a stubborn stain that won’t come out then it can be used in small amounts. The best way to use the bleach is to treat the stain by hand, keeping the bleach to the one patch of linen instead of adding it to the water in the washing machine and treating the whole sheet set.
Sunlight is actually a great, natural way to remove stains without chemicals. Considering air drying is recommended anyway – this may serve as a better alternative to bleach for smaller, less stubborn stains.
- Can I iron my Egyptian cotton sheets?
Yes, you can! Just do it with care. The best way to iron your sheets is to do it with the iron set to a cold or low heat while the sheets are still slightly damp.
In a nutshell – here are the basic steps of how to care for your Egyptian cotton sheets:
- Wash them on their own
- Gentle machine wash at 40 degrees Celsius or 104˚ Fahrenheit
- Do not use fabric conditioner or bleach.
- Air dry on a clothesline and avoid putting them in the dryer
Please check our reviews page for a guide to the best Egyptian cotton bedding on the market.