Think putting your organic cotton sheets in the wash makes them coarse? Think again.
With the right care, this type of bedding will last for years – and can even grow softer.
The only problem is, many people are in the dark about how to look after their sheets. So, we’ll let you in on our tips and tricks.
Here’s a closer look at how to wash organic cotton bedding.
Tips for Washing Organic Cotton Bedding
Organic cotton sheets create a luxuriously, irresistibly soft sleeping space at night. This is why they’re highly recommended for those looking to turn their bedroom into a sanctuary.
In return, they need proper care.
If you’re unsure where to start, we’ve broken it down:
Sometimes, when first bought, sheets can be slightly too loose for your bed. This is because organic cotton isn’t pre-shrunk in chemicals.
For this reason, we would advise washing bedsheets before you use them for an ideal fit.
It is perfectly safe to wash organic cotton in a washing machine. But, there are some important tips to remember to ensure your sheets give you optimum comfort.
• Place your new bedding in the washing machine on its own, separate from your other laundry. This is to avoid any pilling due to abrasion from other fabrics
• Avoid using high temperatures when washing your 100% organic cotton sheets, as this harms the natural fibres of the material
• A cold wash, 30ºC or 40 ºC, is the most suitable for organic cotton. Some people believe the hotter the temperature, the more germs it kills. This is not true, 40 ºC is sufficient to kill bacteria! Anything higher will only damage the cotton fibres and further shrink the fabric
• Put the machine on a gentle, hand wash or delicate cycle.
• Use only half the laundry detergent you would normally use for a full load. Half the normal amount of detergent is sufficient to clean your sheets and will reduce the damage to fibres
• Don’t use bleach or bleach alternatives – to avoid discoloration
Often, since cotton is a natural fibre, the washing process will cause it to soften itself; there’s no need to add fabric conditioner. Organic cotton softens naturally with usage, water and washing. Meanwhile, using a fabric conditioners might only cause the fabric to lose its sheen.
Remember, even when your sheets are out of the machine, there are still some tips to remember to make sure you stay comfortable at night.
• Remove your sheets immediately from the washing machine to prevent creasing.
• Always try to air dry your sheets outside, as this method doesn’t weaken the fibres and reduces wrinkles. The weight of the cotton helps removes majority of the creases
• But, avoid placing them directly in the sunlight, as this will cause your sheets to discolour.
• Of course, while it’s ideal to air dry your sheets, this is not always practical, therefore you can tumble dry. It’s best to choose the lowest temperature possible, as high heat can damage and further shrink the fabric
• Once washed, shake sheets between washing and drying to minimise wrinkles
After that, for some of us, the care process is finished – and all there’s left to do is sleep on them!
How to Iron Your Organic Cotton Bedding
Like sleeping in perfectly ironed sheets?
Take note – organic cotton creases very easily. Unlike conventional cotton, the material isn’t treated with anti-wrinkle chemicals. In fact, if your cotton bedding hardly ever creases, this is a sign that it has been saturated in chemicals. Pure organic cotton will always crease easily.
If you like the relaxed, wrinkled look then all you need to do once your bedding has dried is dress your bed!
But, if you prefer a crisp, finished look – you can achieve this by ironing. It’s perfectly safe to iron your organic cotton.
The best way to do this is by using warm temperature iron, as smoothing out the wrinkles will be easier. If possible, use a steamer, as you will be able to iron out the crinkles a lot quicker and achieve the crisp hotel look.
Products to Use and to Avoid for Organic Cotton
Of course, if you’re using the wrong products – proper care will only do so much!
So, what are the do’s and don’ts when it comes to organic cotton?
Products to Avoid
Never use bleach, or detergents containing bleach, as this damages the cotton fibres and makes them weaker. Bleach also tends to turn white bedding to yellow.
Also, remember, organic cotton is made without the use of chemicals. Why add them afterwards?
Another tip to remember is to read the label! Avoid detergents that contain:
• Heavy fragrances
• Cleaning agents (surfactants, diethanolamine) as
All these toxic ingredients in detergents cause skin irritation, dermatitis, respiratory problems and even liver or kidney damage.
Not only do they have adverse health effects, but these toxic chemicals weaken the organic fibres, causing them to be less durable and lose natural softness and texture.
Also, in many cases, a fabric softener/conditioner will only clog the pores of the organic fabric and cause it to lose its sheen.
Ethical Washing Powder – Products to Use
There’s an eco-friendly way to do your laundry! If you’ve been a conscious consumer and bought sustainable cotton bedding, why stop there?
We recommend using a non-bio detergent from an ethical company that uses only natural ingredients and vegetable-based alternatives.
Choose companies such as Bio D, as their products are environmentally-friendly and good for those with allergies.
Alternatively, Living Naturally only stock ethical, sustainable products, which are perfect for removing stains.
Try using an ethical/organic liquid detergent for delicate fabrics. If using powder, please dissolve before you add your sheets.
Make Your Own Laundry Products
Want to do things a little differently? Making your own products is one of the best ways to ensure you’re being ethical!
You can make your own laundry detergent at home with natural ingredients such as washing soda, barax and an unscented soap bar.
If you’re choosing to avoid fabric softener, create some by adding half a cup of vinegar in the washing when on a rinse spin cycle.
For those stubborn stains, rub bicarbonate and washing soda onto it. Adding a little baking soda to the wash cycle will naturally act as a brightener – without the toxic chemicals.
How to Further Soften Your Bedding
The more you use your organic cotton bedding, the softer it will be!
This type of bedding is naturally extremely soft and will soften even more over time with washing and usage.
Therefore, there’s not much you can do to further soften the bedding. If you really want to try and soften your bedding further, try adding half a cup of white vinegar in the wash or rinse cycle. This will help soften your bedding more naturally.
Now you know how to take care of your bed sheets, all that’s left to do is enjoy them! Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep, and our bedding offers optimum comfort every night. Tempted? Browse our full range of luxury organic bedding here.