How to Soften New Sheets

room-pulled-apart-1This was the bed in our master bedroom, pulled apart Friday morning while we waited for our new mattress to be delivered and the old one taken away. Little did we know what was in store for us! On Thursday we had decided to go mattress shopping, and after we made our purchase we were surprised that it would be delivered the very next day. On the way home we bought new sheets, and then washed them in cold water before use, as the directions specified. The new bed arrived, was set up and made, and we both looked forward to a good night’s sleep on our new Beauty Rest. Well, guess what? A really bad night’s sleep had us up early the next morning and doing research on the web. The new sheets were heavily sized (a chemical manufacturers use to make sheets smooth and attractive in their packaging) and we were awake most of the night. Every time one of us rolled over we woke up from the crackling sheets. That might have been funny, except that we were now so tired. Looking at the internet, I quickly learned that many people have the same problem and are also looking for a solution. Here it is!

Rule  # 1 Wash new sheets in HOT water. This helps break down the sizing and release the chemical from the fibers. Then dry in a HOT dryer. (If sheets are dried out of doors, the sun helps to break down the sizing.)

Rule  # 2  Don’t add fabric softener to the wash water or fabric softener sheets to the  dryer. Fabric softeners cause fabrics to retain the sizing chemicals. sheet in hot waterAbove you see our new sheets being washed on a slightly stronger agitation setting. It’s called Heavy Duty on my washing machine. I was a little hesitant to take these steps with new sheets, but I read this advice several times on line, and decided to give it a try. I can’t advise this for all new bed sheets, since every brand is different and not all fabric or thread counts are the same,  but it seems to have worked for ours. As you can see in this photo below (Martin making the bed), the sheets are still bright and colorful, and do feel softer.

Martin making the bed100_4156_edited-1Annika sure thinks it’s comfortable! Having followed the suggestions for removing the sizing, we are hoping for a sounder sleep tonight. I’ll let you know.

4 thoughts on “How to Soften New Sheets

  1. Too bad they put chemicals that irritate the skin into sheets and other fabrics, just to make them attractive to customers!

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