Due to the delicate and absorbent nature of bamboo bed sheets, they can easily get stained and end up losing their bright colors. Bamboo sheets are known for their durability, longevity, and for being eco-friendly, but with that comes some challenges. Continuous use of bamboo bedding over long periods can cause them to get a little off-color, especially if they are white.
White bamboo sheets can easily get stained as a result of accumulated sweat and body oils over the years, giving them a milky appearance. And yes, you might still be washing your bamboo sheets regularly, but that might still not be enough to completely get rid of that yellowish look. So if you are looking for tips on how to whiten bamboo sheets, I suggest you read this article to the end.
Most fabric detergents might not be able to restore your sheets to their past glory, but by using a few household items, you will be able to completely transform them.
Why And When Do You Need to Whiten Bamboo Sheets?
Unlike other types of fabrics like cotton sheets, bamboo fabric is made from natural fibers, which are soft, delicate, and flexible. High-quality bamboo sheets are breathable and absorbent, making them susceptible to stains and discoloration.
As we are soundly asleep on our beds covered with bamboo sheets, our bodies produce lots of sweat, especially during the summer months, to help cool our temperature. Due to the breathable nature of bamboo sheets, this sweat is usually absorbed and easily evaporated. During this process, as sweat continues to pass through the sheets, discoloration occurs.
This doesn’t just happen overnight. It might even take years before you notice the color changes. Most people notice the extent of damage done to their sheets when they compare theirs with brand-new ones of the same color.
Apart from sweats, face makeup, body lotions, and moisturizers can also lead to sheet discoloration. As we sleep, we tend to roll about, rubbing our bodies against the sheets, which in turn absorb all our body makeup and lotions.
One reason why it is important to whiten your bamboo sheets once in a while is to improve their appearance. Bamboo sheets are known for their exquisite and luxurious look, so having a discolored sheet can be a sore to the eyes.
Another reason for whitening your bamboo sheets is to prolong their lifespan. Continuous accumulation of sweat stains and dirt on your sheets can lead to bacteria buildup, which can weaken the sheets’ fibers. How long bamboo sheets last will depend on how well you care for them, and the best way to care for your sheets is by eliminating anything that will compromise the integrity of their fibers.
The best time to whiten your bamboo sheets would be once you notice any sign of discoloration. Immediately wash the sheets as soon as possible, and if the stain persists, follow the steps we will be discussing below.
Note that it is important that you handle the stains as soon as you notice them, as ignoring them can cause them to spread to other parts and harden over time, making the stains difficult to remove.
How to Whiten Bamboo Sheets
Some stains from bamboo sheets are much easier to remove than others. This is dependent on a few factors, like the cause of the stain and how long it has stayed on the sheet. Stains caused by sweat and body oil can be easily removed compared to blood stains on bamboo sheets.
For tougher stains (like blood stains), it is advisable to treat the stained part of the sheet separately with mild detergents before washing to prevent spreading it to other parts of the sheet. Also, your sheets might not come out sparkling white on the first try, so patience is required. You will need to keep trying until you get your desired results.
You can easily whiten your bamboo fabrics using sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. This is a natural cleaning agent and stain remover used for bleaching and removing tough stains from fabrics and other surfaces.
Start by making a baking soda and water mixture. Add one cup of baking soda to about four liters of water and stir. Once evenly mixed, place the discolored sheet you wish to whiten into it and leave for a few hours. The longer you soak it, the brighter the result will be. Occasionally stir the mixture with a pole, making sure the bamboo sheet is completely submerged in it.
After a while, check the sheet; if there is an improvement in the color, you can then proceed to place it in your washer with some mild detergents for washing. Place the washer on the delicate or gentle cycle and make use of either cold or warm water to wash. Avoid using hot water as it can damage your sheet.
Another great household item you can use to transform your bamboo sheets is lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice has great cleaning properties and is safe to use on bamboo sheets. Also, they are very accessible and easy to use, making them my favorite method for removing stains from fabrics.
To use lemon juice, start by extracting the juice by giving it a good squeeze. Sieve out the seeds, and you will be left with just the juice. Then proceed to prepare your sheets to be washed. You can choose to either soak the sheets in cold water overnight or wash them directly.
Place the sheet in the washer and set it on a gentle or delicate setting with cold or warm water. Then add the lemon juice to the sheets and wash. Repeat this a couple of times, and your sheets will be back to their original colors in no time.
Another natural whitener you can use on your bamboo sheets is white vinegar. They are safe and effective in removing stains from organic fabrics. The process of using white vinegar is similar to that of using baking soda.
Mix white vinegar with water and soak the sheet for a few minutes. Then proceed to wash the sheet on a delicate or gentle cycle with cold or warm water. For better results, you can add lemon juice to the washing mixture. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used to remove tough stains by adding a few drops to your soaked bamboo sheets.
Dangers of Using Bleach and Fabric Softeners on Bamboo Sheets
Whenever the topic of whitening bedding fabrics arises, lots of people might start thinking about using bleach. Well, that would be a bad idea. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use bleach on your bamboo sheets or any other kind of sheets made from natural fibers.
Bleach products contain lots of harsh abrasive chemicals capable of causing wear and tear in your sheets. The harsh chemicals found in bleach cause the already soft bamboo fibers to become more delicate, which makes them more prone to tearing and pilling.
Also, fabric softeners are not needed when washing bamboo fabric. They are naturally soft, so using fabric softener on them will cause more harm than good.
General Bamboo Sheets Care Routine Tips
After going through the whitening process, it is required that you wash and dry the bamboo sheets properly. Mishandling the sheets can shorten their lifespan and make them lose their soft feel. Below are some bamboo sheet care guidelines that can help you care for and enjoy your bamboo sheets to the fullest.
- When washing your bamboo sheets, avoid using hot water. Instead, make use of cold water. Hot water can cause the bamboo fibers to shrink and pill.
- Always set your washer on the delicate cycle at a maximum temperature of 30 C (or 86 F) when washing.
- Avoid cramming your sheets into the washer. Always give enough room so the sheets can wash properly. Also, do not wash stained bamboo fabric alongside clean ones to prevent spreading the stains.
- Always wash bamboo sheets separately from other fabrics, as abrasions from zippers and other materials can tear and damage them.
- Avoid bleach, dryer sheets, and fabric softener at all costs when washing.
- Always go for air drying when possible. Spread the sheet on a line and fasten it with pegs.
- Do not dry your sheet under direct sunlight. Always dry bamboo sheets in well-shaded areas, preferably overnight.
- When using a dryer, set the heat at the lowest temperature and remove the sheets from the dryer, and spread them outside immediately after the drying process is complete.
- Whenever you iron bamboo sheets, always set the pressing iron at the lowest temperature. This is because bamboo sheets shrink when exposed to high temperatures.
- And when your sheets are not in use, safely pack them in the original reusable bags they came in. Do not use plastic containers or bags as they can trap moisture within, which can cause mildew growth.
Whitening and removing bamboo sheet stains can be easy when done properly. All the necessary items can be found in our homes. It might require multiple tries to successfully restore your bamboo sheets to their original color, so you need to exercise patience.
All the methods discussed above can be applied to both white and colored sheets. So when looking to purchase your bedding fabrics, always opt for the best bamboo sheets available.
Before washing bamboo sheets in your washer, always remember to soak them in a baking soda or white vinegar and cold water mixture. Add some lemon juice together with your sheet in the washer and wash. By following these simple steps, your sheets will be back to their original color.