How to Keep Your White Sheets White

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I may have gone completely crazy………I bought white sheets!  I love the fresh clean look of white sheets and bedding, however I KNOW that they don’t stay that way.  In fact, we may have to sleep in the spare room to keep them looking fresh!  Just kidding, I won’t be sleeping in there (Mike and the dogs might) but I won’t!…………..on a side note, Mike doesn’t understand why he can’t lay his head on any of these “cutsie” pillows!!!

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Disclosure: As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. My blog contains other affiliate links as well for your convenience. To learn more, you may read my Disclosure Policy. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Prior to jumping into bed with these white sheets I did a little research.  My biggest question (concern) how do I keep them WHITE?!?!  The answer is BLEACH – right?!?  My mom used bleach on everything white and for whatever reason, she could keep whites just that, WHITE.  Not me, seems everything I bleach, turns yellow.  So after all my research and (trial and error) I discovered bleach is my enemy!

Take a look at these yellowed pillow cases.  Since they are vintage (ok – they are just old) I decided to experiment a little and see if I could bring the white life back to these digny yellow pillow cases.  I read online that OxiClean or Borax works to whiten whites.  So I tried this first!


I used a scoop of OxiClean to a gallon of water and soaked the pillow cases for a few hours.  I like immediate results and seem to have very little patience, so when they still looked dingy after soaking for a couple hours I tried plan B.

Side Note: Using OxiClean in my everyday laundering chores, helps to keep all my colors bright (including whites).


This time I added about a cup of white vinegar, a couple of heaping tablespoons of baking soda and lemon juice to the gallon of water.   Remember making volcano’s erupt in 5th grade science class?  This mixture has the same effect….there was lots of bubbling, fizzing and smoke going on.  I didn’t know if I should evacuate the house or call Bill Nye the Science Guy so he could tape an episode on Lyndale Drive!  After all that excitement settled down,  I got busy with another project so I don’t know exactly how long I let them soak, maybe 6 hours, but look!  The yellow dingy-ness is GONE!

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White Sheets

I didn’t put them in the dryer, personally I think the dryer “sets” stains, so I let them air dry.   During my research I also read that hanging them on the clothesline and allowing the sun to naturally bleach the white sheets is an excellent option.  Keep in mind, it is January in Iowa, and hanging them on the line this time of year is not an option – nor do I have a clothes line (insert sad face)…….yet!  So I let them air dry by hanging them all over the kitchen chairs!

When laundering your white sheets, you will simply add the vinegar, baking soda and lemon mixture to the drum of the washer.  I like to add some OxiClean for good measure!


During my internet search on how to keep white sheets white, I found a few more tips to assist in this process.
1. If you join the white bedding club, you must get in the habit of removing your makeup before bed.  (this is NOT a habit I am in…….so here it goes)  This is an essential step for removing the oils that stain your white sheets and age your face – so it is a good habit to start!

2. You may not like this one, but if you want your white sheets white it is important – You need to wash them regularly.  Just think, when you sleep, you transfer a whole lot of yourself onto your sheets, yeah you …..sweat, slobber, body oils, dead skin, ……….should I go on?  All of this “mess” will cause your white sheets to yellow.  Regular washing will keep these bodily fluids minimized.  When I say regular washing (don’t hate me) I mean once a week or at least once every other week.

3. Another good idea (if your machine allows) opt for an extra rinse cycle. Build up of laundry soap can cause your white sheets to appear dingy.  And remember……..NO BLEACH!!!!

4.  This tip was said to make you feel like a Laundry God.  So if you want to feel that way, give this a shot.  If your white sheets are beyond saving (so you think)  Use some Rit White Wash to bring the sheets back to their original color or good ole fashioned bluing.  Mrs. Stewart’s is the product I would recommend – Only because my grandmother used this stuff and when she passed away I kept this old bottle just because I thought it was cool – little did I know inside it contained a magic liquid that would give me the title “Laundry God”!!!   I won’t go into all the details on how to use this product, but here is Mrs Stewart’s website (I included the front load version) but her site has all kinds of cool tips and tricks.


5. Last tip – keep a spare set of pillows with dark pillow cases tucked away under all your “cutsie” pillows – Use these hidden jems when you sleep, you can slobber all over them if ya want!


Before you go, you better Pin this so you can find it later!


Sleep tight…….all in white!

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  1. Hi, I really appreciate this post! I’m going to try it out. Do you wash your white bed linens with hot or cold water? Thank you!

  2. Hi Rachel,
    I use hot for my whites. Keep me posted and let me know your results!

  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing! I desperately need new bedding items and I want to go all white with accent colors, but I’m afraid! ?

    So you use hot water for all your whites and an extra rinse. Got it!! Do you use fresh lemon juice or bottled? If so, how much?

    Thanks for sharing!


  4. Thanks!!! This was so helpful!

  5. Hi Jennifer!! Thanks for following my blog and let me tell you …………..don’t be afraid!!! White sheets are amazing. With a little care like I describe in the post you will be hooked! I don’t use lemon all the time, but when I do, you only need a little. I use 1/4 cup of bottled lemon juice. Good luck and welcome to the bright white side!

  6. Sintia Dearman says:

    Where is your bedding from?! We just bought a new house and I want all new bedding and a fresh look!

  7. Congrats on the new house! My Duvet cover and pillow shams are from Target! I use white sheets (so I pick those up where ever I find a good deal)

  8. Do I add the lemon, baking soda and vinegar straight onto the washer?

  9. Hello Ashleigh,
    When I use the Lemon, baking Soda and Vinegar mixture, I actually soak the sheets in my sink!

    Good Luck

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