There’s no better feeling than snuggling into your fresh Egyptian cotton sheets at the end of a busy day. But in order to keep your sheets soft and hygienic, you’ve got to keep on washing them!
But how do you wash such exquisite, and often expensive, Egyptian cotton sheets without damaging them? Keep on reading to find out!
Tips When Washing Egyptian Cotton Sheets
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when washing, drying and caring for Egyptian cotton sheets:
- Clean your Egyptian cotton sheets on their own. If you wash your sheets with other items, you risk snagging the material, particularly if you clean the sheets alongside garments with zips and buttons.
- Read the care label on your Egyptian cotton sheets to find out how to wash them.
- Pre-treat stains before you start cleaning. Or add some bicarbonate of soda to the washing machine when cleaning your sheets, and then add white vinegar to the rinse cycle to remove any stains.
- Clean your Egyptian cotton sheets in cool water (a temperature of 40°C or less).
- When cleaning Egyptian cotton sheets in a washing machine, always select a delicate cycle with very little spin.
- Keep an eye out for pesky stains, sweat and blood, for example, so you can treat them and get rid of them before they set. You can remove stains by using an off-the-shelf stain remover, if you like.
- Mild detergents should be used to clean Egyptian cotton sheets. And in some cases, you only have to use half the dose required to clean the sheets. The less detergent you use, the less risk there is of you damaging the material’s fibres.
- Air drying your Egyptian cotton sheets is the best way to dry them!
- Washing your cotton sheets time and time again will soften them up!
- Avoid using bleach as this can damage and discolour the material. It can also shorten the lifespan of the Egyptian cotton.
- If you plan on using a tumble dryer, make sure you choose a low temperature, so you stop the Egyptian cotton from shrinking.
- Fabric softener can play havoc with Egyptian cotton’s fibres, so don’t use it! Stick to just washing the sheets, or add some white vinegar to your wash to soften the fibres even more.
- Don’t use dryer sheets when drying Egyptian cotton in a tumble dryer. The chemicals on the dryer sheets can rub off and have an adverse effect on the cotton sheets. It can weaken and damage the material beyond repair.
- If you need to iron your Egyptian cotton sheets you can do so, but make sure you choose a low heat setting. Do not use the ‘cotton’ setting as this will be too hot and you will damage the Egyptian cotton. You should also iron the sheets when they’re slightly damp.
- When drying your Egyptian cotton sheets, you might find it easier to dry one sheet at a time, especially if the sheets are large.
- Avoid washing light coloured sheets with dark coloured sheets.
How to Wash Egyptian Cotton Sheets
In the washing machine
- Remove the Egyptian cotton sheets from the bed.
- Shake the sheets outside to get rid of any loose debris, like hair.
- Inspect the cotton sheets for stains.
- Treat any stains with a stain remover, or you can add bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to the washing machine later on.
- Check how your Egyptian cotton sheets should be washed – they can usually go into the washing machine. But if the tag states ‘not to machine wash the item’, find an alternative cleaning method.
- Separate your sheets by colour – wash similar coloured sheets together.
- Pop the sheets into the drum – make sure there are no other items in the appliance.
- Select a delicate cycle that has a low spin cycle.
- Choose a water temperature that’s below 40°C
- Add half the dose of your regular detergent to the machine, and make sure your detergent does not contain bleach.
- Optional: Add a cup of bicarbonate of soda to the drum at this point if you need to treat stains.
- Start the cycle.
- Remove your sheets from the machine as soon as you can, so you prevent wrinkles.
- Shake your sheets out.
- Move on to the drying phase.
The hand washing process may take a little longer than the washing machine method, but it is usually a far gentler, and an all-round kinder method for your Egyptian cotton sheets.
If you need to hand wash your sheets, simply follow the steps above for ’Washing machine’. But instead of using an appliance, fill a large bucket/bath with cool water and detergent, and wash the sheets.
When the sheets are submerged in the cool water, you will need to gently agitate them to dislodge the dirt. You can then dry the Egyptian cotton sheets as per the instructions below.
Remember to remove any jewellery you’re wearing, like bracelets, so you don’t snag the material! And wear gloves as an extra precaution!
How to Dry Egyptian Cotton Sheets
When it comes to drying your Egyptian cotton sheets, the best way to dry them is to pop them outside on the line.
Natural sunlight and a slight breeze will dry the sheets in no time at all. And this gentle drying method will help to expand the life of the cotton sheets, and will keep them wrinkle free.
Of course, if you don’t have a line and you need to dry your Egyptian cotton sheets quickly you can use a tumble dryer. But make sure the care label on the item states that this is a safe option before you continue!
When drying cotton sheets in a dryer, always choose a low heat temperature, and keep an eye on your sheets throughout the drying process. Too much heat can shrink the material! In addition to this, you should try to remove the sheets from the dryer before they’re thoroughly dry, so you can iron any wrinkles out of them.
You should not use any kind of dryer sheet in the tumble dryer when you’re drying your Egyptian cotton sheets. The chemicals on the sheets can damage the Egyptian cotton’s fibres.
FAQs on Washing Egyptian Cotton Sheets
Can you wash Egyptian cotton sheets in the washing machine?
Yes, you can wash Egyptian cotton sheets in a washing machine.
Before you wash the sheets, you should check their care label to find out if there are any specific washing instructions.
Once you’ve done, this you can select an appropriate cycle (usually a delicate cycle), select a temperature (typically a cool water temperature less than 40°C), and add your detergent.
Your Egyptian cotton sheets can then be washed in the washing machine.
How often should you wash Egyptian cotton sheets?
Egyptian cotton sheets are going to be exposed to a lot of different kinds of dirt, like sweat, bodily fluids, blood and hair.
So, it’s important that they are washed on a regular basis, just like you would do with other sheets.
Ideally, you should try to clean your Egyptian cotton sheets on a weekly basis. But this could be extended to a fortnightly basis during the colder months.
However, when the weather gets better and you start to sweat a lot more, and the pollen count increases, you should aim to clean your cotton sheets every five to seven days. This’ll keep the sheets fresh, hygienic and allergy free for you.
Can you wash Egyptian cotton sheets in hot water?
You should wash Egyptian cotton sheets in cool water. This is to protect the material from damage, like shrinking.
What temperature should you wash Egyptian cotton sheets at?
A temperature below 40°C should be used to wash Egyptian cotton sheets. This will stop the sheets from getting damaged or shrunk in the wash.
Can you tumble dry Egyptian cotton sheets?
Yes, you can tumble dry Egyptian cotton sheets.
If you plan on using a tumble dryer, you will need to choose a low heat cycle to dry your cotton sheets on.
You should also not leave the cotton sheets in the dryer too long because they will shrink when subjected to large amounts of heat.
It’s worth noting that as your Egyptian cotton sheets tumble around in the tumble dryer they’ll become very wrinkled.
So, you should try and pull your sheets out of the dryer when they’re still slightly damp, so you can iron them effectively.
Can you wash Egyptian cotton at 60°C?
Washing Egyptian cotton at 60°C is not usually recommended, nor is it necessary.
You should aim to wash your Egyptian cotton sheets in cool water, preferably water that is 40°C or less, because hot water is likely to shrink the material.
However, if the care label on your Egyptian cotton sheets states that you can use 60°C you can do so, but be cautious.
Can you use fabric softener on Egyptian cotton sheets?
You should avoid using fabric softener on your Egyptian cotton sheets. The chemicals in the fabric softener may not soften the material, and could damage the fibres instead.
If you need to soften your Egyptian cotton sheets, either wash them normally and regularly (the continuous washing smooths out the fibres), or wash them as you would usually, but add some white vinegar to the water as well.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!