Why You Should Wash New Sheets Before Using Them


Why You Should Wash New Sheets

Ah, the joy of slipping into a bed made with fresh, crisp sheets! There’s nothing quite like it. But here’s a question many of us ponder: Should you wash new sheets before using them?

Expert Recommendations

We turned to experts to settle this debate. Let’s dive into what they have to say.

A textile expert, Henry Stone, firmly believes in washing new sheets before their first use. Why? It’s all about removing the excess dyes and chemicals that might linger from manufacturing.

Dr. Elizabeth Basler, MD’s Insights

Dr. Elizabeth Basler, a dermatologist, also supports this. She points out that new sheets often contain chemicals used during production to keep them looking pristine on store shelves. These can cause skin irritations or even more severe health concerns.

Health and Safety Concerns

So, what exactly are these risks? Let’s break it down.

Contact Dermatitis and Skin Irritation Risks

One of the main concerns is contact dermatitis, an itchy, red rash caused by direct contact with a substance. These chemicals can also pose irritation risks, meaning they have the potential to cause various skin conditions. It’s a scary thought that underscores the importance of washing those new sheets.

The Importance of Initial Washing

Initial washing helps remove these chemicals, ensuring your bed is comfortable and safe. Think of it as a small step that makes a big difference in your health and comfort.

Best Practices for Sheet Care

Now that we’ve established the importance of washing new sheets let’s talk about the best ways to care for them.

Tips for Those with Chemical Sensitivities

Consider using a gentle, fragrance-free detergent if you have sensitive skin or chemical sensitivities. Avoid fabric softeners, which can also contain harsh chemicals. Instead, opt for natural alternatives like vinegar.

Frequency of Washing Sheets

How often should you wash your sheets? Experts recommend cleaning them once a week. This keeps them fresh and free from dust mites, allergens, and sweat that accumulate over time.

Choosing the Right Sheets

Not all sheets are created equal. Here’s what to look for when shopping for new bedding.

Certifications to Look For: GOTS and OEKO-TEX

Look for certifications like GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and OEKO-TEX. These ensure that the sheets are made with fewer chemicals and are safer for your skin and health.

Natural Fibers Preference: Cotton and Linen

Natural fibers like cotton and linen are breathable and less likely to irritate your skin. They also tend to get softer with each wash, adding to your comfort.

Warnings Against ‘Wrinkle-Free’ Labels

Be wary of ‘wrinkle-free’ labels. These often indicate that the sheets have been treated with chemicals to keep them looking smooth. It’s better to embrace a few wrinkles than to risk exposure to potentially harmful substances.


The first wash might change your sheets slightly, making them softer and more comfortable. This small step can significantly enhance your sleeping experience, ensuring your bed is inviting and safe. So next time you bring home a new set of sheets, remember: a quick wash is all it takes for a good night’s sleep.