Microfiber sheets seem to be all over the place at the moment. If you are looking for new bedsheets for a bed of any size, they are well worth considering because they are usually one of the more economical options and have a lot of good things going for them, including the fact that they are extremely easy to care for.
That being said, when it comes to answering the question of how to wash microfiber sheets, there are some things you should know, and we are going to take a closer look at those here.
What Are Microfiber Sheets Made Of?
Microfiber is a synthetic fabric made of strands that are thinner than silk and woven into a textile. It is used in sporting gear, cleaning supplies, and bedding, among other things. Polyester is the most common material for microfiber sheets plus it’s a colorfast material and holds dyes really well, while nylon and cellulose are also options that you will find commonly used.
Microfiber sheets are silky and sheeny by nature, with a flowing drape. Despite their light weight, they can have a tendency to trap heat, thus sleepers in colder locations often choose microfiber sheets with “brushed” fibers on one or both sides for a fuzzier, warm feel that while is not so warm it is suffocating – most microfiber sheets are actually quite breathable – do feel comforting and cozy to sleep under. Many people with allergies or skin conditions also find that sleeping on microfiber is more comfortable and itch-free.
Some people even call microfiber sheets t shirt sheets because they have a similar feel, and slipping under them is as easy as pulling on a favorite t shirt.
Can You Machine Wash Microfiber Sheets?
Despite the fact that microfiber bedsheets can be found that are made from different fibers, the one thing almost all of them have in common is that they can be machine washed and tumble dried.
This of course makes them an excellent choice for children’s beds and is one of the reasons – aside from their more reasonable cost – that they are the number one choice for college students for their dorm beds.
This is not to say that you should simply toss microfiber sheets into the washing machine without any thought. While they are one of the more inexpensive bedding choices – at least when compared to cotton, silk, or satin – the last thing you want to do is ruin your new sheets by washing them the wrong way.
How to Wash Microfiber Bed Sheets?
Ideally you should follow the laundry instructions on the label, as they will differ slightly from sheet to sheet. However, those instructions can be vague, and there are some things they do not always reveal that you can do to help your microfiber sheets last long, get cleaner and even to avoid that annoying piling that they can be prone to. Here are some general pointers to keep in mind when washing your bed sheets.
Keep the Wash Water Cool
Microfiber bedsheets can be prone to shrinkage, but you can keep this to a minimum by making use of a cool water wash cycle. Some people think that they will not get their sheets clean if they do not wash them on hot, but that is not the case.
A warm water cycle should be fine for most microfiber bedsheets, but if the label happens to instruct a cold-water wash, then follow that advice, as it implies that hot water will indeed damage the sheets.
If you are concerned that your usual laundry detergent isn’t up to the challenge of a cold-water wash, swap it for a formula that is especially for cold water washing. Biokleen Natural Cold Water Laundry Detergent is a great choice as it is also plant based, free of artificial additives and has a light citrus scent that is very pleasant.
Don’t Tumble Dry on Hot
Most microfiber sheets can be tumble dried, but only on a low heat. Think about your t shirts, which these sheets do closely resemble. If you dry those on hot, they usually shrink, and their colors fade fast. The same is likely to happen to your microfiber sheets, so either opt for the lowest heat setting possible or take advantage of any mild weather and available space you have, and line dry them instead.
If you are going to make use of a dryer you can help keep your sheets softer and free of piling by making use of reusable dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets. Not only are these very effective – especially when it comes to keeping pilling at bay – they are also more economical and far more eco-friendly than dryer sheets.
How Often Should You Wash Your Microfiber Sheets?
All bedsheets should ideally be washed at least every few weeks. Even if you can’t easily see it, a lot of rather gross stuff can build up on sheets – sweat, dead skin cells, general grime – faster than you might think and aside from the fact that sleeping on this stuff is nasty when you think about it, grime can actually wear out the fibers in some microfiber bedsheets faster as well.
How Do You Keep Microfiber Sheets from Piling?
Piling – those annoying fuzzies that ruin the look and feel of fabrics over time, can be minimized with regular washing and careful drying. As we mentioned earlier, dryer balls can be a tremendous help too, and they can even remove some piling from older sheets, giving them a new lease on life! You should also always ensure that any detergents you use are completely rinsed away, as any ‘leftovers’ will attract dirt and grime faster, damage the sheet and lead to piling.
Do Microfiber Sheets Shrink?
Microfiber sheets may indeed shrink, if they are washed in water that’s too hot, or dried at a temperature that’s too high. You may come across some microfiber sheets that claim to be shrink resistant, but that does not mean they won’t shrink at all if you don’t follow these basic laundry tips.
How to Make Microfiber Sheets Softer?
People love microfiber sheets because they are soft, and often wonder what they can do to make them even softer. Dousing them with a chemical softener is rarely the best answer though, especially as sticky liquid softeners that can leave a thin layer of grime attracting film on your sheets.
There is one uncomplicated way to add some extra softness to microfiber sheets that many people swear by though. Baking soda and white vinegar are two simple things that may transform even the most basic, low-cost microfiber sheets into velvety smooth bedding.
Simply toss the sheets into the laundry with a cup of simple household baking soda and a half-cup of white vinegar, and wash for one cycle. This time don’t add any laundry detergent though, as that tends to dull the softening, freshening effect that the baking soda adds.
Repeat this straightforward process every few months, and you should have microfiber sheets that are super soft (and by the way, this ‘trick’ should work for your t shirts as well!)
How to Iron Microfiber Sheets
If you tumble dry them, and take them out of the dryer right away, many microfiber sheets will not wrinkle much and won’t need ironing at all. However, if you leave them sitting a little too long, or you want sheets that are really wrinkle free – maybe for a guest room – most can be ironed on a low setting. Do make sure that you check the laundry label first though, as that is not the case for all microfiber sheets, and you might damage, or even burn, them if you try to iron fabrics that were just not designed to be exposed to that kind of heat!