You’ve probably heard about all the things that could be living in your mattress. Well, what about your sheets? Those warm summer evenings certainly don’t help, but there could be all kinds of reasons for your sheets to take on that stinky, musty smell. Maybe your sheets are old and well-used. Heck, maybe you washed them and forgot to put them in the dryer for a couple of days. Yuck!
No matter the issue, it’s time to get your sheets smelling fresh and clean again. Here’s how to get those odors out.
1. What You’ll Need
To make your own smell-busting detergent, you won’t need anything that you probably don’t already have around the house: just hot water, a sink or bucket, white vinegar, dishwashing liquid, and plain old baking soda. That’s it!
2. The Soak
Fill your bucket or sink with hot water, then add 1 cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of dish soap. Dunk your sheets down into the water, and swish them around so they get totally saturated. Let them sit for at least half an hour, and as long as overnight.
3. The Wash
After the soak, you’ll need to wash your sheets with baking soda. Pour 1/2 cup of it right into your washer, then wring out your soaked sheets as well as you can. Toss them in the machine and run it on your heavy soil cycle, with hot water (check the tag on your sheets first — you don’t want to shrink them). Note that adding your regular detergent could simply mask the odors, so if you really want to be sure they’re gone, leave that out.
4. The Stink Test
When your washer is done, smell your sheets to test for any odors. If some of the stink remains, repeat the soak and wash steps. If you’re happy with the smell, you can go ahead and dry them. However….
5. Give Line Dry a Try
For best results, don’t just throw your sheets in the dryer. Hanging them out to dry in the sunlight can help kill germs, whiten fabrics, and add even more freshness. So if you can, hang them outside to dry. Once dry, you can enjoy a great night’s sleep on fresh, odor-free sheets.