Can you wash sheets and towels together? A care guide

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Want a full load for the washing machine and wondering if you can wash sheets and towels together? After all, mixing items could save energy and therefore money, while also saving you the time it takes to process two different loads.

But while of course you can wash sheets and towels together in the direction of loading them both into the drum of the washing machine and running a cycle, whichever you should is another problem.

To answer that last question, we’ve put together a guide to the pros and cons of a mixed load, including laundry tips and ideas from the experts.

Can you wash sheets and towels together: laundry load selection

There are many people who will tell you in answer to the question can you wash sheets and towels together that the answer is no.

“The internet is full of reasons why you shouldn’t wash your sheets and towels together, and in an ideal world, you’d wash them separately,” says Steve Payne, bedding and interiors expert at Sleep and Snooze.

“However, unless you have navy blue towels and ivory white bedding, washing them at the same time won’t hurt either,” he continues. “The environment will also thank you for it.”

1. When to wash sheets and towels together

gray laundry counters

(Image credit: Kate Lester Interiors / Lauren Pressey Photography)

Filling the washing machine is a good reason to put different types of items together. Wayne Edelman, CEO of upscale dry cleaning service Meurice Garment Care, which specializes in home and closet cleaning services, answers the question of whether you can wash linens and towels together, ” Absolutely, if there isn’t enough for a full charge of each.

“As long as they’re compatible in a wash load and the load doesn’t get too large for the machine, it allows for greater efficiency in terms of water/electricity/gas etc,” he says.

2. Which temperature and which cycle to use

Check the laundry symbols on the labels of sheets and towels to determine the most suitable temperature and cycle, keeping in mind that sheets may have a lower maximum wash temperature, which you will need to respect for the load .

“Generally, white can tolerate warm cycles, warm light to medium colors, and cool dark colors,” says Wayne Edelman. “Keep in mind that the higher the temperature, the more effective the surfactant qualities of detergents are at removing stains and dirt. Massage/body oils and moisturizers on sheets may require a higher temperature and possibly pre-spotting before washing.

Detergent is a matter of preference, but you’ll probably want to skip fabric softener to keep towels soft and absorbent. “I don’t recommend using fabric softeners for washing towels because it degrades their moisture retention, but using them on sheets is okay,” says Wayne.

If you don’t want to do without it for your sheets, of course, that will be a reason to separate the two different types of items in the laundry.

3. When not to wash sheets and towels together

Preferring to use fabric softener for sheets and avoiding it for towels isn’t the only reason you might choose not to wash sheets and towels together. As mentioned above, their color is also crucial.

The rules to follow? “Red is the color most likely to run, so separate the red elements,” says Wayne Edelman. ‘Black items are also in this category. We generally separate them into three categories for the most part: white, light colors and dark colors.

Also pay attention to the special requirements for the sheets. “Some types of sheets require extra care, so you should always read the care instructions on your product’s label to make sure you’re cleaning them properly,” says Logan Foley, sleep science coach and editor. at Sleep Foundation.org. ‘Use the hottest water setting allowed by the type of sheet (cotton can usually handle hot water, but polyester should be used hot). Towels are usually cotton, but you can check the label to be sure.

4. Drying sheets and towels

Drying sheets and towels together is also possible, but they have different drying times. “Sheets usually dry long before towels,” says Wayne Edelman. “I recommend stopping the cycle early if you’re getting mixed up and checking to see if the sheets are dry. If they’re dry, take them out of the dryer and let the towels dry on their own. It’s best to fold the towels and other items right out of the dryer to prevent wrinkles.

How often should sheets and towels be washed?

Wash sheets and towels weekly – or maybe even more frequently. “You should wash your sheets once a week,” says Logan Foley. “If you sleep with pets or have allergies, you should change them even more often.” Towels follow the same general rule – wash once a week.

However, this is a matter of personal preference as well as circumstances. “There are no rules because it depends on your own personal hygiene as well as how much time you spend in bed and what happens there,” says Wayne Edelman. ‘Do you shower before bed or in the morning? We change our sheets and towels in my house twice a week. I would go to three times.

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