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Sheets Stained After Washing? Here’s Why

A basket of laundry sits in front of a washer.
Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.com

Very few people enjoy laundry day—particularly if you’ve got fitted sheets to wrangle. Absolutely nothing is worst than mustering up the motivation to wash your sheets only to find them mysteriously stained.

It turns out that the way you’re washing your sheets could be causing staining, but there is a way to fix it.

With your typical set of clothes—think knits and athletic wear—you probably just pour your detergent right into the drum with them. For the most part, that’s probably fine. If you’re using that same method with your sheets, though, that’s where your problem might be. The detergent ends up staining your fabric because it’s so concentrated and hasn’t had a chance to dilute. The result is visible leftover residue or, in the case of colored detergents, actual color on your sheets.

Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent

Always use gentle detergent on your sheets.

If that method doesn’t work, how should you be washing sheets to avoid staining?

Instead of dumping your linens and detergent right into the machine, first, fill it with water and pour in the detergent. Allow the water to dilute your detergent as the machine fills. You should be using a mild detergent anyway, but this will further help to eliminate the chances of staining. Once the machine is full and the detergent is diluted, add in your sheets and start the cycle.

If you’ve been struggling with washing your sheets and having stains left behind, it might be time to switch up your laundering method.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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