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How To Whiten Your Bed Sheets

how to whiten white sheets

There are few things that look better than crisp, white bedding. White sheets are so welcoming to crawl into at the end of the day, especially when they’re fresh and clean. However, these white sheets are incredibly tough to keep looking so nice.

Over time, your white sheets can start to become quite discolored and yellow. When you’re sleeping, your body releases natural oils and sweat that leave behind stains.

This unpleasant hue can be stubborn and difficult to get rid of with just regular washing. Fortunately, there are ways to get your sheets back the crisp white you love. So, you might wonder how to keep white sheets white?

Here are some very helpful tips on how to whiten your bed sheets:

How to Whiten Your Bed Sheets

When you notice that your sheets have begun to yellow, it doesn’t mean they’re ruined. There are a few things you can try to return to them to their bright white glory. These methods don’t have to be complex or require special ingredients. A lot of these things you probably already have sitting around your home.


Bleach is always a popular option for whitening sheets and other white fabrics. Whether you need to restore the color of the entire sheet, or just need to spot treat a stain, bleach is a powerful ingredient.

While bleach can be very helpful, it is very harsh on the natural fibers that make up you sheets. Overdoing it with bleach can cause your bed sheets to feel rough and it can even cause the bonds of the fibers to weaken and make them more susceptible to rips and tears.

If you do decide to go with the bleaching method, go with an oxygen based bleach, it tends to be a bit gentler on fabrics.

How to Wash White Sheets with Bleach

You can use bleach to help whiten your sheets by using it in your washing machine or washing by hand. The washing machine being the most ideal, because bleach can be very destructive if it gets on anything it’s not meant to.

If you’re using a washing machine, begin by filling it with hot water. Then add one cap full of bleach and one cap full of laundry detergent. Before putting the sheets in, be sure the bleach and detergent have a chance to evenly mix throughout the water. Then run the sheets through a normal wash cycle.

To hand wash your sheets, you’ll need a bucket or tub. Simply fill it with a gallon of water and ½ cup of bleach. You can then carefully put the sheets in the solution and allow them to soak for no more than 15 minutes, and then rinse them with clean water or run them through the machine.

How to get Yellow Stains out of White Sheets with Vinegar & Baking Soda

Since bleach can be quite aggressive, you might be wondering how to whiten sheets without bleach. One option is using baking soda and distilled white vinegar. These are great alternatives to using harsh chemicals like bleach.

Both baking soda and vinegar help to whiten and brighten fabrics naturally. You can simply add them in with your regular laundry detergent. Start with just ½ cup of baking soda to start.

Once the wash cycle is complete, add ½ cup of the vinegar for the rinse cycle. The vinegar helps add an extra boost of whitening power, and you’ll be happy to know that its smell rinses away in the wash.

Baking Soda for Spot Treating White Sheets

If you’re trying to spot treat an area on your sheets, you can create a baking soda paste that can be easily applied. Rinse the sheet so that it’s damp. Then all you need is ½ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of water. Mix them together until it becomes a paste and spread it onto the discolored area.

Allow the paste to dry completely and then wipe off any excess paste and run the sheet through a normal wash cycle in the washing machine. For drying, it’s best to hang the bed sheet so that the heat from the dryer doesn’t cause any residue to adhere to the sheet.

The Do's and Don't of White Sheets

best way to clean white sheets

White sheets can create a clean, fresh feel to your bedroom, but they do require some maintenance and care to keep them looking that way. After a while, you might find yourself asking, “why do my bed sheets turn yellow?” or “how can I avoid staining my white sheets?”

There are a few things to keep in mind that will help your keep your sheets looking their best.

Don’t Sleep in Your Makeup

This might seem obvious, but you actually need to be quite thorough when cleaning your makeup off. Even the slightest traces of foundation or leftover mascara can transfer on your sheets.

Don’t Bring Food into Your Bed

Food stains can be difficult to get out of white bedding, so it’s best to not even risk it. Even if it just seems like an innocent cup of coffeeor a snack during your evening movie, the tiniest spill or wipe of your hand can cause an unsightly stain in an instant.

Clean Stains and Spills Immediately

This one is major. The longer you let a stain sit and soak in, the harder it is to get it out. This is true when it comes to stains on most fabrics, but it’s especially true for white sheets. The quicker you act, the better your chances are of completely removing the stain.

Avoid Chlorine Based Bleach

When it comes to figuring out how to keep white bedding white, bleach is something you might turn to. However, you must be cautious with what type of bleach you decide to use.

We’ve already discussed how damaging bleach can be, but did you know that chlorine based bleaches can actually cause your sheets to take on a yellow hue?


While white sheets can be a really stunning addition to your bedroom, they don’t always stay as bright white as you’d like them. Regular use and accidents can cause them to become discolored and stained,

Luckily, there are several options to consider when you’re trying to figure out how whiten dingy sheets. Give these tips a try and get your sheets looking good as new.


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