Why Sheets Turn Yellow And How to Prevent It?

  • Over time, bed sheets (especially white ones) might start turning yellow-ish - and that’s normal!
  • Bedding may turn yellow for a variety of reasons, such as body fluids, sweat, even the body lotion we use!
  • In the article below, we will look deeper into those reasons and will explore some of the most effective methods to prevent your sheets from yellowing.

Want it or not, various stains appear on our beloved bed sheets over time. If some of them could be prevented (such as food stains), yellow stains that appear from our body fluids - are practically inevitable.

No matter how frequently you shower and change your pajamas, your beloved white sheets might still turn yellow. And that's normal! Your body fluids, sweat, skin oil, various creams and lotions you use - any of that can leave some yellow stains on your white sheets and you can hardly control it.

On the other hand, it's not totally out of your hands - there are actually some tips and tricks to remove those annoying yellow stains and to prevent your white sheets from turning yellow. Intrigued? Continue reading!

magic linen white sheet set

How to Prevent White Sheets from Yellowing

The most common factors causing the appearance of the yellowish shade are naturally produced by your body, and, unfortunately, there’s no way to stop it.

However, there are some super effective methods to get rid of that yellow shade and brighten your sheets again. What’s best, is that most of them are natural and very cheap!

The very first thought that comes into your mind when thinking about whitening solutions is, probably, the bleach. But honestly, this harsh chemical should be the last from all of your options.

Although the bleach has whitening properties and in some cases can be useful, it's not the best solution for whitening yellow stains on linen. That's because the bleach oxidizes with natural body fluids, therefore it can damage your sheets and even make the stains look worse and impossible to remove.

Below we'll introduce you to some effective natural cleaning methods to brighten your linen sheets!

Wash the Sheets Regularly

Simple as it may sound, regular washing might prevent your sheets from turning yellow. And it is very logical:

  • The more time your body fluids remain in your sheets, the dirtier they look.
  • Even if you cannot see or smell the stains - they exist because you use your bedding every single night (and day, sometimes).
  • Golden rule: do not wait for the stains to smell or be visible - wash your bedding set regularly using the usual laundry detergent. Ideally - once a week or every two weeks is ideal.

Air-Dry the Sheets In Sunlight

Another simple but very effective tip to prevent your sheets from turning yellow-ish - is to air-dry them in natural sunlight as much as possible.

  • The light of the sun has a natural whitening/bleaching effect (that's exactly why you should air-dry your colorful clothes inside-out).
  • Air-drying your bedsheets in the direct sunlight when there are no visible yellow stains will prevent them from building up.
  • Air-drying your bed sheets in direct sunlight when the yellow stains are already visible will lighten them up and make it less visible.

TIP: Not only natural sunlight whitens bed sheets - but it also makes your sheets smell super fresh!

 magiclinen white linen sheet set

Yellow Stains on White Sheets: How to Remove Them?

First of all, a quick reminder - yellow stains are not the signal for you to throw away your beloved white sheets! There are few natural cleaning methods that could help you to remove those stains and make your linen sheets white and clean again.

Baking Soda

Not only does baking soda make your bakes rise up - but it is also a magical powder that is widely used for cleaning purposes.

  • Simply add half of a cup of baking soda into your usual laundry detergent and wash your bed sheets in the washing machine.
  • Not only does baking soda help to remove the yellow stains, but it also removes unwanted smells from your bed sheets.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is also a natural cleaning solution that comes right after baking soda. It is a natural stain remover that also helps eliminate bad odors from fabrics.

  • Pour 1/2 of a cup of vinegar in a big bucket of hot water (around 1 gallon of water).
  • Soak your bed sheets in the mixed solution for an hour or two.
  • Afterward, drop your sheets into the washing machine and run it under the regular cycle (use a mild laundry detergent).

TIP: It is recommended to air-dry your sheets as vinegar might leave a slight smell (don't worry, it evaporates very fast).

Lemon Juice

One more amazing natural cleaning detergent is lemon juice. As it also has natural bleaching properties, it could help your sheets become white and crisp again!

  • Squeeze the juice from one lemon into your regular washing powder before washing the sheets in the washing machine.
  • Lemon juice not only whitens the fabric but also provides a nice and fresh smell.

TIP: For a stronger effect, combine lemon juice and vinegar cleaning methods: first, soak your sheets in the vinegar solution, and then wash it in the washing machine pouring squeezed lemon juice into the laundry detergent. Not only this combination will boost the whitening effect, but lemon juice will also neutralize the smell of the vinegar instantly!

Important: please note that improper use of any cleaning detergent may result in damaging your linen item. Make sure you always follow our official linen care guide carefully.

 magiclinen bedding white linen

Tips & Tricks to Maintain White Sheets

  1. Follow washing label instructions. Do not experiment with washing your sheets following your instincts! This detail might not look important, but sheets might be made from a combination of different materials, therefore it's always a better idea to follow the manufacturer's washing advice for your sheets.
  2. Use hot water. And by hot, we mean very very hot. Hot water helps to clean the stains that are deeper in the fabric.
  3. Regular washing. As already mentioned - wash your sheets regularly. If needed, make a washing schedule so that you won't forget. For colorful sheets, it's enough to wash them every 2 weeks, for white ones - once a week would be ideal if you want to keep them crispy white.
  4. Rinse before you wash. We found it effective to rinse the bed sheets with lukewarm water for about 30 seconds just before washing them in a washing machine. This way all the oils, dead skin cells, and other body fluids are better washed out from the fabric.
  5. Separate whites from another laundry. Hopefully, you already do that and that's not news for you! Whites are always washed separately from any other laundry. That's probably rule No. 1 to maintain white bed sheets white for a longer time.
  6. Skip chemical fabric softeners. The problem with fabric softeners is that although they soften the fabric, they do not rinse very well. We recommend better use a natural fabric softener - like vinegar! Simply add half of a cup of vinegar directly to the fabric softener tray in your washing machine. Besides, vinegar also has a whitening effect. So, use vinegar instead of store-bought fabric softener and get a 2 in 1!
  7. Don't eat in bed. Well, that's a pretty logical tip when talking about avoiding stains... However, eating in bed on the weekend is fun! Therefore, we recommend you to be careful when eating in bed and try to avoid any food stains or spills.

Finally, if you still want to use bleach to whiten your bed sheets - use it wisely.

  • First of all, wash your bed sheets with regular washing powder (any laundry detergents you use should be chlorine-free) to remove most of the dirt from your sheets.
  • After that, drop the sheets in the washing machine again, pour 1/2 of a cup of bleach directly into the drum and run the regular washing cycle.
  • Washing your sheets before using the bleach will ensure that none of the stains will appear after bleaching the fabric.

Here you go, now you know more than enough ways on how to remove the yellow stains from your linen bedding and how to keep your white bed sheets crispy white for as long as possible!

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