You just got a new set of bedsheets, and you’re excited to put them on your bed and start using them. However, when you open the package, you notice your new sheets feel stiff. They aren’t the soft, comfortable sheets you’d hoped for.
Maybe you have a favorite set of sheets you’ve been using for a long time. You thought that your sheets would be soft by now because you’ve been using them for months, but they remain stiff. Whether your bedsheets are new or old, there are easy ways to soften your stiff bedsheets with common household items.
Why Are Your Bedsheets Stiff?
New bedsheets feel stiff due to the chemical treatments manufacturers use on them. These treatments make the sheets look crisp. However, they also tend to leave the sheets feeling stiff. If old sheets feel stiff, it could be due to improper washing and drying.
How to Soften Bedsheets
Here are some common household items you can use to soften various types of bedsheets.
Try using half the amount of suggested detergent to wash your sheets. Using the full amount can lead to residue building up on your sheets over time, which can make them stiff. It may also help to run your sheets through an extra rinse cycle to reduce or get rid of any detergent residue left on them.
Vinegar is a great fabric softener. Put ½ to one full cup of white vinegar into your washing machine’s fabric softener compartment to help soften your stiff bedsheets. Don’t worry, the vinegar won’t make your bedsheets smell bad.
Put one cup of salt in a tub of cool water. Soak your bedsheets in the saltwater for two days before washing them in the washing machine as usual.
4. Dryer Balls
Use wool dryer balls in your dryer when you dry your sheets. Wool dryer balls won’t just help soften your sheets. They would reduce static, as well. If you don’t have wool dryer balls, you can use some new tennis balls instead.
5. Baking Soda
Before you use your new sheets, put them in your washing machine with a cup of baking soda instead of detergent. Use the gentle cycle and cold to warm water. To help soften old bedsheets, you can add ½ cup baking soda to your regular detergent when you wash them.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar and Hair Conditioner Fabric Softener
Make this fabric softener by placing three cups of water into a quart-sized jar. Add one cup of apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of regular hair conditioner to the jar. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Put your sheets into your washing machine. Fill it with warm water. Add ½ cup of the fabric softener you made, and allow your sheets to soak overnight. Run the sheets through the rinse cycle the next day to remove the fabric softener.
7. Vinegar Fabric Softener for the Dryer
Apart from using vinegar in the washer, you can use it in the dryer as well. Pour one cup of vinegar into a spray bottle, and add 10 to 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to it. Shake the bottle well to mix the ingredients. Spray your laundry with the mixture before drying it.
8. Epsom Salt and Baking Soda
In a container, combine two cups of Epsom salt with ½ cup of baking soda. Add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix. Close the container, and shake it to mix the ingredients. When you wash your sheets, add two to three teaspoons of the mixture to your washer.
In a laundry tub of cool water, add ½ cup of borax. Allow your sheets to soak overnight. The next day, run your sheets through the washer without detergent.
10. Use Soap Nuts
Laundry detergent can leave behind residue, resulting in stiff bedsheets. Try using soap nuts instead of detergent. Soap nuts are berries that possess saponin, a natural cleaning agent. There’s no need to use a fabric softener with soap nuts because they don’t leave behind any chemical residue.
11. White Vinegar and Glycerin
In a glass jar, combine two cups of water, two cups of white vinegar, 1/8 cup of vegetable glycerin, and 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix or shake to combine the ingredients. Add ½ cup of the mixture to your washer’s final rinse cycle using a fabric softener dispenser.
12. Baking Soda and Vinegar
As mentioned above, you can use baking soda and vinegar alone to soften your sheets, but you can also use them together. Add one cup of baking soda to your regular detergent in your washer when you wash your sheets. Add ½ to one cup of white vinegar to your washer’s fabric softener compartment. When you’re using these ingredients together, be sure they do not mix in the washer.
When you go to bed, you want to be greeted by soft sheets, not scratchy, stiff bedsheets. Whether your sheets are brand new or years old, you can easily soften them by using the techniques described in this article.