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Stain Removal, Laundry How To

How to Remove Stains From Bed Sheets: 6 Effective Solutions

You’re enjoying your morning coffee in peace and quiet when all of a sudden, your little one comes running into your bedroom and jumps into bed with you, leaving behind a colorful reminder of breakfast. Sound familiar? Or maybe you’re settling in for a cozy night of Netflix when you realise there’s a big red wine stain on your beautiful sheets.

Whether they’re luxury sets or crisp white sheets, it’s inevitable – at some point or other your bed linen is going to get stained. Food stains, oily stains, bodily fluids – there’s no escape!

Luckily, there are a few different ways to remove stains from your bedding, depending on the type of stain you’re dealing with, so don’t despair! I’ve got you covered with my guide on how to remove stains from bed sheets.

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What you’ll need

Before you start tackling those unsightly stains, you’ll need to gather up a few supplies. For general purpose cleaning, all you really need is some soap, cold water and a good old fashioned scrub brush.

If you’re dealing with more stubborn stains, you may need to break out the big guns: hydrogen peroxide or oxygen bleach.

You’ll also want to have some rubber gloves on hand to protect your hands from the harsh chemicals. Trust us – you don’t want to bleach getting on your skin!

How to remove stains from bed sheets:

First things first… I know it’s easier said than done, but the quicker you tackle the stain, the easier it will be to remove.

Stains that have had time to set are going to be a lot harder to get out than those that are fresh. So, as soon as you notice the stain, grab your supplies and get to work!

Removing blood stains

A fresh blood stain is easier to remove than a dry one. Don’t let it sit too long before you wash it or it will start to set. 

Start by soaking the stained area in cold water for about 30 minutes. This will help to break down the stain so that it is easier to remove. You definitely don’t want to use hot water first as this will cause the blood to set into the fabric.

Once the area has soaked, create a paste using equal parts dish soap and water. Rub this onto the stain using a clean cloth or sponge, being careful not to rub too hard as you don’t want to damage the fabric. Rinse the area with cold water and repeat as necessary until the stain is gone (or at least mostly gone).

Pop it into the washing machine on a cool cycle and voila – good as new!

Removing sweat stains

Yellow stains that come from body oils and sweat can be some of the hardest stains to remove from bed sheets – but it is possible.

A pre-wash stain remover is a good place to start. Apply it to the area and let it sit before popping your sheets into the wash. The longer you let it soak, the more time the stain remover will have to break down the oils.

If you don’t have any pre-wash stain remover, no sweat (pun intended). You can make your own by mixing one part liquid dish soap with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Rub this mixture into the stained area and let it sit before washing as normal in a warm water wash cycle.

Removing red wine stains

Ah red wine – the drink of choice for many of us. But it can be a real pain when it comes to stains, especially on bed sheets.

The good news is that there are a few ways you can remove red wine stains from your bed sheets.

Start by blotting up as much of the wine as you can with a clean cloth or paper towel. The more wine you can remove, the better.

Surprisingly, white wine can actually help to remove red wine stains. So, pour a small amount of white wine over the stained area and blot it up with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.

If you don’t have any white wine on hand (or you don’t want to waste it!), you can also use a cup of vinegar. Pour a small amount of hot water and vinegar mixture onto the stain and blot it up. Repeat as necessary until the stain is gone and throw in the wash with a half cup of baking soda to finish it off.

How to remove stains from bed sheets woman holding a cup of coffee on bed

Removing coffee stains

There’s nothing like starting the day with a cup of coffee – and that day can be ruined if you end up with coffee stains all over your bed sheets.

To remove coffee stains from your bed sheets, put a small amount of dish detergent onto a clean towel and rub it into the stain while running warm water over it.

If the stain is still there, you can try using an oxygen bleach solution. Mix one part oxygen bleach with four parts water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing with warm water and throwing it in on a regular wash cycle.

Removing make-up stains

Make up and other oil based stains, such as moisturiser or deodorant, can be some of the hardest to remove as they get trapped in the fabric.

The best way to remove make up stains is to use a liquid detergent or laundry detergent and let it soak into the fabric for around 30 minutes. Rinse and repeat as necessary until the stain is gone.

You can also make a paste using baking soda and water to get rid of make-up stains. Rub this into the stain and let it sit for around 30 minutes before rinsing it off and popping it in the wash.

Removing fake tan stains

Anyone who has ever used fake tan knows the dreaded moment when you realise you have stained your bed sheets (which happens pretty much EVERY time I’ve ever used it).

The good news is that there are a few ways you can remove fake tan stains from your bed sheets

To start, mix together hydrogen peroxide and cold water in a 1:3 ratio and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for around 30 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

If you don’t have any hydrogen peroxide, you can also try using lemon juice and follow the above process.

General cleaning tips on removing stains from sheet sets

  • Try to avoid using harsh chemicals where possible. While it might be necessary to use something like hydrogen peroxide on tougher stains, you don’t want to use it all the time as it can damage the fabric.
  • For very small stains, try using distilled white vinegar on the stained area. Don’t worry too much about the vinegar smell as this will dissipate once the bed sheets are washed in cool water.
  • If you’re dealing with a particularly tough stain, you may need to repeat the process a few times before it completely disappears. Be patient and keep at it!
  • Be sure to read the care label on your bedding before attempting to remove any stains. Some fabrics are more delicate than others and require special care.
  • If you’re using any kind of bleach, be sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions to a T. And as always, rubber gloves are your friend!
  • When in doubt, always err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure whether or not a particular method is going to work, it’s always best to test it out on a small, inconspicuous area first.
  • Air drying your sheets after you remove stains is the best option. If any residual stains on sheets remain and you dry them in the dryer, it could set them and make them much harder to remove.
  • Washing your bed sheets and duvet covers regularly will help to prevent stains from setting in and becoming difficult to remove.
  • Invest in a machine washable mattress protector to help keep your mattress clean and free of stains.

Now that you know how to remove stains from bed sheets, you can sleep easy knowing that those inevitable accidents aren’t going to ruin your whole set!

Just remember to act quickly, be patient and always follow the care instructions for your specific fabric. With a little elbow grease (and maybe a little hydrogen peroxide), those stains will be gone in no time and you can enjoy fresh clean sheets in your bedroom sanctuary.

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