Smart advice for washing and caring for bedding

June 19, 2015

A good night’s sleep starts with a clean and comfortable bed decked out in fresh sheets, pillows and blankets. Take the first step by following these helpful hints for washing and caring for your bedding.

Smart advice for washing and caring for bedding

Blanket care

  • Soak a very dirty non-woolen blanket for 20 minutes, then wash it on a gentle cycle in warm water.
  • Gently wash a woolen blanket on a machine wool cycle or (preferably) by hand, using warm water – never hot.
  • Gently squeeze out the washed blanket, then roll it in towels to remove excess water. Dry flat or draped over several lines on your clothes line.
  • To avoid matting the fibres of the wool (felting), don't rub or wring out the blanket.
  • Don't tumble-dry a woolen blanket as it could become damaged.

Bed linen and bedding

Sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers should be washed weekly. Bulkier bedding items – such as pillows, blankets and duvets – may not need frequent washing, but they can also be laundered when necessary.

  • Machine wash sheets, pillowcases, duvet covers and mattress protectors and dry them on the clothes line if possible.
  • Polyester, foam and feather pillows are all washable, but make sure they are absolutely dry before using them. Regularly air them between washes.
  • Depending on their size, pillows can be washed in a washing machine on a warm, gentle cycle with reduced spin.
  • You can also wash pillows by hand in soapy water or with wool wash. Rinse several times and dry flat outside in the shade, turning over and shaking frequently.
  • Air duvets outside once a week.
  • Most duvets – whether filled with feathers, polyester, cotton, wool or a combination – can be washed. Check the care label for precise instructions.
  • To wash a duvet, knead it in warm, soapy water (or use wool wash) in the bath. Rinse well in several changes of water.
  • It's better not to wring, spin-dry or line-dry a duvet. To keep the filling evenly distributed, squeeze out as much water as you can and dry the duvet outdoors, laying it flat on the grass atop an old sheet and turning and shaking it frequently.
  • If necessary, fluff up pillows and duvets in the tumble-dryer for about 10 minutes. For duvets, add two or three clean tennis balls to the drum to help break up the feathers.
  • If you shake and fold bed linen as you take it down from the line, it will not need ironing.

Homemade eucalyptus wool wash

This recipe has been used to wash wool for generations. It's ideal for blankets, quilts and pillows. The eucalyptus oil helps to keep the wool soft and also repels moths.


  • 500 grams (2 cups) soap flakes
  • 125 millilitres (1/2 cup) methylated spirits
  • 25 millilitres (5 teaspoons) eucalyptus oil


  1. Add all the ingredients together in a wide-mouthed jar and shake until combined.
  2. Use 30 millilitres (2 tablespoons) of wool wash per litre of warm water, then rinse.
  3. Add vinegar to the final rinse to keep face washers fresh and sanitized.

At the end of a long day, few things are better than curling up in a comfortable bed with freshly washed sheets!

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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