What Happens if You Don’t Wash New Sheets?

Do you really need to wash new sheets or other bedding before you use them? And what happens if you don’t wash new sheets? Here is what we’ve discovered after talking to experts. New bed sheets may look clean, crisp, and ready to be used. There is a lot to know, including the fact that they were made in a factory. Therefore, it would make sense to clean them for the first time?

But is that true? In most cases, it’s usually a personal choice. Jenifer, a health expert from Kansas says “It’s not a rule to wash new sheets and other bedding right away, but it’s a good practice.”

Yes, you should wash new sheets before using them. Cleaning new sheets removes dust and chemicals that the fabrics might have picked in the factory and during transportation. Also, some dyes and chemicals tend to irritate the skin when not cleaned properly.

Why Should You Wash New Bed Sheets?

Why you should clean new sheets

During production, bed sheets could interact with stray chemicals that help keep them crisp. This can also happen during shipping and handling. Our short answer is – Yes, you should clean new bed sheets before using them.


Bed sheets get dirty and dusty when they are made in factories that aren’t always very clean and free from chemicals.

  • They are made with dyes and chemicals like formaldehyde that can irritate skin and eyes, especially for people who have sensitive skin or allergies.
  • It has also been through many steps and distribution and its common for your bed sheets to be handled by a lot of people. The truth is that many things that are industrially manufactured are handled by many people, even though that doesn’t sound cozy.

When the goal is to restore much purity to the bed sheets, wash them in the machine with some detergent before you put them on your bed. You should also wash your new pillowcases, because they get dirty too. In general, wash every bedding that will touch your skin. Before you use your sheets, you don’t have to wash them.

But if you want clean, fresh sheets, it’s very important that you do it. There are several things that could happen if you don’t wash new sheets. If you don’t want to wash your sheets yourself, consider using an affordable cleaning service.

What Happens if You Don’t Wash New Sheets?

If you don’t wash new sheets, you could develop allergic reaction to the chemical residues or dirt in the new sheets. People with sensitive skins could experience irritation or itching. Therefore, it is important to wash new sheets with a hypoallergenic detergent.

Suppose you don’t wash your new sheets and sleep on them, what happens? According to Kleinman, the majority of individuals will be OK and will not experience any adverse effects.

However, if you have sensitive skin, any chemical residue may cause itching or irritation of the skin. Additionally, while washing clothes and linens, she suggests using a hypoallergenic, toxins-free detergent (which is also safer for the environment).

The principle applies to new clothing such as jeans.

When you sit in dyed apparel, such as jeans, there is a possibility of the dye seeping into your blouse or furniture. Preventing this can be accomplished by washing new jeans before to their first wear.

  • New bed sheets, especially non-white ones could contain dyes that may coat your mattress and other bedding.
  • Preventing this can be accomplished by washing new fabrics before their first use.

Many people experience an uncomfortable, unpleasant sensation when sleeping on unwashed bedding. This is causes by a starch known as “sizing,” which helps maintain the sheets smooth and crisp throughout storage. Nobody likes to purchase wrinkled, bunched-up sheets, thus sizing ensures that they remain appealing until purchased.

This is why new sheets, even if they are made of a soft material, might feel scratchy or hard. With a little soap, water, and a few of dryer sheets, they will smell much better and feel much cleaner to sleep on.

Additionally, after a thorough wash or two, any damage or defects in the sheets become more obvious. Loose threads, rips, or holes may become apparent – and the sooner they are discovered, the better. If you discover a fault within the return policy’s time limit, you will very certainly be able to receive a refund or exchange the item for a non-defective set. After seeing what happens if you don’t wash new sheets, let us jump to the cleaning process.

Should you Clean Bed Sheets Made from Natural Fibers?

Even natural fibers can be exposed to things that could turn out to be irritants. That is because fabrics go through a ton of processes before getting to you.

Those natural fibers need to be scrubbed and cleaned before they become yarn. Yarn spinning needs lubricants. Other times, resins are used for warp sizing and starches can be used in the weaving process. In that case, soap products, sodium hydroxide, or bleaching may be needed to clean yarn and fabric so that they can be dyed or printed properly.

But you do not want to sleep on those bed sheets fresh from the factory because those chemicals sometimes come with smell and irritants.

New Bed Sheets May Contain Dyes to Stain Your Clothes

Manufacturers use a lot of different chemicals to keep linens fresh in their packages before they are sold. As long as you use sheets and bedding the right way, their chemical components are safe. However, they should still be washed away before you sleep on your new sheets. In addition, most sheets of a darker color will still have some dye that needs to be washed away, so you should wash them.

Failing to clean new sheets could lead to staining of your pillows, or even your special clothes.

How to Clean New Sheets

Cleaning new sheets is not difficult because you need to use the same procedure as old sheets, but with just a few precautions. After selecting the appropriate sheets, follow these steps for proper washing and cleaning before putting them on your bed.

1. Use baking soda to clean new sheets

Soften your new sheets by washing them with one cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar before the final rinse. Avoid using detergent, since it may actually trap dangerous compounds in the sheets rather than eliminating them. Wash your bedding in warm water and you’ll quickly notice that they’re loose and smelling fresh!

2. Dry the sheets

Dryer sheets act as a fabric softener and help prevent static effects. Additionally, they smell fantastic and will help to conceal the fresh scent of the new bedding right out of the package.

3. Iron your bed sheets

Simply iron your new sheets to keep their freshness! This will smooth out wrinkles and creases and leave a great feel on your skin. New sheets do not remain new indefinitely. Even the most meticulously maintained white sheets may eventually get a little touch of discoloration.

If you have white sheets, you may want to learn how to keep your sheets whites for longer.

How Many Times Should I Wash New Sheets?

New sheets should be washed once before use. When done properly, washing multiple times may not be necessary. But there are exceptions. Certain fabrics, for instance, flannel sheets, frequently come with a warning that they pill after repeated washings. As a result, you may want to avoid washing them twice.

Additionally, dark-colored sheets can be dyed and that makes them suitable for washing more than once before use. Using cold water for at least one of the washes can help in extending the life of your bedding.

Best practices for washing new sheets

  • Always check the care label on new bed sheets—anything that states “Dry Clean Only” or is extremely tailored should not be washed or dried.
  • Our cleaning experts also recommend washing in cold water to prolong the lifespan of your sheets.
  • Hang-drying your sheets would be a better drying option rather than the machine.
  • Our cleaning experts also recommend washing in cold water to prolong the lifespan of your sheets.  
  • Heat in the dryer or washing machine can cause your favorite bed sheets to fade, stretch, and shrink.

We hope the answer to “what happens if you don’t wash new sheets?”