Sustainable bamboo sheets

How to Remove Stains From Your Favourite Bamboo Bed Sheets

One of the best things about bamboo sheets is how they endure, season after season and year after year. With the proper care, bamboo fabric stays soft, comfortable and hypoallergenic for many years.

In all that time, life will likely get a little messy. Sweat, oils and blood can discolour your favourite bamboo bed sheets.

But by making careful, considerate stain removal choices, you can lift pernicious stains without damaging bamboo’s hypoallergenic natural fibres.

How does bamboo fabric become stained?

During the night, our bodies produce sweat to cool our core temperature. While bamboo fabric allows the moisture particles from sweat to evaporate, some discolouration is common over time.

Similarly, oils from moisturisers and body lotions, bodily fluids and dirt can discolour your sheets.

The same natural fibres which give bamboo fabric its buttery softness are also highly absorbent. Washing your bamboo sheets every 7-10 days will prevent bacteria build-up and discolouration from sweat and body oils, although tougher spots and stains might need special attention.

Washing bamboo fabric to remove dirt and stains

Thankfully, washing stains out of bamboo fabric is easy. The key is to be gentle: no harsh chemicals, bleach or scalding water. Just gentle household cleaners, gentle handling and a gentle wash cycle.

Keep the water temperature cool

Although it might be tempting to run a 60°C cycle for stained bed sheets, hot water damages the organic fibres in bamboo fabric and can shrink your sheets.

Water between 30-40°C is better for bamboo because it cleans the fibres without degrading their strength or softness.

Let your sheets soak

Soaking stained bamboo fabric for at least half an hour before washing will help lift stains out of the fibres.

For sweat stains that accumulate gradually, add a splash of eco-friendly detergent to cool water and soak the sheet for 30 minutes. Let longer stains soak for a few hours to give the detergent time to work deeper into the fibres.

As a rule of thumb, the longer you soak your sheets, the cleaner they will be. Remember not to use any bleach as the abrasive chemicals can attack the fabric’s natural suppleness.

Choose the right wash cycle

After soaking, wash your sheets on a gentle 30-40°C cycle using a mild eco-friendly detergent. Avoid fabric softener for the same reason as bleach.

Almost every washing machine has a “delicates” setting which is ideal for bamboo bedding. The detergent and water together do most of the work to lift stains without resorting to aggressive washing cycles.

We know how much you love your bed, and we want to help you make it even better. That's why we're offering an additional $10 off your total order when you use the code OLARA10 for our organic bamboo bedding.


Line dry after washing

The best way to dry bamboo fabric sheets is to hang them in a dry place out of direct sunlight. Fresh air will help the fabric evaporate excess moisture from washing, while line drying prevents shrinking, wrinkles and abrasion.

If you need to tumble dry your bamboo sheets, remember the key word: gentle. Turn the dryer to a low temperature and remove the sheets as soon as they finish drying.

How to handle stubborn stains on bamboo sheets

Some stains need a little help. If soaking and washing have not done the job, you can find several effective spot treatments in your home.

Vinegar mixture

White vinegar is a highly effective stain remover that doesn’t damage bamboo and other organic fabric. Soak the stained area in a 1:4 vinegar to water mixture for a few minutes before adding your sheets to the washing machine.

Hydrogen peroxide

Although it is used as a bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide in low concentrations is actually a common antiseptic treatment and highly effective at removing blood stains from bamboo sheets.

Add a few drops to water and let your stains soak for no longer than a few minutes before moving to the washer.

Enzyme stain remover

Enzyme-based stain removers are affordable and effective. Apply the stain remover directly to the stain and let the sheet soak for up to 15 minutes.

In that time, the natural enzymes will do their work to shift ingrained stains like blood and dirt.

Dish detergent

Dishwashing liquid removes oil and grease from fabric as well as dishes. You can add a splash of dish soap to soak your sheets before washing or dab a fresh stain with dish soap on a clean cloth.

Once again, gentle is best. Dabbing a stain works the dishwashing soap into the fibres where rubbing can spread the stain.

Sodium bicarbonate

Otherwise known as bi-carb or baking soda, the humble sodium bicarbonate in your cupboard doubles as a stain remover for bamboo fabric sheets. Create a paste of water and sodium bicarbonate and apply before putting your sheets in the wash to let the salt lift your stains.

Bamboo fabric sheets can last 10 years with the proper gentle care. For more tips on caring for your favourite sheets, visit the OLARA blog or join our social media community.

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