Laundering & Fabric Care
Tips from our bedding experts to insure your linens last for years to come.
There's nothing like sleeping in freshly washed bedding!
In this guide you'll discover:
Care & Usage
Prewash: For the most comfortable experience, we recommend washing your linens before you sleep in them. Why? Well, we add a little extra fabric to our sheets and duvet covers to make up for any incidental shrinkage, so prewashing will ensure a snug fit. Many fabrics, like bamboo cotton and linen, become even softer with repeated washing too!
Coloured linens: Add one to one and a half cups of white vinegar, or half a cup of salt, to the wash cycle to promote colour retention and prevent pilling.
Touch ups: For a smooth look, touch up your linens with a quick iron on a low setting.
Storage: Pro-tip: store your folded sheets in a pillowcase for efficient organization and easy access.
Warning: Due to their natural fibers, our luxury sheets may be affected by lotions and creams with chemical ingredients, which can act like bleach or leave oil stains. If you use such products, it's best to avoid richly-coloured bedding (though stains can still occur in light colours as well).
Tips & Tricks
Freshness: Keep three sets of sheets for each bed and rotate weekly to maintain cleanliness. When possible, hang your linens to dry outside (just not in direct sun!). This prevents static cling and imparts a fresh, pleasant scent.
Ironing perks: Heat from ironing helps kill germs and dust mites that might remain after washing.
Oil stain removal: Spot clean with a grease cutting agent like Grandma’s Spot Remover, scrub gently, then wash as usual by hand or machine and rinse thoroughly. Repeat if necessary. For stain removal tips, visit this page.
Out with the old: It’s time to replace your sheets when you see obvious signs of aging such as: stains, fraying, or faded colours and patterns.
Check the instructions: Carefully read any packaging and wash instructions to avoid accidentally damaging your linens.
Turn inside out: Add one to one and a half cups of white vinegar, or half a cup of salt, to the wash cycle to promote colour retention and prevent pilling.
Machine wash: Use cold water on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent that doesn’t contain bleach — such as Nellie’s® All-Natural laundry products — to protect the natural fibers of your linens. Use small amounts of soap to ensure fabric won’t end up feeling stiff or scratchy. If you are not using a liquid detergent, dilute soap powder with water to avoid excess residue.
Be careful with stain removers: If you do decide to use one, opt for a bleach-free product, like our Grandma’s Spot Remover.
Do not overload: Always wash your linens separately, and only with similar colours! This will ensure they have enough room to move freely, and prevent pulling/tearing of the fabric or discolouration. For example: wash your duvet cover on its own, and your sheets, towels, or other clothing on their own as well.
Do not use fabric softeners: These can leave a coating on your linens and weaken their natural fibers, or cause discolouration. Some medicated creams, tooth whiteners, perfumes, and hair products may cause fabric discolouration as well.
Hang to dry: If you’re able, hang drying is always preferable and will prolong the life of your linens (not to mention it minimizes the need for ironing!)
Tumble dry low: Drying on low heat helps prevent fabric from fraying, fading, or stretching. Tumble dry on a low or no heat setting and remove promptly at cycle end.
Use dryer balls, not dryer sheets: Dryer sheets can weaken your linen’s natural fibers. We recommend using Nellie’s® Lamby Wool Dryerballs to minimize wrinkles, reduce static cling, and promote efficient drying.
Do not overload: Linens should be able to tumble freely in the dryer. Avoid fabric softening sheets, as some may cause discolouration. access.
Remove from dryer while still damp: If possible, use the Damp Dry setting and finish by hang drying to minimize wrinkling.
Do not overdry: Once the cycle is complete, remove your linens from the dryer immediately to avoid shrinkage and minimize wrinkling. If you like, touch up with an iron on a low to mid-range temperature setting.
100% Cotton Fabric Care
If you're a 100% cotton kind of sleeper, you probably know this fabric requires a little more laundering attention!
We recommend the following when caring for cotton:
- Stick to a detergent without bleach, such as Nellie's® Laundry Soda.
- For darker colours, add 1-1½ cups of white vinegar or ½ cup of salt to wash cycle to improve colour retention.
- Do not overdry
- To reduce the need for ironing, remove promptly from the dryer.
- For a crisp press, iron while slightly damp.
Jacquard Fabric Care
There's a lot to love about jacquards. They're luxuriously thick, textured, and will add instant elegance to your bedroom decor. Due to their woven nature, they require a little closer care, but the trade off is that a jacquard can last for years.
We recommend the following when caring for jacquards:
- Launder whites and colours separately.
- Use cold water and choose a gentle or delicate cycle with a mild washing solution such as Nellie’s® All-Natural laundry products, Woolite, or Zero.
- Do not bleach.
- Turn duvet cover and shams inside out when washing to protect trim and details.
- Prolong the life of a jacquard and eliminate the need for pressing by hanging to dry.
- Always refer to a product's care label for specific instructions.
Linen Fabric Care
Like a fine wine, linen only gets better with age! The more you use and wash linen, the softer and suppler it becomes.
We recommend the following when caring for linen:
- Launder whites and colours separately.
- Machine wash cold on a gentle or delicate cycle, with a gentle detergent such as Nellie’s® Laundry Soda.
- If tumble drying, do not overdry and use a gentle setting with low or no heat.
- If possible, remove from the washing machine when slightly damp and hang dry to finish.
- If desired, use a hot iron on the wrong side of the fabric when still damp.
- Prolong the life of linen by hanging to dry.
- Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
- Do not dry clean.
Flannel Fabric Care
We make all our flannel bedding with 100% cotton! We also include a little extra fabric to account for any incidental shrinkage. Note that excess lint is characteristic of flannel and will mostly disappear after laundering three to four times.
We recommend the following when caring for flannel:
- Before first use, wash flannel bedding with 1 cup of white vinegar instead of laundry detergent or add 1 cup of white vinegar into the rinse cycle to help reduce pilling (and prevent future pilling!)
- Use cold wash and a lower dryer setting.
- Do not bleach.
- Never overload the washer or dryer when caring for flannel bedding.
- Bear in mind that lint loss is a characteristic of brushed flannel.
For more tips and tricks, see the Basic Care Recommendations above!
Our number one duvet care tip? For the most comfortable experience, we recommend washing your linens before you sleep in them. Why? Well, we add a little extra fabric to our sheets and duvet covers to make up for any incidental shrinkage, so prewashing will ensure a snug fit. Many fabrics, like bamboo cotton and linen, become even softer with repeated washing too!
Always use a duvet cover! This will protect your duvet from natural body oils, skin particles, dust, and dirt. We also recommend using a top sheet. (For those who aren't familiar, a top sheet goes between you and your duvet!) Not only does a duvet cover add style to your bed, it preserves the life of your duvet by eliminating the need for frequent washing. It's a win-win!
Silk Duvet Care
A silk duvet is a long term investment. If you take good care of it, this type of duvet can last at least 5-10 years (and possibly much longer!). Silk is the strongest natural fiber in the world, making these duvets extremely durable. However, they require specific care to ensure they're kept in premium condition
First off (because it's worth repeating): Always use a duvet cover with your silk duvet. In fact, if you use a duvet cover, your silk duvet will almost never need cleaning!
"Sun curing" is the traditional way to care for a silk duvet. You should only need to air out your silk duvet once per year using this technique. Whenever your silk duvet becomes heavy or starts to lose heat retention, it's due for a little sunshine. To sun cure, hang your duvet in direct sunlight (with your duvet cover on for protection) for an hour or two at most. Because silk has the ability to absorb moisture, this process will dry it out, improving its insulating properties and restoring its lightness.
For localised spills, treat them immediately by wiping the affected area with a clean, damp white cloth. (If you use a coloured cloth, it may transfer pigment and stain your duvet). If the spill penetrates through to the silk floss, delicately hand wash the affected area only using lukewarm water (maximum 30° C) and a small drop of a non-detergent product, like Woolite, then rinse thoroughly using cold water.
If your silk duvet requires a more thorough cleaning, you can wash it in a washing machine without an agitator on a delicate cycle. Make sure you wash it by itself and try to keep machine washings to a bare minimum. It's very important you don't put your silk duvet in a machine with an agitator, as this can cause excess strain, pulling, and damage.
Down Duvet Care
If properly cared for, down duvets can last for decades. Again, using a duvet cover is our number one tip for preserving your duvet. (We'll cover more tips in a moment!)
But first, when you receive your down duvet, you may notice it's not quite as ‘lofty’ or fluffy as the store sample. That's because we vacuum pack our down duvets at the factory. To fluff it up, simply shake your duvet for a few moments. Usually, down will loft up within 24 hours. Your body warmth will also contribute to your duvet reaching full loftiness.
Another pro care tip: Every time you wash your duvet cover, rotate the position of your duvet when you put it back in. This will ensure even wear, as the edges of a duvet closest to your face experience the most abrasion and soiling. It will also help evenly distribute the down and prevent clumping.
With careful use, a down duvet should only require washing every 5 to 10 years (if at all!). Small spills and stains can be spot cleaned. Start by shifting as much down as possible away from the stain. Spot clean with a non-detergent solution (like Woolite or Zero) diluted with water. Rub the fabric to loosen the stain, and squeeze excess moisture out with a dry towel. Rinse the same way using just water. When you’re finished, use a hair dryer (on a cool/no heat setting) to ensure the area is completely dry. Alternatively, put it in the dryer on an air dry cycle until dry, then shift the down back and refresh the duvet by adding dryer balls into the air dry cycle.
Airing out your duvet periodically will also help keep it fresh and functioning well. Just make sure you protect it from the sun’s damaging rays. Leave your duvet outside for max one to two hours. This will freshen it up and optimize its insulating properties.
If you do decide to wash your duvet in a machine, there are a couple key guidelines to follow. First off, always wash your duvet by itself. Second, never wash a duvet in a machine with an agitator. (Agitators are vertical spindles, characteristic of top-load machines that can put immense strain on your duvet and cause damage.) For this reason, front loading machines are highly recommended.
You can launder a small duvet in a domestic machine. Larger sizes, on the other hand, require a commercially sized machine. Set the washer on a gentle or delicate cycle and use a cool water wash and rinse. Set the machine to the maximum load capacity and add a small amount of non- detergent liquid soap, like Woolite or Zero.
Down Alternative Duvet Care
Depending what type of down alternative duvet you have, care recommendations vary. So be sure to consult individual washing instructions for your specific duvet. Like our silk and down duvets, always protect your synthetic duvet with a duvet cover. This will eliminate the need for frequent washing and extend the lifespan of your duvet!
Cleaning & Drying
You should wash a microgel duvet in a machine without an agitator. Make sure to use cold water and a gentle or delicate cycle. If you have a top-loading machine, choose a knitwear cycle. For those using a powdered detergent in a top-loading machine, mix with water first to dissolve the crystals. Do not use bleach. If using a whitening agent, always spot test first.
Tumble dry on a gentle cycle on low or no heat. We recommend using dryer balls to increase drying efficiency and reduce drying time. Whenever possible, hang drying is preferred.
Again, when used with a duvet cover, you’ll rarely need to wash a bamboo duvet. This is especially true for our Bamboo Charcoal Duvet, as the charcoal will stay fresh on its own up to five years! Like silk, laying this duvet out in the sun can re-energize the effectiveness of the bamboo charcoal.
We recommend spot cleaning any spills or stains using a clean, damp white cloth and a mild detergent, then drying in the sun. Allow your duvet to dry completely before use.
You should only ever dry clean a wool duvet. Do not put it in your washing machine. However, with proper care and a duvet cover, a wool duvet can last years without needing to be dry cleaned.
Handle spills or stains by spot cleaning using a clean, damp white cloth and a mild detergent, then dry in direct sunlight. Make sure your duvet is completely dry before use to avoid mold or mildew.
To freshen your wool duvet, expose it to direct sunlight and fresh air. Sunlight brings out the natural lanolin in wool, allowing it to self- deodorize. As an alternative, you may place your wool duvet in the dryer on AIR CYCLE only with a few dryer balls for a maximum of ten minutes. Do not use heat, as this will shrink your duvet.
*Valid for first time QEHomeLinens.com customers only. $10 discount valid with min. purchase of $200 on Carlingdale, Home Republic, Aruba, Seventh Heaven brands; excludes End of Season Clearance products and purchases of gift cards; offer expires 15 days after signing up.