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How to Soften New Bed Sheets

Submit an Entry: Your Laundry Questions and Answers

By Bob Boyd

My Laundry Question

I purchased a set of sheets recently and apparently the material has been treated with some sort of finishing solution to give them a crisp, new appearance. I've now washed them three times using a fabric softener and they still feel as if they are starched. How can I correct this?

Share a Little Background Info

I'm sure most textiles are treated at the mill, I just want the sheets softer. I also tried different temperatures for the laundry water. I also tried liquid softener and dryer sheets. I live in an apartment and use the commercial washes on site.

Lessons Learned

  • I just keep washing them, but haven't seen much improvement.

Fabric Content of Item (if appropriate)

100% cotton

Mary Marlowe Leverette, About.com Laundry & Laundry Rooms, says:

Try "washing" your sheets in hot water with no detergent but add 1 cup baking soda. Baking soda is a natural softener and will help adjust the pH of the water to soften the fabric. Using hot water will help to remove the finish applied to the sheets.

Good luck!

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