Should You Wash New Sheets Before Using Them?

It’s always a good idea to wash any new clothing you buy before wearing it, but do you have to wash new sheets before sleeping in them too?

There are various chemicals in the plastic packaging that can be absorbed into your new bed sheets. You can smell a slight chemical odor when you first open the packaging which stays on your sheets until you wash them.

That reason alone should be enough to convince you to wash your new sheets before putting them on your bed.

Let me go over the best reasons you should wash your new sheets before using them. This can apply for duvet inserts and comforters too.

Top 5 Reasons Why you “Should wash your new sheets before using them”

1. Chemical Odor

As I mentioned above, all of the plastic packaging used in non-food items contains potentially harmful chemicals. You’ll notice the chemical smell as soon as you open the packaging and remove your new sheets.

This is the best time to either wash your new sheets before using them or at least hang them outside for a few hours in the fresh air.

The sun can eliminate much of the chemical smell naturally and the fresh air too.

2. Find Defects in the Sheets

Another good reason to wash your sheets as soon as you open them is to look for defects.

After giving them a good wash, any minor defects or loose strings will become more apparent. Finding defects during the return policy gives you an opportunity to return or exchange them.

3. Check for Shrinkage

The next reason I recommend you to wash your new sheets ASAP, is to find out how much they shrink.

Many companies pre-shrink their sheets before you buy them. But many organic fabrics will shrink again after the first and second wash.

If you have a higher loft mattress or pillow top, your new bed sheets might not fit anymore if they shrink again. Washing new sheets within the return policy will allow you to exchange them for a bigger size.

4. Color Fading

If you buy bed sheets that have deep color to them, you will want to keep that color rich and avoid fading. Washing them the first time will give you a clear idea on how much they will fade after a few washes.

If the richness of the color fades too much, you should consider exchanging the sheets with another brand or contacting the manufacturer for a replacement.

5. Color Bleeding

Bed sheets use colored-dyes that provide bright and vibrant colors. These dyes are known to bleed and can cause skin rashes if you have sensitive skin.

You should wash your colored sheets before using them to avoid any bleeding that might seep into your mattress. Just make sure you wash them “Separately” the first time as well.


So if you just purchased new sheets and you’re wondering if you should wash them before using them, the quick answer is Yes!

In fact, you should make it a habit to wash any new items you purchase before using them. I’ve heard of many people having random rashes appear on them after buying even the best Egyptian cotton sheets.