Think again! If you’re familiar with housekeeping, you’ve probably heard different opinions on whether you should wash sheets and towels together.
Well, we’re here to provide you with a definitive answer: NO.
We spoke to some laundry service professionals from around the USA to learn why they separate their sheets and towels in their commercial laundry businesses. And, while you might not be running a commercial laundry business, you should be caring for your linens like a pro!
Linens and towels should be washed separately for the following reasons:
By weight, we’re referring to the thickness of the pieces. Their thickness can affect how long they take to dry in the dryer. Linens, a lighter weight, will dry faster than towels, which are obviously thicker. This means either towels won’t dry fully–which could lead to the formation of mold or mildew–or sheets will be over-dried resulting in damage and shortening their lifespan.
“The dry cycle, not separating your sheets and towels is a one-way ticket to higher utility costs! The balance between linens in the dryer is like a dance. You can’t have one dancer dancing to a different song than the other. Everything will get tangled up! And tangled linens take forever to dry. Instead, limit your dry cycles to one type of linen so the tumble dance can be harmonious!” – Bill H, Clean Commercial Laundry Service
At first glance, this may not seem like a huge concern, but because towels are largely made out of cotton they’re more likely to produce lint. Because of the difference in material, your sheets can end up covered in lint, changing its appearance and texture, and damaging its lifeline. New towels in particular produce a lot of lint.
“Lint on sheets will get itchy! Whether you are washing your own sheets and towels at home or providing a service as a commercial laundry service, scratchy lint on soft sheets is a surefire way to lose sleep and lose clients! -Myles B, Cooper Laundry Services
Because towels come into contact with skin cells and dampness frequently, you should wash them with hot water to rid them of any lingering bacteria. However, sheets don’t need to be washed in hot water. In fact, if you do, it could damage the finer fabric.
“Most people are afraid to wash in hot cycles. As a commercial laundry service, we know the benefits of hot cycle washes. But, you don’t want to process your delicate linens in hot cycles. These sheets can’t stand the heat like the towels can!” -Rose H, Commercial Laundry Pros
This is an important consideration, because it also affects drying time. If a towel becomes tightly wrapped in a sheet, it won’t dry properly resulting in mildew and mold. Additionally, if towels or other pieces of clothing are getting caught in sheets, they’re not rubbing up against other items of clothing which is an essential part of the cleaning process in a washer.
“Also, when you are heading to fold, it helps having all the sheets with the sheets and towels with the towels. When you are folding a lot of laundry, the consistency helps. Muscle memory takes over and folding get a lot easier!” -Mark V, The Folde Commercial Laundry Service
The best way to launder your materials is to start by separating them into linens, clothing, and towels. Then you should check the labels on individual pieces. Labels will include important information such as what temp to wash them at, how to dry them, and if/how to apply bleach.
Next, make sure you’re familiar with your washing machine’s cycles in order to properly select the best method for cleaning your pieces. Other tips for washing towels and linens correctly include: