As strange as it may be, few other household chores give me the same rush of pride and accomplishment as successfully removing a particularly stubborn laundry stain. I imagine it’s the same way a mathematician feels after solving a complex equation (though I would personally choose stains over equations every time!) ;-)
So imagine my sense of personal achievement when I finally succeeded in removing what is arguable one of the most stubborn stains of them all—body oil residue on bed sheets. Today I’ll be showing you the simple step-by-step method so that you can use it to revitalize any residue-ridden sheets you may be struggling with at home! But first, let’s briefly explore what makes these stains are so dang stubborn in the first place.
Why Are Oily Bed Sheets So Hard To Clean?
Our bodies all produce sweat and natural oils while we sleep, but the amounts vary from person to person. Body oil production can vary based on your body’s natural chemistry, your diet, and other factors, while sweating is affected by temperature, hydration, exercise, and more. Sweat and body oil together can leave behind a greasy residue that normal washing just can’t handle!
But the keys to “stripping” out those oily residues are actually quite simple! The main factors in the method I’ll be sharing with you are grease-cutting ingredients, hot water, and time. I used my two go-to grease-cutters in this method: Dawn dish soap and washing soda. They are a powerful duo when tackling greasy or oily messes, making them perfect for this method! Just follow the steps below to remove body oil and sweat stains from your bed sheets and restore them to their former glory!
How To Remove Body Oil Residue And Sweat Stains From Bed Sheets
Step 1 – Wash Normally
You’ll have an easier time removing oily residues from your bed sheets if they’re pretty clean to begin with. Toss them in your machine and wash them how you would normally.
Step 2 – Soak Overnight
Next, you’ll soak your sheets overnight to dissolve all that stubborn oil. You can usually do this right in your machine if you have a top-loading washer (but those with front-loading washers may need to use a bucket or their bathtub instead!)
Fill your machine (or bathtub) with extra hot water and add the following ingredients:
- Standard dose of your favorite laundry detergent
- 1 tablespoon of Dawn dish soap
- 1/4 cup of washing soda
Put the sheets in the water and agitate them for a few minutes, either by starting a wash cycle or by hand. Then stop and allow the sheets to soak in the solution overnight.
Step 3 – Drain & Wash Again
The next day, drain the dirty water away from the sheets. Add another standard dose of detergent to your machine and wash the sheets again. Avoid using fabric softener in this wash cycle! Instead, add 1/2 cup of white vinegar instead to make sure your sheets remain residue-free.
Step 4 – Dry
Dry your sheets completely before replacing them on your bed. And never underestimate the power of sunshine and fresh air when it comes to drying bed sheets! Sunlight can help brighten fabrics and kill bacteria, so line-drying is a great option when it comes to bedding. (And you can’t beat the fresh, sunny smell of line-dried sheets either!) :-)
When Should I Use This Method?
Use this method every few months (or as needed) to remove oily residues from your sheets. Avoid using this method too frequently, as repeated use of super hot water may potentially reduce their lifespan.
If your sheets are suffering from oily buildup or residues, give this method a try! And be sure to check back in and let me know how it goes!
Do you have a favorite tip for keeping your sheets or bedding clean?