In this environmentally-conscious era, bamboo has become a very popular material for bedding. Sustainable, hypoallergenic, soft and cooling, this natural fiber is a sought-after source for sheets, pillowcases, mattresses, blankets, and covers. Bamboo has many benefits and requires a complex process to produce and so is one of the more expensive materials to use.
Bamboo bedding is durable and most buyers will be happy with the initial expenditure. However, keeping this specialist material clean and fresh requires extra care. If stains on sheets and pillowcases are a problem, here are several ways to remove them.
Non-biological stains often require hot water and stronger cleaning agents to remove staining but bamboo fibers should not be treated this way. For general spills, dirt, and light staining a gentle warm wash on a short ‘delicates’ cycle in the machine is enough. Stubborn stains can be rubbed with 1 part vinegar and 4 parts cold water before a mild machine wash.
A different approach is needed for these kinds of stains.These should be dealt with immediately and with cold water. Delays or heat on the fabric can ‘set’ the stain or make it harder to remove. Additionally, too much heat may produce pilling of the fabric.
All stains can be pre-wash treated as above with vinegar and water or a commercial spot rub cleaner. However, when considering how to wash bamboo sheets with this approach, 3 specific types of staining need special treatment. These are oils, make-up, and blood.
It is particularly important to treat these as soon as possible to avoid permanent staining. A cold-water soak initially will help avoid ‘setting’. Then a commercial non-bleach (chlorine) powder or rub can be used directly onto the spot and rubbed in with a little cold or tepid water.
Another odd tip is to spit on the spot causing the natural enzymes in human spit to degrade and separate the stain before washing normally. However, most people would rather avoid this way and hydrogen peroxide is an alternative. Pour gently and sparingly onto the stain and follow with a cold machine wash on a gentle cycle. Air dry out of strong sunlight.
Oils and Creams
Sweat, body oils, and face creams/lotions all build up after a time and may produce unsightly stains on bamboo fabrics. Whether it’s regular or organic bamboo sheets, the basic guidelines remain the same: act speedily, use cold water, and avoid bleach or harsh cleaners.
Dawn dish detergent, a natural degreasing product, is the recommended cleaner for these types of stains. Soak the sheets in a cold-water solution and wash on a cool, delicate cycle as normal. Air dry.
Mascara and Make-Up
A commercial stain-removing rub or spray is best for make-up staining. Rub or spray onto the spots with some water before ‘delicates’ machine washing.
All stains can be treated with an ordinary gentle shampoo. Pour onto the stains and massage into the fabric. Launder as normal on cool or cold-water cycle and air dry.
Bamboo sheets can be expensive but provide many benefits for sleepers. A little extra care will keep them fresh and stain-free for some time to come.