Dear Home-Ec 101,
I have been married now for two years, and for these two years, I have had problems with my bed sheet’s coloring. I’m not sure if it is my husband’s perspiration or what, but the fitted sheet & pillowcase on his side of the bed discolors.
Our sage green sheets have yellowed on his side. I wash our bedding every Friday and alternate different sets so it is not a lack of cleaning them. I have tried spraying stain lifters on the sheets before I wash them but they come out the same.
Do you have any prevention or stain treatment tips?
Sweety loves Sweaty
It sounds as though the acids and salts from your husband’s sweat are reacting with the dyes of your sheets. Please rest assured, the stains you see probably aren’t lingering dirt. It’s most likely a chemical change.
Why do I assume it’s a chemical change? You mention a color change, and for it to be a lingering dirt issue, you would need to be overstuffing your washing machine and not giving the sheets room to move in the wash water.
You don’t sound like the type of person who just crams their sheets in and walks away, so I doubt that ground in dirt is the problem here.
Since cranking down the AC is an expensive and wasteful solution, I highly recommend switching to white sheets. Each week before you strip the bed, spray his side of the bed with a vinegar/water solution before laundering.
Do not use chlorine bleach to try to keep your new white sheets white.
Chlorine bleach can actually sometimes yellow your whites. In this case, I suggest using an oxygen bleach such as Oxiclean to keep your new white sheets from yellowing.
If you aren’t ready to shell out for new sheets, simply make the bed and use pillow shams to hide the discolored pillowcases. You will need to ensure he takes the shams off before bed, or those will just get discolored, too.
Whatever the case, I strongly suggest investing in a high-quality mattress pad. This ensures that the sweat doesn’t soak through your sheets and into your mattress, which is a much bigger investment.
Did you know that you are not the first person worried about sweat leaving stains to write in?
We’ve got people worried about body odor lingering in their shirts.
We’ve got people wondering why their sweat stains turn black or even blue (the second one has a potentially strange reason)
So don’t feel bad, people sweat and that sweat causes all kinds of laundry problems. Some are fixable and some we just have to find ways to live with. I wish you all the best with your husband and I hope that over the many years you have together, this is the worst of your problems. 🙂
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