I very rarely wash my bedsheets, and there are two reasons for that: I am the filthiest person alive now that Divine has passed on that crown (RIP) and I really hate fitted sheets. I will happily sit in a wasteland of crumbs, chocolate stains, and… other stains if it means I don’t have to make a stress-inducing trip to the laundromat. Forget folding them—even just drying fitted sheets is a huge pain. Who has the time to hunt for the rest of the laundry in that angry, elastic maw?
DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? It just always seems that fitted sheets are prone to tangling and bunching up, and in their weird contracting act they gobble up your little garments. A lot of good socks have been lost in those pockets, as have a lot of stray pairs of panties that I refused to put in a little zipper bag (you can tell that I’m really not good at laundry, right?) And then when you take that mess out of the dryer, 90 percent of the time they’re still sopping wet. Fitted sheets suck. They quite literally suck.
But we’re problem solvers here, and though I probably won’t stop living in squalor, you might be wondering how to end this vicious cycle. Clearly I don’t have the answers, but we were able to get a little help from Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd at The Laundress.
Fitted sheets need exactly what I tell my mom I need on the phone every day: room to breathe. You need to commit to divvying up your laundry before you toss it into the dryer. For true adults this may sound like a “duh” statement, unless you’re part of the “do I REALLY need to wash my darks and lights separate” camp, of which I am counselor.
“Separate towels and sheets from garments to reduce lint, prevent smaller items from getting caught in sheet pockets, and achieve a proper clean,” says Whiting. “Towels and sheets usually required a warmer, longer wash cycle, while most clothes don’t typically need such a rigorous setting.”
Likewise, you’ve spent months stewing in the crumbles, the chocolate stains and the other stains, so you might as well decontaminate those bad boys. And sure enough, when we make the frightful transfer from the washer to the dryer, you want to keep you sheets separate from other garments.
“Don’t overfill the dryer – this will help you avoid the sheets from bunching up,” instructs Boyd. And a good idea, regardless of whether you dare to keep your sheets and socks apart? “You can also use wool dryer balls. They increase air circulation, cut down on drying time, prevent clumping, reduce wrinkles, and help fluff fibers.” (Pro-tip: a little dash of an essential oil on the dryer ball will also make you feel like you’re sleeping in a lavender field.)
The bottom line when it comes to keeping your sheets from sucking up your clothes, you need to allow them the ability to dry solo. And from there, they will dry on that first attempt, giving you clean sheets until the next time you wash them… six months from now (just me?).