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How To Store Bedding

How To Store Bedding

It's well-known how often you should wash your bedsheets (once a week), but a common misconception is how to store your bedsheets afterwards. There are many preferences - from placing sheets in divan bed drawers to an airing cupboard - so it may seem like there could be a better way.

However, that's not the case at all. For those getting ready to switch their winter duvet for a summer one, with spring just around the corner, we've put together some great tips on how to properly store your bedding!

These tips will eliminate any nasty odours on your sheets and save you the time and cost of rewashing them.

Why do bed sheets smell after being stored?

It is difficult to ensure your bedsheets stay fresh as they have come out of the washing machine and been put away in their designated spot. You may only be able to fight that stale smell if you have a dedicated linen closet to store your bedding.

This is because keeping your bedding in a place without air can lead to mould due to moisture developing, creating that musty smell. Likewise, your bedsheets can gain the same musty smell if stored away for a few months. For instance, if you replace your winter bedding with summer bed sheets and vice versa.

But there is a way to store your bed sheets properly after washing them to reduce the risk of mould and mildew.

Woman changing bedding

Tips for storing your bedding

1. Wash your bedding before storage

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't wash their winter bedding before putting it away and switching it for summer bedding. Whilst people may think they can be washed further down the line when switched again with the change in season, it becomes increasingly harder to remove sweat stains when left for long periods. As the average person sweats between 500 and 700ml per night, washing your bedsheets is essential even when you don't plan on using them for months.

Therefore, you should put your bedding on a hot 60-degree wash to kill all sweat, dust and other nasties.

2. Make sure sheets are dry

You must thoroughly dry everything before putting it away - even the slightest dampness can cause mould and must problems. Naturally, drying your bedding outside is the most linen and budget-friendly method. However, this can be difficult when dealing with the British weather.

There are other options for drying your bedsheets in your home, which you're most likely aware of, but here are two hacks you may have yet to try.

Firstly, you can place your airing rack next to a radiator before adding half of the bedsheet onto the airing rack and the other half slotted down the back of the radiator. As the sheet is tightly spread out, this insulates the warm air, allowing it to dry more quickly. However, ensure that the back of your radiators are clean before doing this, which you can do with a feather duster.

Alternatively, you can add your bedsheets on your curtain rail, which is even more efficient if a radiator is switched on underneath your window.

3. Don't store your sheets in a bathroom cupboard

Many people store their towels and, sometimes, their bedding in a bathroom cupboard; however, this is the worst thing you can do. This cupboard can get extremely humid, causing mould and mildew to grow if left for long periods.

Instead, an airing or linen cupboard is the best place as it's a dry and dark area. Alternatively, if you don't have these kinds of cupboard space, you can place your bedding in storage at the bottom of your bed (an ottoman bed, for instance) that you can open to air out every time you change your sheets (which should be once a week).

4. Avoid using plastic boxes for your sheet

Since Mrs Hinch and Marie Kondo burst onto our screens, they've revolutionised how we do everything from storing clothing to laundry detergent. And your bedding is no different.

Whilst you may be tempted to follow these organisational influencers, using suitable storage containers for your bedsheets is essential, or they can become smelly. Firstly, you should refrain from using a plastic box for your bedsheets. This is because the plastic of the storage box can emit gases which seep into your bedding, causing a yellow stain.

Instead, try to use fabric storage bags or even rattan boxes, neither of which should have a lid. No matter how dry your bedding looks and feels, moisture will always be in the fabric. So, storing your bedsheets in an airtight container creates the perfect mould and mildew growth environment.

5. Fold your bedding inside the pillowcase

Do you ever find yourself messing up your bedding storage system as you look for that one pillowcase that matches the rest of your bedding set? If this is the case, you need to follow the following method.

When putting away your bedding, simply fold your bedding cover, matching sheet and one of the pillowcases into the remaining pillowcase. That way, they are not only protected from discolouration, but you have the matching bedding stored together, saving you time and frustration further down the line.

6. Add laundry beads to your bedding storage spot

You may use scented booster beads to provide a fresh scent for your laundry; however, did you know they have other uses?

When storing your sheets, place the scented beads in an open cup or a mesh bag next to your bedding to keep them smelling fresh for longer. Just remember to store them properly where your children and pets can not reach them and in bags that do not allow the balls to become loose.

7. Use coffee grounds for scented bedding sheets

Alternatively, you can use coffee as an odour-repeller if you don't use scented booster beads. Simply take some fresh coffee grounds and place them in a covered cup with holes to allow the smell to escape. You can tape paper over the cup and add holes to the paper covering the cup to allow for the scent to escape.

Refresh the coffee regularly (each month), and don't worry, you don't need to use much of your finest coffee; just some coffee granules in a cup should help keep smells at bay.

How to store a duvet

Many people will have two duvets: a summer duvet with a lighter tog and a winter duvet with a heavier tog. Large and cumbersome, the problem is, where do you store your other duvet when you’re not using it?

Follow our steps to correctly store your duvet, saving on space without creating an unpleasant musty smell or damaging it.

  • Remove your duvet cover. You should never store your duvet with its cover still on, especially if the duvet cover has been used and is dirty. This is an almost certain way for smells and dirt to build up in your duvet.
  • Before you store your duvet away, take it to the dry cleaners or wash it yourself. You should always ensure your duvet is fully dry after cleaning before you move on to the next step.
  • Fold your duvet. In most cases, folding your duvet will be fine, but if you have a down duvet, you’ll need to roll it loosely to prevent damaging its structure.
  • Place your rolled or folded duvet into a breathable cotton or vacuum-sealed bag. Vacuum-sealed bags are popular as they condense the duvet, making it easier to store. However, this is best used with a synthetic- or down-filled duvet. Using a vacuum-sealed bag for a feather duvet could damage the feathers inside, meaning when it’s time to open the bag, your duvet has lost some of its fluffiness.
  • Once packaged, you must store your duvet in a cool, dry location away from dampness or moisture. If you have a rolled down duvet, you’ll need to keep this in an upright position.

We don’t recommend storing your duvet in a plastic bag that isn’t vacuum-sealed, such as a bin liner. This type of bag is a breeding ground for mould, even if it isn’t placed in an area of moisture. What’s more, standard plastic bags can tear easily, which could expose your duvet to dirt.

How to store your pillows

You might have some spare pillows that you need to store when not in use. You could use them as a backup when unexpected guests arrive. You should follow the same principles as storing a duvet when storing away your pillows. Avoid using plastic bags (that aren’t vacuum sealable) or plastic boxes, and always keep your pillows in a cool, dry place away from moisture.

If you have feather pillows, we recommend not using vacuum-sealed bags to store them, as the feathers can become damaged.

With the right precautions when storing your bedding and duvet, you can keep them fresh and clean for longer.

Do you think it might be time for a new duvet? Use our bedding calculator to find out whether it’s time to replace your duvet, pillows and more.

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