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A Perfect Pantry

Taking Care of Bedding Linen and Down-Filled Garments

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    A person spends an average of eight hours in bed every 24 hours. Overnight, about one gram of skin and nearly half a litre of water (in sweat) are lost while we sleep, making beds the perfect breeding ground for bed bugs and dust mites.

     

    With this in mind it’s important to regularly care for bed linen and down-filled pillows and covers. We’ve put together a few tips on how to care for bedding to maintain a clean and healthy sleeping environment.

     

    Caring for bed linen

    • Always begin by checking the manufacturer’s instructions. If in doubt, wash sheets and pillow cases at a warm temperature between 40-60°C.
      • A cold wash is safe, too. However, too much heat in the washer or dryer can damage and shrink the fibres, as well as cause discolouration.
      • Whenever possible, line dry linen outdoors - the sun is a cost-efficient dryer, natural disinfectant and also helps to brighten whites.
      • In the ideal world, bed linen should be washed or changed once a week (particularly in summer).
      • If a weekly wash isn’t practical, have additional linen sets handy. This means there’s always a clean set available if the one being laundered isn’t adequately dry the same day.

     

    Caring for down-filled items (doonas, quilts and pillows)

    • Similarly, always refer to the manufacturer’s care instructions ahead of washing down-filled items. As bulky items, it may be easier to seek professional cleaning services, even if machine washing is permitted.
    • If the item is old or worn, take it to a dry cleaner or gently handwash.
    • If possible, dry across a few clothing lines after a wash. Sunshine is a natural disinfectant and, within a few hours, the sun will have plumped up down-filled garments, creating a fresh and fluffy result.
    • If clothes lines or a Hills Hoist are not accessible, tumble dry on the lowest possible heat setting or with no heat at all.
      • Adding 2-3 clean tennis balls or clean shoes prevents clumping and boosts the fluffing action.
      • Ensure doonas and pillows have completely dried before using or packing away in storage. Dampness in the fabric encourages mildew to grow, ruining the fabric.
      • If time permits, iron bed linen as this will make your sheets feel new and crisp.

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