They require a different level of care than non-patterned bed linens.
bright floral print white background
Credit: Carson Downing

In most households, tending to the laundry involves two main tenets: Washing dark clothing in cool water and whites on the warm—or even hot—setting to get them clean again. Another general rule of thumb? To keep dark fabrics in their best state, we wash them together on the shortest cycle, using a standard detergent to help maintain their color integrity. And for brighter whites, we use the maximum amount of detergent recommended, preferably with enzymes or a built-in bleach alternative, along with a laundry booster. What these maxims don't speak to, however, is multi-colored laundry, like floral sheets—so, what is the best course of action when washing these types of pieces?

Minding the temperature of the water is one of the most important steps when preparing to wash floral print fabrics. "Hot water fades colors," says Brian Johnson, the director of education at the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, in Laurel, Maryland. With that in mind, wash the sheets in cold water on a delicate cycle (the reduced agitation will be gentler on the print), with a detergent specifically formulated for cold-water cleaning.

Another tip for laundering any bedding, printed or opaque? Keep loads small. "Otherwise, the sheets can tangle and wrap around themselves or other items," explains Johnson. "Those areas then trap in soils and prevent them from draining out with the water," leading to a dingy appearance.

How you dry these articles is important, too. When it comes to darks, line-drying them away from sunlight will help maintain their quality best. Your floral sheets require a different method, though. You will need to dry the sheets on a low heat setting in your dryer, and remove them promptly to reduce wrinkling.


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