how to freshen sheets without washing
Kristina Davis

Learning how to freshen sheets without washing them can save you a lot of trouble. It is important to regularly wash and iron the sheets in your bedroom to ensure they stay clean and tidy.

After all, there can be tiny insects that may wander across your skin while you sleep on a dirty sheet. But what to do if you do not have time to thoroughly wash?

Well, there are certainly ways, which explain how to freshen bed sheets without washing them.

You can freshen sheets by using baking soda, trying dryer sheets, utilizing linen spray, and trying the FIFO method. 

The Importance of Washing Bed Sheets

a pile of bed sheets

Ignoring the need to wash your dirty bed sheets is never a good idea.

Sweat and body fluid stains are hard to get rid of and leaving them may lead to a number of other health problems down the road.

Without maintaining clean bed sheets, you will never be able to turn your bedroom into a clean and sanitary place to be in. Ideally, you should wash your sheets every 3-4 days, but washing once a week will also do. 

An Important Consideration

It is worth mentioning that sheet cleaning requires a different level of caution to ensure that all stains are removed. 

Cleaning the bedding by dunking them in water and adding detergent will not cut it.

It is due to these issues that many people look for alternatives and ways to clean bed sheets without washing them. 

How to Freshen Sheets without Washing?

fresh bed sheets

When water is scarce or you do not have enough time, maintaining clean bed linens can be extremely challenging.  However, several options exist if you prefer not to wash your linens every few days and therefore wastewater.

Before going any further, you need to know that no method can get your linens quite as clean as a full machine wash.

A quick dry cleaning will do in a pinch, but it will not solve your cleanliness woes for good.

For those searching for a temporary solution, using the following options will surely help: 

Try Baking Soda

Since it acts as a deodorizer, baking soda is a great option for freshening up smelly bed linens.

Using it is not difficult at all.

For instance:

  • Put your sheets flat in a well-ventilated area, preferably in the sun.
  • Leave them there for a few days to let them air out and get clean.

In addition to neutralizing scents, this will naturally kill any bacteria or germs living in the bedding. 

Introducing Baking Soda to the Mix

applying baking soda to the sheets

After that, give the sheets a good beating to get rid of the dust that has settled on them. Now, you have to use baking soda.

Pour baking soda over the sheets and let them sit for a bit after you have exposed them to the sun and battered them. 

The baking soda can be removed by vacuuming the sheets after a short waiting period.

Cleaning the sheets in this method is a quick and easy approach to give them a new feel without using any water. 

An Important Consideration

Remember, baking soda is effective but only in removing odor. It would be ineffective against stains. Also, you may not want to use this method depending on how delicate your bed sheets are.

Tip: It is also possible to freshen up sheets using baking soda while washing them in your front loader. 

Blotting the Stains

arranging the bed sheets

You might try wiping any stains off your sheets using a dry sheet.

Sheets can sometimes go without being washed even though regular detergents and cleaning agents are accessible.

Here is what you need to do while dealing with stains:

  • Get the discolored areas moist to loosen the stains before attempting to remove them.
  • Next, after waiting 15-20 minutes, add some vinegar or liquid detergent.
  • Apply pressure with a microfiber cloth to remove the stains.

This method is very helpful for light stains on sheets that can be removed without a full wash

An Important Consideration

Fresh stains respond best to this approach, which means it is not guaranteed to entirely eliminate older stains. Even if you tone down the hue, certain stains may still be visible.

Be careful when trying this out, and make sure to practice on a hidden part of the sheet first.   

Use Linen Spray

applying linen spray to the sheets

Linen sprays are a great alternative to washing your bedding when you just want to give it a little spruce up.

You can apply this spray before you hang your sheets or go to sleep for a refreshing aroma. Remember, store-bought sprays are easily available but can be a bit expensive.

A good alternative would make your own using simple ingredients, such as the following:

  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 30 drops of essential oil
  • 3 oz of witch hazel
  • A spray bottle

Now, take a shaker and add these ingredients to it. Then, either combine in the spray bottle or transfer to one employing a fine mist sprayer.

Do not forget to label the bottle to avoid any confusion later. Nevertheless, this cheap DIY spray will certainly add some life to your bed sheets. 

Tip: Consider wrapping a fragrant soap in your bed sheet before you put it on your bed to make it smell great. 

Consider FIFO

Following the FIFO (first-in, first-out) principle, you may keep your laundry from smelling musty.

You may prevent any of your linens from collecting dust by rotating your storage and stacking the cleanest items at the bottom. Your bedding will be used up in a timely manner if you follow this strategy.

Also, if you use this strategy, your linen closet can start to smell different after every wash.

Other than ensuring that you use all of your linens, this is a straightforward approach to preventing musty odors and prolonging the life of your linens.

All in all, you may rest assured that your bedding is always clean and ready to use if you employ the FIFO system.

Try DIY Dryer Sheets

drying the sheets

You may quickly eliminate any lingering odors from your bed sheets using dryer sheets.

Dry your sheet set by tossing them in the dryer with 3-4 dryer sheets. The result is an item that is both wrinkle-free and odor-free.

If interested in this option, be sure to stock up on dryer sheets with a fresh linen aroma, just in case. 

An Important Consideration

You may also put a cotton cloth dampened with water and a few drops of essential oils. For instance, you can add lavender to the dryer with the bed sheet in the last minutes of the drying cycle to remove any lingering odors.

Tip: Buy high-quality 100% cotton sheets to ensure they maintain their appearance for long and save you from washing frequently. 

Work on Your Dry Time

ensuring the sheet to be dry

Before you sort your linens, it is important to ensure they are totally dry.

Making sure they are dry will help avoid any musty smell lingering in your sheets, cupboards, and drawers.

Even a mildly wet sheet can begin to stink after a short time. Therefore, it makes sense to run your sheets through a quick cycle in the dryer, especially when the humidity is on the higher side

Wash without a Washing Machine

washing sheets in the bathtub

Various options are available to do away with washing, but eventually, you have to throw those dirty linens in the washer.   

A good option is to go with a quick wash cycle if you do not want to wait for a long time. It helps when you are in a hurry or do not have a full load of dirty garments.

It is possible to wash those sheets even if you want to skip using your washing machine.

For instance:

  • Begin by separating your sheets by color.
  • Put them in the bathtub.
  • Fill the tub with warm water while checking the label on your sheets.
  • Add some laundry detergent.
  • Leave your bed sheets in the water for at least half an hour.
  • Stir them for a few minutes by hand.
  • Wring out your sheets.
  • Air dry!
Tip: Be sure to iron your sheets properly when you do wash them and store them in the cupboard. 


Learning how to freshen sheets without washing them can come in handy in tricky situations. Sometimes, you just cannot avoid the need to wash your sheets, but you can try many quick fixes as well.

Using baking soda, linen spray, dryer sheets, etc., are a few good options for those seeking a good way to freshen up bed sheets quickly.

Just be sure to go for a quick wash cycle if you have heavily soiled sheets.