How to Get Stains Out of White Sheets

There’s no greater simple pleasure than getting into freshly cleaned sheets at night. But, when those fresh, white sheets start to turn yellow or get stained by coffee, it can quickly turn into a headache. Luckily we have the guide on how to get stains out of white sheets.

Thankfully, though, there are plenty of solutions for how to get all types of stains out of white sheets. We’re going to cover how to remove the ones that happen the most below.

How to Remove Stains from White Sheets

how to get stains out of white sheets


If you have blood stains on your sheets, know that whatever you do, you have to do it quickly. Once blood settles, it’s quite a chore to get it out — especially on fresh, white sheets. The most efficient way to get blood out of white sheets is to soak the freshly stained sheets in cold water. Whatever you do, do not use hot water — hot water sets the stain and you’ll never be able to successfully get it out.

After you have soaked the sheet in cold water for an extended period of time, wash it as you normally would using some sort of stain remover (OxiClean, enzyme cleaner, baking soda, etc), but don’t automatically throw them in the dryer. Instead, check to see if the stain has been fully removed. If so, great! But if not, do the process over again until the stain is gone.


Similar to blood, the best thing to do is act quickly and soak the stained area with cold water. After a good soak, pretreat the stain with liquid detergent or a stain-removing spray. Next, wash it normally in your standard washing machine. Again, like blood, check the sheets once more before throwing it in the dryer to make sure that the stain is completely removed.

If your coffee stains are old or the above measure doesn’t work, maybe try using an enzyme cleaner or bleach as a last resort. Be careful not to use bleach on colored sheets, as you’ll end up with a bad scenario there.

Sweat (Yellowish Stains)

If you have sweat stains in your sheets, we recommend soaking your sheets overnight in OxiClean or something similar and laundering them as you normally would. If that doesn’t do the trick, run them through the wash again, but this time try a cup of bleach to really tackle those yellow stains.

If you’re against bleach, you can try “bluing”, which is adding trace amounts of blue to the whites. This will essentially counteract any yellowing that’s occurred in your sheets and make your whites appear whiter. There’s a few bluing brands out there, but any should do the trick.

And lastly, if you’d like to stick to the old school method, try using distilled vinegar. Adding ⅓ cup to your washing machine fabric softener dispenser should do the trick. If nothing else, vinegar is fantastic for neutralizing nasty odors.

how to get stains out of white sheets

Other Heavy Duty Stains

Got something that we didn’t list above? Well, there’s a good chance that you’re going to treat it the same as you would blood or coffee. First, soak it in cold water and your favorite liquid stain remover or detergent. Next, launder it like you would normally and check twice before throwing it in the dryer.

Just remember, it’s quite possible that you’re not going to be able to get every stain out. And if that’s the case…you might have to buy new sheets. Our friends over at Pillow Insider have curated a helpful list of some of the best bed sheets on the market today. So, if you’re looking for new sheets, we highly recommend checking that out.

How to Clean Stains Out of a Mattress

Did your stain go all the way through your white sheets and onto your mattress? If so, we understand the frustration. Not only are you looking at stained sheets, you’ve also damaged your expensive mattress. Not to worry — we’re here to help with that as well.

First, you’re going to want to spray the stains with an enzyme cleaner — or your favorite household stain remover — and let it soak for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you do anything else. After it has soaked, you should gently blot the stain with a damp cloth (cold water only!) and try to remove as much of the stain as you can. Avoid scrubbing the stain, as that will only push the stain further into the fabric.

Repeat the above process as many times as needed until you can remove as much of the stain as possible. Then let the stain dry. After it has dried, spray liberally with baking soda and use a spray bottle to cover with a light mist of water — this will let the baking soda bubble up, that’s a good thing.

Let the baking soda set for at least an hour (or more) and then vacuum it up. Remove any baking soda residue with a damp cloth and you should be good to go. Remember, this method works best on stains that you catch before they dry.

Bottom Line

If you follow some of our helpful tips and directions from above, you should be able to tackle even the toughest stains. But remember, not all stains are created equally — but most can be solved with the same tried-and-true methods that people have been using for years.

Just know that it is possible to get stains out of white sheets. We promise by following these tips, you should at least be able to have some success in removing tough stains from white sheets.

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