How To Prevent Sheets From Balling Up In The Dryer

“Ka-Thump!…Ka-Thump!…Ka-Thump!…”

No, it’s not a robber in your basement, it’s merely your washing machine’s next stage of evolution – fledgeling attempt to ambulate across the room. And of course, it sucks to hear the buzz of the dryer, go and open the door, and be greeted with a tangled mass of fabric still damp in the middle. Thankfully, this need not be a repeating problem; in fact, just a few points of laundry 101 can help reduce the dreaded sheet-ball phenomena.

1.Make sure there is adequate room in the dryer. Do not overfill.

As you’ve probably noticed, the dryer tends to be less effective the fuller it gets. Aside from lowering the air/clothing ratio, having more items in the dryer mean the sheets won’t be able to flop around as freely, increasing their chances of getting tangled up with other clothing. This is even more an issue if you have larger sheets.

Yes this may mean more quarters spend on laundry, or more natural gas used to dry up your kingsize silken bedding, but spinning the load again is going to cost you the same as splitting it up into smaller, more manageable loads first.

2.Toss a small object like a tennis ball into the dryer with the sheets.

My mom always put a shoe in the dryer when we washed our sleeping bags. The logic was that the shoe would break up clumps of down and result in a properly fluffed sleeping bag at the end of the cycle. Well, a shoe is probably a bit more rough on your clothing then necessary, but a tennis ball or similar object will do just fine. The ball will knock the sheet around and should help prevent it from folding in on itself.

3.Make sure the sheet is untangled before you put it in the dryer.

This may seem obvious, but do you simply throw the damp mass of clothing from the washer straight into the dryer without a second thought? I know I do this.

The fact is, that the dryer could have a hard time undoing the twists imparted by the washing machine (can silk sheets be machine washed?), leading to less then satisfactory drying. In order to prevent this, when you’re removing your sheets and other large fabrics from the washer, take a moment to open them up, untwist them, and separate any other bits of clothing that may be stuck to them. When you put it in the dryer, take care to avoid folding or twisting up the sheet, so that it can turn and tumble as freely as possible.

To summarize, the moral of the story is to reduce the load, so that you don’t have to recycle the dryer. And throw in a tennis ball. Because who doesn’t like having a ball between the sheets?:)

How to Prevent Sheets from Pilling

By definition, a “pill” is a surface defect made up of a small ball of fibers. A pill starts to form when fibers rub against themselves or another surface. As agitation of the pill continues, a collection of fiber will appear as clinging balls. When sheets develop pills they can be unsightly and uncomfortable, causing your sheets to become scratchy. You can prevent pilling on organic cotton sheets or any type of cotton sheets by practicing proper care and by purchasing the right kind of sheets to begin with. Though nearly all fibers can experience pilling, cloths such as silk and linen are less likely to pill than others. 100 Cotton sheets and other types of delicate fabrics that go through long-term usage and repeated washings will experience frayed fiber endings that become tangled, leading to tiny knots or pilling that can pick up lint, dust, and other ripped and tangled fibers.

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Any fabrics made from shorter fibers, such as cotton, will experience a higher likelihood of pilling. Cotton sheets that are made from a mixture of blended fabric, such as cotton-polyester, are more likely to pill than 100 cotton sheets. Shop for a 100% cotton sheet that is smooth to the touch. Try to avoid sheets that look thin or rough and those that contain polyester. A good investment would be Pima, Egyptian, or Supine Cotton. These fibers are high quality and won’t be easily knotted.

To prevent pilling, always wash your sheets in a short wash cycle and use gentle liquid detergent. A front load washer set horizontally is more gentle on the sheets than a top load washer with a spindle or agitator. Make sure to dilute the detergent and don’t overuse it as this can cause stiff and discolored fabric. Avoid hot temperatures when washing and drying as this can weaken the fibers. Stay away from using brighteners or bleach as this can also weaken the material. Add ½ cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle as this will help prevent future pilling. Use the lowest heat setting when drying, although the best option would be to hang dry on a line. Store laundered sheets in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

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If your sheets do start to pill, trim away the raised surface with a clothes shaver. A hardware store, online appliance distributor or a fabric store often stocks these hand-held shavers. A disposable razor has also been known to work and inexpensive to use. Just run the razor over the pills in short strokes while holding the fabric tight. You may find afterwards that your sheets look like new again with this simple technique! Also, you can look into purchasing bed sheet grippers to keep the sheets on the bed – though this is more of a secondary solution to pilling, and not as effective as using a clothes shaver.

By investing in high quality cotton sheets and following simple steps during the wash and dry process, you can prevent future pills and knots from ruining your sheets.

What is the Best Fabric for a Quilt?

Choosing fabric for a quilt is very important and depends on multiple factors. You can’t go wrong with 100% cotton, especially if you are just beginning to sew quilts. Cotton is easier to sew, durable, and simple to clean. Synthetics and mixes are more difficult to use than cotton as they have a tendency to pucker along seams. Try to avoid knits and stretch fabrics as these can be complicated to sew. Flannel is also a popular fabric to use for quilts and provides soft and cozy warmth.

Quilts

When picking a fabric, you want to make sure the color doesn’t run when you wash it. If you aren’t sure, you can wash the fabric on its own before using it. Depending on the purpose of the quilt, you want to choose a material that can withstand years of washing and use. Loosely woven fabrics can easily produce tears and rips so you want to look for a moderately dense fabric. Remember the color theory when choosing material to ensure proper balance and mood. If you are giving the quilt as a gift, what colors will best suit that person’s personality? Blue shades are calming and cool while red colors are warmer. You may also want to consider matching the color to the bedding the quilt will likely need to match.

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Choose a fabric that consists of 100% cotton and your quilt will hold up to many years of love.

What Is The Warmest Type of Blanket?

Winter is here and it’s getting colder at night. What blanket will keep you warm while you sleep? An electric blanket usually plugs into an outlet and runs off electricity to provide heat. It provides different levels that can offer personalized warmth. Using an electric blanket may allow you to turn down the heat at night to save energy and money. If you are looking for something that doesn’t use plug in while you sleep, the next best choice is a wool fabric. Wool material is remarkable in that it can still provide insulation even when wet. Wool is very durable and flexible and keeps heat close to the body by trapping still or dead air within the fibers.

Blankets

Flannel is also a great type of blanket to stay warm. It’s soft against the skin and the thin material allows for layering. Flannel is a knitted fabric that is typically 100 percent cotton and often combined with a quilted backing for additional warmth. It’s usually inexpensive and easy to combine with home décor. Polar fleece is a man-made fiber of polyester and also makes for a warm blanket. They are very lightweight and can fold up when not in use. Polar fleece provides optimum warmth and softness and is easy to keep clean. If you are looking for a polyester blanket but want it extra thin, you may be looking for a Thinsulate blanket, made from polyester microfiber.  A silk fleece blanket is also very warm and extremely comfortable.

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How Can I Make My Bed More Comfortable?

As winter sets in and the air gets a little colder, it seems we are spending more time in our beds. There are simple ways you can create a more comfortable place to sleep. First of all, mattresses should be replaced every 7 to 10 years. If your mattress is older than 10 years, it will start to become uncomfortable as it wears out. If it is under 10 years, flip it over or turn it around so that you don’t continuously wear out one spot. A mattress pad that sits on top can be purchased to provide an extra layer of comfort.

Comfortable Bed

You can purchase a satin duvet cover or any material cover that slides over top of your current comforter and closes by either zipper or buttons. Not only is it simple to take off and wash but the fabric of a duvet cover can provide a new level of comfort. High thread counts in luxurious cotton fabrics feel soft, warm and inviting. Down pillows are filled with feathers and feels like you are lying on a cloud; a perfect way to make your bed more comfortable and add accents to the bedroom. If you find that the bed sheet tangles when you sleep just remove it. A comforter in a duvet cover should provide enough warmth. You can also use a large flat sheet and tuck it under the mattress in place of a fitted sheet. This will prevent a fitted sheet from moving about while you sleep.

Down Comforter

Lastly, adding a quilt blanket or soft fleece throw can provide pure coziness.