The first time you wash your 100% Cotton Flannel Massage Table Sheets, add one-half cup of white vinegar to the load. This will help prevent the fibers from pilling and forming on the sheets. Also, it helps set the color of the fabric to avoid fading. Typically, we suggest washing your 100% cotton flannel massage table sheets and face rest covers in cold or warm water. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to wash all linens in hot water for optimal disinfection and safety. Use a gentle cycle that uses less motion and causes less friction. Friction causes pilling.
COVID-19 Specific Care
Due to updated cleaning and disinfection protocols associated with the COVID-19 pandemic some general care practices for flannel sheets need to be revised. These practices may go against typical flannel care suggestions but are necessary to reduce the risks of contact and droplet transmission associated with COVID-19.
According to The College of Massage Therapists of Ontario, “RMTs must wash and dry all linens, blankets, and pillows used in treatment in the highest heat possible after every client.”
How to Wash and Care for Flannel Massage Table Sheets and Face Rest Covers
Add one cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle (no detergent). Adding vinegar will allow the fibers to expand. Vinegar helps make your flannel sheets soft while preserving the color from fading and looking dingy over time. If using a front loading machine, use the extra water setting.
Avoid Fabric Softener
Fabric softener leaves chemicals behind that stiffen fabric fibers and reduce flannel’s softness over time. The buildup from the softener also increases the appearance of pills. Instead, put a few clean tennis balls in the dryer with your sheets. The movement of the balls in the dryer reduces the clumping of fabric fibers.
Tumble dry on warm or medium heat on a gentle setting and/or remove sheets from your dryer when the sheets are slightly damp. Do not use dryer sheets. Dryer sheets can cause undue friction that causes the flannel to pill over time.
Wash your flannel sheets separate from other fabrics. This will preserve the softness and keep them snag-free. Make sure to not overload your washer. Overloading will cause friction between sheets and increase pilling. Use a little less than the full recommended amount of detergent. 100 % Cotton Flannel sheets do not require a large amount of detergent when washing regularly. Using too much detergent will cause the fibers to deteriorate causing roughness, weakness, and even holes. Always wash your flannel sheets in cold or warm water and if possible on the gentle cycle (except for during the COVID-19 pandemic). Add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle this acts as a brightening agent and won’t break down the fabric as bleach would. Don’t mix light colors with dark colors. Separating colors will prevent color bleeding and discoloration.
Drying your sheets on a gentle heat will fluff the flannel to its premium softness. Do not dry your sheets too long and avoid dryer sheets because of the undue friction they cause, causing your sheets to pill over time.
When you let the flannel fabric dry at room temperature or on a line, you reduce the chances of pills forming. As this is not practical in a clinic situation, drying your sheets on low heat will increase the life of your sheets and reduce pilling. Remove your flannel sheets as soon as the cycle ends to prevent over-drying the fibers.
Over-drying sheets will weaken the fabric. Typically, drying on low or no heat helps to keep the fabric in good condition for longer life and prevents both shrinking and shedding.
Care of Your FLANNEL SHEETS – Key Tips
- During COVID-19, where updated disinfection and sanitization protocols are in place, always wash and dry your sheets at the HIGHEST temperature possible.
- Usually, the suggestion would be to wash with warm or cold water.
- Washing sheets in hot water can shrink the fabric fibers and reduce softness.
- Using warm or cold water will also help minimize fading.
- Keep several sets of sheets on hand and rotate them to extend the life of all the sets.
- Usually, the suggestion would be to dry on low heat.
Spot Treat Stains
Deal with stains promptly and pre-treat them without scrubbing. Scrubbing sets stains rather than removing them and can wear holes in the fabric that are difficult to repair.
We recommend an enzymatic Cleaning Solution such as Myo-Ther™ N-Zyme
As a multi-enzyme detergent, these products are also biodegradable and bacteriostatic. Specially formulated to digest organic matter (oils residues, etc) from sheets and towels. Myo-Ther™ N-Zyme is safe for most fabrics and towels.
Dilute and use as a spot treatment on heavy stains before laundering. Effective in cold or hot washes.
- Avoid using bleach, as bleach breaks down fabric and can cause yellowing of your sheets.
- Use stain remover on stains before laundering.
- Set your washer to a cold water, gentle cycle to minimize shrinkage.
- Tumble dry on warm or medium heat or remove sheets from the dryer while they are still slightly damp.
- Don’t use dryer sheets, this can cause undue friction, which causes the flannel to pill over time.
How to Reduce Pilling on Flannel Sheets
Pilling on flannel sheets cannot be stopped entirely. This is the nature of brushed cotton fabric. However, pilling can be reduced with proper care.
Wash your sheets at least once before first use to remove the sizing. Sizing is often a chemical additive manufacturers use to keep fabrics and bedding wrinkle-free and stiff in the presentation packaging.
Before using your sheets
Wash sheets with a cup of white vinegar and cold water on gentle cycle. Always wash flannel sheets in cold or warm water with a gentle detergent.
- Always select the gentle cycle when washing flannel.
- Dry on gentle cycle.
- Use the lowest temperature for drying.
It is important to be aware the quality of the flannel sheets you select have a lot to do with the advent of pilling. When purchasing flannel sheets, remember that thread count does not apply. Flannel quality is measured by the weight of the fabric per square metre. Our Body Best™ flannel sheets for massage tables and Massage Table Sheet Sets are produced using 6 oz and 8oz fabric weights.
How to store your Flannel sheets
Avoid tightly packing your sheets. When the sheets are folded and stored in the closet, take the time to occasionally shake out the sheets to prevent the folded edges from setting in and looking uneven.
View All Know Your Body Best Flannel Massage Table Sheets