Properly cared for, sheets should last three to five years. For the longest wear, follow these rules.
By Christine Camean
Avoid very hot temperatures when washing and drying; they weaken fibers.
Use mild detergent (such as Wisk or Arm & Hammer dye-free formula) and wait until it's diluted before putting sheets in the washer. Undiluted detergents can discolor fabric. And don't overdo the detergent: If it isn't completely rinsed out, sheets will feel stiff. Use half the manufacturer's recommended amount, and add one cup of white vinegar to the rinse water to remove all traces of detergent.
Avoid brighteners and other bleaching agents; they weaken and discolor fibers. To brighten whites, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to the wash cycle instead of bleach.
Dry on the low or medium heat setting; overdrying sheets weakens fibers and bakes off finishes.
Store laundered, completely dry sheets in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.
Keep three sets of sheets for each bed and rotate weekly.
To keep sets together and the linen closet neat, store each set in a matching pillowcase.