7 Best Practices for Laundering
Microfiber Spa Sheets & Linens
July 9 • Business Success • By Jeff St. Peters, LMT, Senior Product Development Manager
Washing and caring for spa sheets requires extra attention, especially massage table sheets. They absorb oil from massage treatments, and if the oil isn’t properly pre-treated, it can overheat in the dryer. This is true for cotton, blends, and microfiber. However, microfiber can be more vulnerable to oil stains. So, for this post, we’ll focus on caring for your microfiber sheets.
As indicated in the name, microfiber sheets are made of very finely woven fibers. These fibers are defined by their thickness, or denier (measurement of a fiber's thickness). A high denier means a higher thickness.
For a material to be considered a microfiber, its fibers must be less than 1 denier in diameter. (For comparison, fine silk measures at 1.25 deniers.) The thin fibers are densely woven to create a peachy-soft finish. This sueded feel is one of the reasons it’s favored for bedding.
Like other popular fabrics (e.g., rayon, polar fleece, spandex), microfiber is synthetic. Made from petroleum-derived polyesters and polyamides, it was created for user convenience. Microfiber resists shrinking, pilling, and wrinkling. Also, though it’s lightweight, its tight weave makes it extremely durable, so it can withstand heavy laundering.
Laundering Microfiber Spa Linens
Over time, massage oil can build up on sheets. Whether the buildup is older or fresh, this residue can create “hot spots” on any type of fabric. Microfiber is especially susceptible. Because it’s densely woven and synthetic, trapped oil within it can potentially become flammable if it’s exposed to prolonged, extremely hot temperatures.
To minimize the risk of combustion, there are a few things you can do:
1. Pre-treat your sheets.
Always use a pre-treat by spraying it directly on oil stains immediately after massage treatments. This will enable the breaking down of oil residue prior to washing. Remember, the longer the sheets sit before pre-treating, the more oil that soaks in.
2. Don’t just focus on makeup stains.
Makeup stains are easier to see, so we zero in on them when we pre-treat. While they are important to remove, massage oil stains and buildup are also imperative to treat.
3. Don’t mix your fabrics.
Launder microfiber sheets together. Do not mix with cotton and other fabrics, as this can potentially clog microfiber pores.
4. Do not use fabric softener for microfiber sheets.
Microfiber is super soft, so it doesn’t need it anyway.
5. Deep clean during the wash cycle.
Wash using the permanent-press cycle on the cool temperature setting. Do not use bleach. Liquid detergent works better than powdered for microfiber.
6. Pay attention to dryer temperature and time settings.
Dry using the low temperature setting on automatic. Keep in mind that microfiber dries very quickly, and you do not want it to overheat. Be sure to remove linens promptly from dryer once they are dry. Then, shake them out to cool them.
7. Don’t leave your dryer unattended.
Make these very important rules: No one leaves the premises with the dryer still running. No one leaves hot laundry in the dryer or in a dense, occlusive pile.
Ensuring that your staff follows these best practices will reduce the likelihood of accidents. And while all oil-embedded fabrics have the potential to overheat, using cotton or poly-cotton for massage treatments can also help mitigate any potential hazard. You could reserve your microfiber sheets for services that don’t require oils.
It’s also important to note that some oils are more prone to staining sheets than others. Though they’re great for using in massage therapy, grapeseed and almond oil are the worst offenders. Sunflower, jojoba, and fractionated coconut are less likely to stain.
We hope these tips help, and as always, we’re here to support you.
Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with multiple industry awards (thank you!) and proud to support the spa industry through mentorship and sponsorship.