A washing machine and bottles of laundry detergent for bamboo sheets, ready for use to wash bamboo bed sheets

Best Detergent for Bamboo Sheets

Bamboo sheets are undeniably some of the most comfortable sheets on the market. They are breathable, durable, hypoallergenic, and luxuriously soft. But if you want to get as much use as possible out of your bamboo sheets and preserve their quality for as long as possible, taking proper care of them is crucial. This includes choosing the right detergent. 

With so many different laundry detergents out there, it can be daunting to wade through the options to find the best one. That’s why we’ve done the work to research and test several top brands to find the best all-around mild detergent for bamboo sheets: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent. This gentle detergent, along with three others, we found to be not only gentle on bamboo sheets but effective at removing stains, too.

If Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent doesn’t fit the bill for you, don’t worry – we’ve included three other top picks, along with the pros and cons of each one. That way you can make the best choice for your needs and preferences! We’ll also leave you with some handy tips and tricks for getting the most out of each wash so you can preserve the quality of your bamboo sheets for years to come.

How to wash your bamboo sheets

Most bamboo sheets can be washed using similar methods. Similarly, all of the detergents below will work well for the different types of bamboo fabrics and are gentle enough to even work on fabric blends. That said, it’s always a good idea to check the care tag of your bamboo sheets before washing them in case there are any special care instructions.

Closeup of a man putting white bamboo sheets into the washing machine

Unless the care label instructs otherwise,  the best way to wash bamboo sheets is in the gentle cycle with lukewarm or cool water. Use one of our recommended gentle detergents (don’t use fabric softeners!), which avoid harsh chemicals and are better for the environment than conventional options. You can then use air drying or the tumble dryer on a low heat setting without dryer sheets (never dry bamboo sheets on high heat to prevent the natural fibers from burning or breaking).

Does water temperature matter?

Yes, water temperature matters when it comes to bamboo sheets. Wash bamboo sheets using only cold or lukewarm water, as high temperatures can cause the fibers to shrink even more than cotton. Additionally, hot water can damage the bamboo fibers or result in pilling. If your bamboo sheets are colored, or they are washed with colored items, hot water can cause dyes to bleed, causing discoloration.

The good news is that most detergents today are designed to work best in cold water, so you don’t have to worry about whether the cold water will prevent your sheets from getting clean. However, detergents may lose efficiency in water below 40℉, so if you live in a cold climate you may need to use the warm setting during the winter to make sure your clothes clean properly.

If you’re worried about bacteria in your sheets, such as if someone in your household is sick, you can add oxygen bleach and use warm water to kill off the majority of microorganisms, according to experts.

What to look for in laundry detergent for bamboo sheets

When deciding which detergent is best for bamboo sheets, there are a few different factors that are important to consider. Above all, the detergent should be gentle on the fabric, good for you and the planet, suitable for allergies or sensitivities, and effective. Let’s take a closer look at these factors below:

A woman holding two laundry detergents to compare which one is the best detergent for bamboo sheets

Gentle on the fabric

Having a laundry detergent that is gentle on fabric is important when it comes to extending the lifespan of your bamboo sheets. Bamboo fabric is typically durable, but it can be subject to wear and tear over time. Harsh detergents can weaken the fibers of your bamboo sheets and can cause color fading or discoloration of the material. Unfortunately, bamboo sheets are also subject to wrinkling, which can be exaggerated with harsh chemicals.

Luckily, many eco-friendly detergents tend to be gentle on bamboo fabrics. That’s because these products are typically free of the harsh and toxic chemicals present in conventional detergents, including phthalates, bisphenols, PFAS chemicals, 1,4-dioxane, and more.

Good for you and the planet

Not only are the harsh chemicals found in conventional laundry detergents harsh on fabrics and the environment, but research shows that they are linked to serious health risks, too. Therefore it’s important to choose a detergent that’s both good for you and the planet.

While many brands throw around terms such as “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” without much to back up their claims, the most eco-friendly brands are certified by third-party organizations such as 1% for the Planet, Green Seal, EPA’s Safer Choice, and more.

You may also find that some detergents are plant-based, which means the ingredients are mostly or completely derived from plants rather than fossil fuels. Similarly, detergents may be vegan when no animal-based enzymes or other ingredients are used.

Suitable for those with allergies or skin sensitivities

One of the best parts about bamboo sheets is that they are gentle and soft, and naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial. This makes bamboo sheets an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

However, those benefits go away if you wash your bamboo sheets with harsh detergents, hence it’s important that detergents are safe for those with sensitivities.

Effective at removing stains

It’s great to have a laundry detergent that is gentle, safe, and hypoallergenic, but you still want it to be effective when it comes to cleaning your sheets, right? Your bamboo bed sheets likely experience less wear, tear, and staining than your clothing or outdoor wear, however, keeping them clean is an important part of your overall health. Therefore it’s essential when choosing a detergent that it effectively cleans bamboo sheets and removes any stained area.

That said, even the best laundry detergents won’t remove all stubborn stains. For stubborn stain removal, you may still need to pretreat with soap or an enzyme-based stain remover.

Close up view of laundry detergent powder for bamboo sheets

Best detergents for bamboo sheets

Are you ready to find out which laundry detergents are best for bamboo sheets? After much researching and testing, we determined the top three contenders and one runner-up for the best bamboo sheets detergents. These four detergents passed the cleanliness test while remaining gentle on luxuriously soft bamboo sheets.

Note: You can easily find all of these products in all major stores (Target, Walmart, grocery stores) but you can also order them from Amazon if you want which will support us in writing these articles for you.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent (rainwater scent)

  • Overall rating: 4.8/5
  • Pros: Very effective cleaner, gentle on skin, fresh scent, offered in liquid form or pods
  • Cons: Use of essential oils might irritate your skin if you have allergies

Mrs. Meyer’s is a cleaning brand that has taken the world by storm recently due to their eco-friendly and high-quality cleaning products. And for good reason!

The rainwater-scented liquid detergent has particularly rave reviews and is the least imposing of the scents. Frankly, I am using rainwater-scented hand soap and detergent in my house. I just love the scent! Other offered scents include basil, peony, and birchwood (and some seasonal scents). Overall, this detergent is very effective in cleaning bamboo sheets. It’s also very concentrated, so despite the bottle being on the pricier side, it should get you through many loads (approximately 1 load per fluid ounce).

Based on the ingredient profile, this detergent is safe for sensitive skin and allergies. However, it isn’t completely fragrance-free, rather comes in a variety of scents. If you are sensitive to certain essential oils, you may want to avoid this brand or should test a particular fragrance first to make sure it doesn’t cause a reaction. Luckily, the scent itself is quite mild, but it does provide a bit of added freshness that the other detergents on this list do not. 

Tide purclean™ Unscented Liquid Laundry Detergent

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Pros: Great stain-fighting power while still gentle on fabric, great for allergies and sensitive skin
  • Cons: Not quite as eco-friendly as advertised, use less than the recommended amount to ensure detergent rinses out completely, only offered in liquid form

Tide purclean™ is not the most environmentally-friendly laundry detergent on this list, but it does get the job done. Made from 75% plant-based material, EPA Safer Choice-certified, and produced with wind-powered electricity, Tide purclean™ is Proctor and Gamble’s most eco-friendly detergent to date.

Tide is a brand that is proven to have strong stain-fighting formulations, and Tide purclean™ is no exception. It’s very effective at cleaning bamboo sheets despite being gentler than their typical detergent. This is also a very easy product to find at big box stores and online.

While some eco-friendly products may require more detergent than the bottle recommends to be effective at removing stains, Tide purclean™ requires less! Many reviews suggested using less than the recommended amount, as using the recommended amount may result in the detergent not rinsing out completely. Moreover, this product is very viscous and can get foamy if you use too much of it, especially if your washing machine is HE (high efficiency). With that in mind, using just about half of the recommended amount leaves no residue, and your bamboo sheets should still come out clean.

So far Tide purclean™ is only offered in the liquid form, so if you’re looking for pods or detergent sheets you’ll want to try one of the other brands.

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Pros: Dye and fragrance-free, great for sensitive skin, very effective at cleaning bamboo sheets, comes in liquid form or pods
  • Cons: Need a little bit more detergent to get that deeper clean

Seventh Generation is a great all-around eco-friendly detergent for your bamboo sheets that is dye and fragrance-free. This natural detergent is made with 97% bio-based ingredients, making it one of the best detergents for the environment. It is hypoallergenic and formulated for people with sensitive skin, so it is the best option if you are prone to allergies or have skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis that can flare up with certain detergents.

Some eco-friendly detergents may be less effective at cleaning your fabrics. This isn’t the case for Seventh Generation’s Free and Clear detergent. It’s very effective at thoroughly cleaning bamboo sheets, even without the harsh chemicals. Instead, it uses plant enzymes to break down those dirt particles embedded in the fabric. One thing we appreciate about Seventh Generation’s Free and Clear detergent is that it comes with stain pre-treatment washing instructions for tough stains. That addition shows that they are committed to helping consumers get the cleanest fabrics possible without resorting to harsh chemicals.

As with most eco-friendly products (aside from Tide purclean™) you’ll want to use a little more product to effectively clean your sheets. From what we’ve experienced, this is very common for eco-friendly detergents. We recommend using about 25-50% more product than recommended, but after a wash or two, you’ll find what works best for you.

Since this detergent is fragrance-free, you do lose that fresh, clean scent you get from other detergents. However, this makes them great for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

This detergent is also offered in pods for convenience.

Runner up: ECOS Free & Clear Plant-Powered Laundry Detergent

  • Rating: 3.5/5
  • Pros: Eco-friendly, plant-based, great for sensitive skin, comes in liquid form, pods, or sheets
  • Cons: Less effective at cleaning and removing stains

ECOS is one of the eco-friendly detergents that is highly recommended by many different sources. While it has an excellent reputation for being biodegradable, eco-friendly, and hypoallergenic, it isn’t necessarily the most effective for cleaning bamboo sheets.

On the plus side, the ECOS detergent is gentle and hypoallergenic. However, we found that it required much more detergent to end up with clean sheets, so you may go through this bottle more quickly than anticipated.

With that said, it has a very simplified list of ingredients: only six, to be precise. It’s also 100% vegan, plant-based, EPA Safer Choice-certified, and Leaping Bunny-certified (cruelty-free), making this brand safe for septic systems. So, while it has a few drawbacks, it is a product and a brand that you can feel really good about purchasing.

ECOS Free and Clear also come in detergent pods or sheets to fit your preference!

Do you have a favorite detergent that didn’t make the list? Let us know your go-to detergent for your bamboo sheets!
Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo
About the Author: James Zimmerman

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