May I Recommend: Linen Spray 

Think of linen spray as a miracle in a spray bottle, at least when it comes to wrinkle-free bedding.

A graphic illustration of a bed before and after using linen spray for fresh, wrinkle-free bedding without an iron.
Sammi McDowell

Every morning, I spray my freshly made bed with water.

I'll explain why I do this and why I think some of you will want to know why I do this! But first, a brief anecdote.

It may not seem so on the surface, but the life of a cleaning expert is filled with interesting and often very funny stories. When people learn that I'm a cleaning expert, they typically do one of two things: They tell me about an under-the-radar product or technique (I met a cellist on a plane once and learned all about cleaning a cello!) or ask me what to do about a horrible mess they've made, and how the mess came to be made in the first place.

This particular tip, which I'd like to recommend to you, came wrapped in a wonderfully cringey story that goes like this:

A childhood friend was dating a new girl, who had yet to meet his parents. But things were getting serious, which meant the meeting was nigh. She had a vision of how this meeting would go down: It involved brunch at home, a beautifully set table, and fresh flowers. I probably don't need to tell you that this plan went awry, but...the plan went awry. Here's what happened instead: The morning after a big night out, the happy couple ran into his mom in all their hungover glory. "Meeting Janie while doing a walk of shame was not how I imagined things going for me."

I tell you that to tell you this: In the course of recounting this humiliating story about the fantasy brunch plan that had gone completely awry, she dropped a tiny nugget of wisdom that was new to me: "I was even going to put down a proper tablecloth and spray it with water to remove the wrinkles!"

Now, I had never heard of doing such a thing, but I believed her when she told me that putting down a tablecloth, spritzing it with water from a spray bottle, running your hands over the fabric to smooth it, and then giving it a little tug to pull it taut would obviate the need for ironing. I also decided to try it out for myself, but not with a tablecloth — instead, I used the technique on my wrinkled duvet cover.

For a person who is extremely particular about her bed, it was life changing.

It turns out that lightly spritzing the duvet cover after making up the bed and giving the whole thing a yank to pull it taut leaves the duvet looking like it was freshly pressed when, of course, you have not suffered through any pressing at all. Pillowcases that have become impossibly creased while being slept on look like they just came off the ironing board. It is a miracle in a spray bottle.

Plain tap water in a basic spray bottle works just fine for this, but there is an entire category of product called "linen spray" that exists in this world. Linen spray is, essentially, scented water, though it can often include a chemical like alcohol to disinfect as well. If you're a person who does not care for scents, stick with the water in the spray bottle, but if you're a person who does like scents, linen spray is going to make you so happy. Because not only will it allow you to perform the de-wrinkling trick, it also will add an ever-so-slight fragrance to your sheets that will freshen them up a bit between changings. And if you’re feeling crafty, customizable linen sprays can make for a great DIY project — both as a form of self-care and as a group bonding activity.

While my wrinkle-free bed has inspired puzzled queries ("Babe? Why are you spraying water on your bed?"), it has also received exasperated compliments ("Of course your bed looks perfect when it's made, why doesn't mine look like that??") I don't mind either line of questioning, because both allow me to impart the wisdom of linen spray to a new generation.