1Massage Store Blog - Posts Tagged ‘Massage Table Sheets’

How to Make Massage Linens Last


As you well know, massage linens are essential to the massage therapy profession. Linens are important because they come in direct contact with your client’s skin. They need to be clean and spot-free. Anything less could cause a client to doubt your level of service or professionalism. Most massage oils are notorious for leaving stains. In this economy, no one wants to replace linens time after time. There are some simple precautions you can take to prolonging the life of your massage linens and save yourself from constantly replacing stained and tired sheets.

Massage Linens

Stronglite Flannel Massage Table Sheet Set

What’s the difference?

There are a lot of different massage linens sold. What works for some linens might not work for others. Different materials require different levels of cleaning. Most massage therapists avoid this problem by purchasing uniform linens and oils. By having all the same linens, you will be able to make your washing fairly standardized.

Oil Stains

Standard laundry detergent won’t cut it for tough oil stains. One of the best kept secrets of massage linen care is to use automatic dishwasher soap to clean your linens. Dishwasher soap is more suited for removing grease and oil than laundry detergent. It is important that natural, allergen-free soaps are used to clean your linens. When washing, use lukewarm water. This is another way to prolong their life and keep them from agitation. When drying, avoid using a dryer at high heats because it may cause threads to unravel. Your linens will come out more gentle with an air dry.


Soaking sheets immediately after a massage will allow for easy stain removal. The sooner a stain is treated the better. The longer a stain sits, the harder it will be to remove it. Be ready with stain fighting solutions which may include detergents, vinegars, and other natural degreasers.

Massage Linens

If you’re concerned about the life of your linens, OneTouch Massage can provide you with high quality massage linens at affordable pricing. OneTouch works to enable our clients to grow their practices by providing professional quality massage therapy equipment and accessories. OneTouch provides free shipping to the lower 48 states and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Choosing Massage Table Sheets

Massage therapy is a rewarding and fulfilling industry that provides relaxation amenities for our busy culture. Relaxation and peace surround every part of the process of massage therapy, and the first tangible interaction occurs between a client and the massage table sheets. Comfort is of utmost importance to the client, but you also need to consider price and length of use. There are thousands of different massage table sheets and we’ve broken it down to make your decision an easy one.


massage table sheets

100% Cotton

Cotton remains the most popular material and can be low cost. The downside to cotton is that it can wear out quickly and can be difficult to clean. Strong detergents and bleach allows cotton to maintain its look, but it tends to wrinkle more than alternatives.


Cotton/Synthetic Blend

A mixture of cotton and polyester is not quite as pure as cotton, but will last longer than most cotton massage table sheets. Cotton/Synthetic is easier to clean and flattens out quite nicely.



Flannel is said to be the most comfortable sheet there is. The weight of flannel determines how plush it feels. Flannel can be helpful for wicking away sweat and is very durable.



Bamboo gives a silky, soft feel and is environmentally friendly. Soy massage table sheets provide a soft but strechy feel and are a sustainable crop form. Hemp is a bit more pricey because of its import, but can last longer than cotton while retaining its softness.


Bottom Line

You get what you pay for. Plain and simple. If you are able to afford high-quality cotton, you will have a product that performs time and time again and provides the pinnacle of pleasure. If you choose low quality polyester, you might be disappointed. You also need to consider your client base and what they expect from the massage therapy experience.


Massage Table Sheets

If you want the best for your clients and brands you can trust, look no further. OneTouch Massage can provide you with high quality massage table sheets at affordable pricing. OneTouch works to enable our clients to grow their practices by providing professional quality massage therapy equipment and accessories. OneTouch provides free shipping to the lower 48 states and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Washing and Caring for Massage Sheets and Linens

Massage sheets

Follow these tips to care for your massage sheets.

One of your daily responsibilities as a massage therapist is caring for your massage linens. If you own your practice and have clients every day, you’ll most likely be washing your massage sheets every day as well. Here are some tips to prevent oil stains, get your sheets clean, and make them last as long as possible.

Wash Daily

The first rule is to wash your sheets within 24 hours of use. The sooner you can get your sheets in the washing machine, the better. Oils and other products are harder to get out if you let them sit for too long.


Pre-soak oil stains. Check for stains on the massage sheets while they’re still on the table, right after your client leaves. Treat stains immediately, before they have a chance to set. Use your regular detergent or a degreasing agent (such as Dawn dish soap) to pre-treat the stain.

Not Too Hot

Wash in warm water and rinse in cold. Too much heat can set oil stains and make your sheets smell like French fries. Washing with a warm/cold cycle will also save you money on utility costs.


Unless required, avoid using bleach to clean your massage sheets. Bleach shortens the lifespan of the fabric, and some clients may be sensitive to the effects of bleach. Use unscented detergent if possible, and avoid chemical additives. For stubborn oil stains, try adding automatic dishwasher detergent to the load. Use only when needed, since automatic dish detergent is harder on your sheets and will shorten their lifespan. Do not use the liquid dish detergent used to hand wash dishes, since it includes ingredients that cause an overabundance of suds.


Don’t put your sheets in the dryer unless you are sure that all the oil is removed. High heat can make oil stains permanent.

Line dry if possible. Your massage sheets will last longer if you allow them to air dry. If you use the dryer, choose a low heat setting and throw in a few clean tennis balls to reduce the drying time.

Oils, Lotions, and Creams

Another tip to avoid oil stains is to use water dispersible oils, lotions, and creams for your massage lubricants. The easier it is to remove the lubricant, the longer your sheets will stay “like new.”

Massage Oil Sheet Stains

Massage table sheets

Wash your massage table sheets within 24 hours of use.

Oil stains on sheets are a thorn in the side for every new therapist. Depending on the type of lubricant (massage oil, cream, gel, etc.) and massage sheets (cotton, poly, blends, etc.), some of these tricks may not work for you. You’ll have to do a bit of experimenting to find the best way to care for your massage linens.


Pretreat noticeable oil stains right after the client leaves. You can use Dawn dish soap, Zote soap, or a number of other treatment products that other therapists swear by.

Extra Detergent Power

Some therapists add a grease-cutting product to the wash. Along with your laundry detergent, you can add a small amount of Dawn detergent (about 2 Tablespoons) to help dissolve the oil. Be careful not to add too much, since you don’t want the extra suds to overflow the washing machine.

A trick that fry cooks use is to add automatic dishwashing detergent (such as Cascade). This type of detergent works well in washing machines, since it doesn’t create as many suds as regular dish detergent.

Before Washing

Wash your massage linens within 24 hours to prevent oils from setting and turning rancid. To keep the oil from setting, store the sheets in a black plastic bag until you can wash them. Keep the sheets out of the sun, away from heat, and with as little air in the bag as possible.

Wash and Dry

Don’t overfill the washing machine. Sheets need plenty of room to get clean. Wash in hot water, and line dry if possible. Dryer heat sets stains, so only use the dryer if the oil stains wash out completely.

If you dry your sheets in the dryer, set it to low heat or air dry and use dryer balls to speed up the process.

Other Tricks

Instead of changing how you wash your massage sheets, you can also change the type of lubricant (cream or lighter oils like jojoba and grapeseed are less likely to stain than a heavy massage oil), use higher quality sheets, and buy patterned sheets (they hide oil stains better).

At some point, you need to retire your sheets. To save money, keep an eye out for clearance sales throughout the year, and replace sheets a few sets at a time rather than all at once.

Earthlite Massage Table Linens and Covers Now Available

Earthlite sheets

Earthlite sheets and linens

We are expanding our selection of Earthlite products, starting with massage table sheets and covers. Earthlite massage table linens are designed for professional use in spas, offices, homes, and anywhere you travel with your table.

New Earthlite Products Available at OneTouch:

Free shipping is available on all orders to the continental U.S.

How to Fold Massage Sheets

How do you fold fitted sheets without getting tons of wrinkles in them? The art of sheet folding is one that’s especially important for mobile massage therapists to master, since the client watches the therapist dress the table. The folding job should look professional and make it easy to carry the massage sheets for outcalls and spread them out quickly on the table.

The following video produced by MassageNerd demonstrates how to fold a fitted sheet, a top sheet, and a face cradle cover in a compact package that’s easy to transport.

Note: Some massage therapists have suggested tucking the face cradle cover inside the folded massage sheets rather than wrapping it around the outside. That way the client doesn’t have to wonder what the face cradle cover may have come in contact with during transport. Another option would be to place the folded sheets and face cradle cover inside a clean pillowcase to keep everything clean and hygienic.

Get More Life Out of Your Massage Linens

Massage sheets and face cradle covers should be washed within 24 hours to prevent the oil from turning rancid.

Massage sheets and face cradle covers should be washed within 24 hours to prevent the oil from turning rancid.

Besides a professional massage table, massage linens may be one of a therapist’s biggest expenses, especially since these linens will need to be replaced every few years. With gentle care, however, you can get more life out of your massage linens and save money in the long run. Here are a few guidelines on caring for your massage linens.

Treating Oil Stains

The biggest laundry problem facing most massage therapists is how to prevent oil from staining their linens. Although there are different solutions to the problem, you may need to try more than one method to find one that works. Depending on the water quality, amount of oil on the massage sheets, type of linens and lubricant used, and other factors, what works for one therapist may not work for another.

One of the unique solutions suggested by massage therapists and by fry cooks is to use automatic dishwasher detergent. Try to find one with as few additives as possible. As a natural degreaser, the dishwasher detergent should lift out oil stains easily. Just make sure to use automatic dishwasher soap and not regular dish soap, which creates too many suds in the washer. Also, do not mix bleach with automatic dishwasher detergent. If you must use bleach, add the bleach in a second wash.

Specially formulated detergents can help remove massage oil without harsh chemicals or bleach.

Specially formulated detergents can help remove massage oil without harsh chemicals or bleach.

Other suggestions for removing oil stains include using specially formulated detergents (such as Bon Vital Fresh & Clean detergent), vinegar, OxiClean, Pure Pro degreaser, pre-treating sheets immediately after use, and using water-dispersible lubricants. Ask other therapists what works for them. Also, ask cooks and restaurant workers for advice on removing oil stains. They deal with the same problem you do.

Avoid using bleach, if possible, or choose an oxygen bleach. Using bleach will shorten the life of your sheets, and some clients may be allergic to it. However, some public health regulations (such as in a healthcare facility) may require you to bleach your linens. If so, follow these regulations.

Preventing Oil Stains

Wash linens within 24 hours of use. The longer the sheets sit, the harder it will be to get the oil out. If you must wait longer, store the linens in a black plastic blag, tied shut to keep out air and light. This will help prevent the oil from turning rancid.

If you wipe off your clients after sessions, use small hand towels instead of sheets. Pre-soak the towels and wash them separately from your sheets in order to contain the oil.

Washing Linens

Wash your massage sheets on a gentle cycle with cool or lukewarm water. Use a front loader, if possible. The less agitation, the longer your sheets will last. Let soap dissolve fully before loading sheets in the washer. Don’t overfill the washer. Your sheets will come out cleaner if there is more room in the washer.

Drying Linens

Line dry if at all possible. If that’s not an option, set the dryer on the air tumble setting and throw in a few clean (unused) tennis balls to reduce drying time by 25 – 50%. This saves time, energy, and money.

Choosing Massage Linens

100% cotton massage linens are super-soft and comfortable.

100% cotton massage linens are super-soft and comfortable.

Your massage linens are one of the first things clients will notice when they walk into the treatment room. They are also part of what makes a massage comfortable. Soft, clean sheets will go a long way towards making a great first impression on new clients and keeping old clients coming back.

Cotton and Cotton Blend Massage Linens

The most popular and most affordable massage linens are made from cotton or cotton blends. 100% cotton sheets are preferred for their ultra-soft feel and natural fibers. Flannel sheet sets provide extra warmth and comfort, especially in cool climates. Jersey cotton is another luxury material that allows clients to cozy up between the sheets. The downside of pure cotton linens is that they are not as durable as cotton blends and may need to be replaced more often.

Cotton blended with synthetic fibers, such as polyester, lacks the softness of 100% cotton but offers a more durable material for massage linens. Cotton/poly blends are also wrinkle-resistant, which makes them easier to care for.

Massage Linens
Cotton Cotton/Poly Blend
  • Ultra-soft touch
  • Not as durable as blends
  • Popular for flannel and jersey sheets
  • More durable than 100% cotton
  • Lacks the softness of cotton
  • Wrinkle-resistant

Premium Natural Massage Linens

Specialty massage linens include bamboo, hemp, soy, organic cotton, and other natural fibers. These materials are earth-friendly, but they also tend to be pricier than cotton or cotton blends. If you pride yourself on an environmentally friendly business or if your clients are big advocates for “green” living, the extra investment in natural linens will be worth it.

How Many Sets of Sheets Do I Need?

Experts recommend keeping at least two days’ worth of sheets on hand. So if you typically book four massage clients a day, you’ll want to have at least 8 sets of sheets. That way, you won’t have to scramble to get the laundry done every night.

Practical Tips to Control Temperature During Massage

How do you deal with clients that are always hot or always cold? Each client will have a different preference for temperature during the massage. Some may run hot, some cold, and some will be just right. It’s important to ask the client before each session if they are warm enough or too hot. Then make adjustments to make them more comfortable.

If clients are too cold…

Warm up chilled clients with a massage table warmer pad.

Warm up chilled clients with
a massage table warmer pad.

  • Add an extra blanket on top of the sheets.
  • Keep another blanket in the room in case one blanket isn’t enough.
  • Use a massage table warmer pad to apply heat underneath the client, along with the warmth of a blanket on top.
  • Keep the client covered as much as possible. Only uncover sections of the body as you need access to them.
  • Use flannel sheets instead of cotton or poly.
  • Suggest hot stones as an add-on treatment.
  • Wrap the hands and feet with hot, moist towels. Before the towels cool, replace them with fresh ones from the hot towel cabinet.
  • Drape the base of the neck with a hot towel. Replace with a fresh hot towel as needed.
  • Warm up your hands and the massage oil to keep from chilling the client with cold hands or lubricant.
  • If you can control the temperature of the treatment room, turn up the heat (or turn down the air conditioning) before the client arrives.
  • Use a space heater to warm up the room before the massage session. If it tends to run on the noisy side, turn it off just before the session begins.

The physical exertion of the massage may leave you hot while the client is still cold. Compensate for this by wearing light, loose clothing.

If clients are too warm…
  • If you can control the temperature of the treatment room, turn down the temperature before the client arrives.
  • Use cotton massage sheets and forego the blanket.
  • Use a ceiling fan or small portable fan to circulate the air. For rooms without air conditioning, set a small bucket of ice in front of the fan to cool down the air. Leave the fan on during the massage. It’s also a great way to muffle outside noises.
  • Uncover the client’s feet, lower legs, and arms to help cool down the entire body.
  • Offer moist, refrigerated towels or a refrigerated eye mask to the client. Wrap the neck and feet with cool, moist towels.

If you know that a client is always cold (often the elderly or very thin people) or always hot (often heavyset clients and menopausal women), write it down on their chart so you can adjust the temperature of the room before the client arrives.

Massage Oil Stains

Premium 100% Cotton Massage Sheets and Headrest Covers

Premium 100% Cotton Massage Sheets and Headrest Covers

Unless you send your massage sheets to the cleaners, laundry is a daily duty for most massage therapists. The toughest part is dealing with oil stains. Stained sheets are a sorry sight, and the rancid odor of oil stains is bad for service. Here are a few tips to keep your massage linens fresh and stain-free.

Choose the Right Massage Lubricants

It’s easier to prevent stains in the first place than to try to get them out after the fact. Choose high-quality massage oils, lotions, creams, or gels that are completely water soluble for easier cleanup. Lubricants that absorb easily into the skin generally leave behind fewer stains, simply because there’s no excess lubricant left to absorb into the sheets.

Choose the Right Massage Sheets

The quality of the sheets is another factor in preventing stains. 100% cotton sheets release stains more readily than polyester linens or cotton-poly blends. And if you’re worried about how your sheets will look after a few bouts with massage oil, choose light-colored massage table sheets. They show stains far less than dark colors. Patterned sheets are another slick trick for hiding oil stains. Also, remember that the dimmed lighting in the massage room helps hide light stains, so don’t stress too much over pristine-looking linens.

Wash or Soak Sheets Immediately After Use

Soak the massage sheets immediately after use and wash them as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that the stains will set and the harder it will be to get them out.

Add a half cup of vinegar to the load to help disperse the oil. Pre-treat larger stains with detergent, vinegar, or other stain-fighting agents. Large oil stains and makeup stains may need to be soaked overnight.

Shake out the sheets before transferring them to the dryer and take the sheets out of the dryer before they are completely dry. This keeps the sheets from getting wrinkled and saves you the hassle of ironing.

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