Why Indian Railways Provides White Bedsheets In Sleeper Class

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White bedsheets are more suitable for rigorous washing.

Contrary to what you may think, this is not a random coincidence but a well planned strategy.

The railways are the most common mode of long distance travel in India. When it comes to long distances, it goes without saying that we need to use Railway services like bedsheets and pillows provided to us during the course of the journey. At some point, many of us have used the blankets provided with bedrolls in the air-conditioned compartments of Indian Railways. These bedrolls and pillow covers are washed daily and given fresh to each passenger on the train. Have you noticed that the bed sheets and the pillow covers provided to you are always white? Indian Railways always hand out white sheets and covers for your journey.

Contrary to what you may think, this is not a random coincidence but a well planned strategy of the Railways. Let us tell you the reason behind it. Indian Railways operates a vast number of trains on a daily basis, requiring the use of several thousand bedsheets and pillowcases each day. These linens are provided to passengers in compartments and are collected after a single use for cleaning. The cleaning process involves specialised machines equipped with large boilers that generate steam at a temperature of 121 degrees Celsius. The bedsheets are subjected to this steam for 30 minutes, ensuring they are thoroughly sterilised.

This intense cleaning process has led Indian Railways to prefer white bed sheets over coloured ones. White bedsheets are found to be more suitable for such rigorous washing conditions. They respond better to bleaching, which is necessary to maintain hygiene and cleanliness. The harsh washing process, which includes exposure to high temperatures and strong detergents, can cause coloured fabrics to fade or become dull. In contrast, white bed sheets can be bleached effectively, retaining their brightness and giving the fabric a clean, lustrous appearance despite repeated washes. By opting for white bedsheets, Indian Railways ensures that the linens provided to passengers are not only sterile but also visually appealing.

Apart from that, using different coloured bed sheets would require washing them separately to prevent colours from mixing. If washed together, the colours could bleed, and mix with each other.

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