How To Wash Linen

Linen is a very versatile material that has plenty of benefits. High-Quality linen is very strong and in many ways, it can look after itself. It might not be the most glamorous choice but it is certainly high-quality. However, linen can still get dirty and when it does you will need to know how to wash it effectively.

So, how do you wash linen then? The good news is linen can be washed by machine and by hand without issue and when carried out correctly they’ll be no risk of damage or shrinking to the material.

If your linens do come out of the wash damaged then it will likely be down to the detergent you have used. Some chemicals in detergents can react harshly with linens which can result in damage so do be mindful of that.

Using A Washing Machine

Okay, you might be tempted to just through your dirty linens into the washing machine turn it on and call it a day. But while you can do that with linen (and most other clothes) you will get better results if you take a little more time to prepare things. Plus, sometimes just throwing things into a washing machine can lead to problems.

So, what is the best way to use a washing machine for your linens? Well, the first thing you should do is separate the dark and light colours. Try to wash all the light coloured linens together and all the darker coloured linens together. Yes, some washing machines will have a mixed cycle setting but separate washes will achieve better results.

With linen, you will want a relatively low temperature around 40 degrees should be okay but don’t go any higher. High temperatures can cause linen to shrink and will likely damage it as well. So, stick to the lower temperatures, this might be you’ll need to was heavily soiled linens more than once to fully get stains out though.

Try not to overload the washing machine with too many linens at once as well because a balanced load will be more efficient. Finally, when choosing a detergent make sure it is safe to use with linens. You will ideally want something mild and bleach-free. Bleaching linens is never a good idea so make sure you don’t use it.

Using The Hand Washing Method

Hand washing your linens is easier in some respects but much more difficult in some ways especially if you want to clean larger linens like bed sheets for example. But if you want to give hand washing a try this is how you should do it.

First, fill up your sink with lukewarm water more cold than hot if you’re struggling with the temperature. Then add a dash of mild detergent around a teaspoon should do it. If your sink is too small to properly accommodate your linens you can use a large bucket or even your bathtub to do the washing.

Once you have a decent water level you should submerge the linen in the water and leave it to soak for around 5 – 10 minutes depending on the severity of the stains. While it’s submerged in the water gently swish the clothing around. Swishing the clothes might sound odd but basically, all you have to do is move it around in the water.

Don’t wring or twist the linens and resist the urge to start scrubbing any stains as this will only risk damaging the linen and will almost definitely stretch it out of shape. Once the linens have soaked enough drain the water and rinse them till all the detergent has been washed out. Then simply hang them up to dry, once the linen is only slightly damp you can place it in a dryer to speed up the process.

So, that completes our look at how to best wash your linens. Every home will have at least a few linens and while it isn’t commonly used in clothing (although linen clothing isn’t exactly rare either) plenty of other things like pillowcases, sheets, curtains, and bedding are all commonly made with linen. And now you know how best to clean them.


Linen Bedding

Bedding made from linen is very common and it is worth looking at in a little more detail. You can basically follow the same advice laid out above but be sure to follow these extra steps. Turn the bedding inside out and make sure things are buttoned or zipped up.

You will then need to ensure there is enough space to wash them if you want to use a washing machine. Try to wash linen bedding on its own to help ensure there is enough space for the material to rinse properly at the end of the cycle.

Finally, once finished hang them up to dry quickly to ensure the linen doesn’t lose its shape.

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