Can You Bleach Linen? Tips on How to Do It Right

Can You Bleach Linen? Tips on How to Do It Right

Can you use bleach on linen?

Although bleaching natural linen fabric and similar garments is not generally recommended due to the wear and tear that inevitably happens over time, it is definitely possible to do when a refresh is needed.

You should only implement the use of bleach on white linen as using it on darker material removes the colored dye if you find that some of your favorite white vintage linens are turning yellow or one of your napkins has a stain that you cannot remove through traditional washing, consider bleach.

However, undiluted bleach should never be applied directly to fabric, even when white. All solutions should be diluted. Remember that this approach should only be used once in a while, as diluted solutions cause fibers to wear out and rip when used too often.

In general, chlorine bleach kills germs when used to clean toilet bowls and treat countertops. They require a light hand when doing laundry.

Here are some tips on how to successfully bleach linen.

How to bleach linen?

To bleach white linen, get either a bucket of water or a washing machine, a scoop of powdered bleach, chlorine-free detergent, and some soap.

The secret to removing stains is to do it as early as possible, for if you allow them to linger, they absorb deep into the fiber and become difficult to remove.

  1. Treat the area with dish soap and detergent for minor spots, gently massaging until it has completely disappeared. More stains may come off with baking soda and several drops of vinegar.
  2. Fill your chosen container with water, then soak the linen inside. It needs about two days to soak thoroughly.
  3. After filling and soaking, inspect your laundry for different stains. In most cases, you can be confident that no stains will remain but if any still appear, consider using mild soap to rub them off.
  4. Get a separate container and mix a water, bleach, and detergent solution.
  5. Next, rinse everything out. Check the condition of the linen, and repeat the same process if you are still unsatisfied with the result.
  6. Finally, you can leave it to air dry to preserve the quality for as long as possible. It's a good idea to allow it to dry in a properly ventilated area. Spread the linens out wide, hanging them on a clothesline in the fresh air. Conversely, you could use an iron with hot steam while they are still damp.

Bleach is highly effective at preserving the white color of linen fabric.

Don’t want to use chemicals and are curious how to bleach linen without bleach? There are other effective ways to whiten linen also. Here are some natural methods on how to whiten linen.

Baking soda
Hydrogen Peroxide

How to whiten linen sheets?

Most people wash sheets much less often than they care to admit. This results in yellow stains that lack the factory-sealed sparkle. Most of them grow dingy due to the body oils and sweat released while sleeping. Although the brightness can be prolonged with regular washing, many of these alternatives to chlorine bleach help make sheets white again.

Here are 5 different ideas on how to do it successfully without chemical bleach.

1. Lemon

Lemon has citric acid, which naturally helps brighten linen sheets without using any chemicals. Lemon juice is a natural method that leaves a pleasant smell on the sheets. Consider juicing a lemon, then pour it into the washer with your regular detergent.

2. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Vinegar is found in nearly every household and has been observed as a fix-all for cleaning issues. In addition, baking soda is another popular ingredient with the natural ability to neutralize odors.

If using vinegar, mix a half cup with a gallon of water, soak the sheets, machine wash, then air dry them to eliminate hints of the smell.

If using baking soda, place a half cup at the bottom of your washing machine. Add some white vinegar to the dispenser's lining.

3. Borax

Borax is another common cleaning material with a wide variety of uses, from getting rid of mold and stains to killing pests and neutralizing all kinds of odors. However, borax can also be utilized to whiten sheets.

Simply add a half cup of Borax to a single gallon of water, pre-soak the sheets overnight in the solution, then machine wash.

4. Liquid Bluing

Liquid bluing is a fantastic option for whitening linen sheets as it neutralizes undertones.

To use, dilute a single teaspoon of liquid bluing in a gallon of water. Pour the solution into the bottom of your washer along with your standard detergent, then machine wash.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide works best in tandem with other cleaning agents, such as baking soda. Yet, be certain now to mix it with bleach or vinegar. Instead, perform the first load with an active cleaning solution and the next with peroxide to counteract buildup and odors.

Add a single cup of hydrogen peroxide to the drum of your washer prior to adding the linen sheets, then machine wash.

Can I remove sweat stains from linen sheets?

The human body produces natural oils while sleeping, but sweat stains are affected by salt intake, hydration levels, and room temperature.

Consider staying cool at night, using a fan, and wearing breathable clothing. One of most common way to remove sweat stains just in few steps is to use white vinegar or borax:

  1. Soak linen sheets in warm water with white vinegar or borax and leave it over the night.
  2. After that, wash linen sheets in hot water or use the washing machine (just check your washing machine settings before doing that or check how to wash linen).

Dry linen sheets. The best is to let it dry outside or just let it air dry at home, because using a dryer might damage your linen sheets. If you decide to iron your sheets, here are some tips on how to do that, because ironing linen might be tricky sometimes.


Can yellow pillow stains be removed?

If your pillowcase has stains which just turned yellow, it’s due to natural oils from your hair and face. For many, the culprit is a lack of washing your face or failure to remove makeup prior to going to bed. To remove stains use a water and oil cleanser to wash your linen pillows as often as possible.

Yellow stains

How can I remove blood from my linen sheets?

Blood is one of the more daunting tasks when trying to remove stains from linen sheets, as these stains require cold water without rubbing. Most effective way to get the blood out is to use hydrogen peroxide.

Blood stains


There are many ways to whiten your linen garments without chemical bleach effectively, so you can choose which one works best for you and try it. Treated with care, your linen clothes will last forever.

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