How to wash linen? Linen care guide

How to wash linen? Linen care guide

Linen washing instructions

First things first, you might wonder about how to properly wash your favourite linen pants or that special summer dress you wore all of your holiday by the seaside. Take some time to read your garment’s label because this is where you'll find the item’s specific linen care instructions. There are various laundry symbols and some of them are commonly found on the labels of linen clothes.

The symbol of an iron, for example, is one of the easiest to understand. The number of dots suggests the temperature that should be used when ironing the garment.

The symbol of a washing bowl with a certain number on it recommends you the right temperature for the washing.

A square with a circle inside is a symbol for tumble drying.

Water temperature not above 30C
Tumble dry

Secondly, your linen clothing may be bright coloured like intense red, so in order to keep the colour intact and not to ruin your other linen garments, always separate colours. Look out if your garment has buttons or any solid or hard details of its design that could damage the material itself or other pieces of clothing once in the washing machine.

Lastly, decide what detergent and fabric softener you are going to use for your linen garments wash up. It is recommended to use a mild detergent that is formulated for linen fabric. Ideally, look for a detergent that contains a hypoallergenic formula. Now it is time to wash your linen garments. Your linen clothing can be washed by hand or using a washing machine.

How to hand wash your linen clothing

Hand wash your linen clothing

Washing linen clothes by hand is quite easy, just follow these steps:

1. Use your sink or a washing bowl and fill it with cold or lukewarm water (30° - 40°C or 85° - 100°F).

2. Add a spoon of your detergent, or use the quantity that is written on the package. Submerge your linen article in the water and leave it for a few minutes.

3. Later, use gentle motions to wash your linen garment in order to avoid damaging the material.

4. Afterward, drain the soapy water and change with clean until there is no more soap residue.

5. Do not wring your garment to prevent stretching and damage to the fabric.

6. Your linen garment is clean and ready to be hung for drying.

water temperature not above 30C or 85F
Hand wash
Do not wring
Hang dry

How to machine wash your linen clothing

Machine wash your linen clothing

Washing linen in the washing machine costs no trouble at all:

1. Remember to separate white, dark, and coloured linens.

2. Always make sure that your washing machine is not too overloaded for the wash to go smooth.

3. Use cold or lukewarm water (<40°C/104°F).

4. Choose a gentle cycle of washing. Go for the Delicate cycle or the Normal one, if your washing machine lets you choose the temperature.

5. Use a low heat program (delicate or gentle cycle, lower than 55°C) if tumble drying.

6. If you are not using a tumble dryer, hang your linen items for air drying. Your garments can also dry flat, just put them on a towel.

water temperature not above 30C or 85F
Machine wash
Gentle cycle low heat tumble dry

How to treat spots on linen?

You are wearing your linen shirt, enjoying the perfect weather and ridiculously delicious food and wine at your favourite summer terrace when suddenly a part of what was on your fork drops down right on your gorgeous garment. The truth is we all, at least once, have experienced this horrible turn of events. Nonetheless, this is not the end of the world. Your garment can be saved regardless, just make sure to react quickly. You do not want that dirt and grease absorbing into the fibers of your shirt and leaving you with a headache over trying to get that stain out.

Depending on the stain and its size you have various options on how to deal with the situation:

- For small stains and spots try club soda or soap.

- A stain can also be a little trickier to clean, if this is the case, try using dish soap or sprinkling baking soda with a few drops of vinegar over the spot.

- Remember not to rub the stain harshly, instead, gently massage it, you do not want to damage the fibers of your linen garment.

Learn more about how to get stains out of linen.

Does linen shrink?

Linen material has a tendency to shrink when washed in water. This is why it is important to use guidelines when washing anything made from linen. Lukewarm water is absolutely recommended when washing your linen garments because washing them in too hot or too cold water can make the shrinkage highly apparent, just like it can damage the material or cause the loss of the original colour.

Can you iron linen?

Yes, ironing linen is completely safe. Although sometimes ironing is not necessary, because many linen garments have a certain charm when ruffled, otherwise, ironing your linen curtains might seem crucial. If you decide to iron your linen products, iron them while they are still damp (or overlay them with a damp towel or cloth) and use a medium-hot iron. Find tips on how to iron linen.

Can you tumble-dry linen?

Your linen items can be machine dried but always opt for safety. Use a low heat program (delicate or gentle cycle, lower than 55°C) when drying.

Does linen dry quickly?

Yes, linen dries quickly by itself, so air drying is definitely a great choice as well. Consider it before using the dryer.

Does linen stretch?

Linen is a very durable and completely natural fabric. The linen fibers do not stretch and have very low elasticity. Knowing that, keep your linen items fresh by constantly changing the way they are folded and do not iron them too much in one place so that the fabric doesn’t break too fast and would last for a long time.

Can you wash linen in hot water?

Washing linen in hot water is not recommended as it may damage the fabric and cause shrinkage. You can both machine wash and hand wash linen, just don't forget that the recommended temperature for washing linen is 30° - 40°C or 85° - 100°F.

Can you bleach linen?

It is highly recommended no to bleach your linen items. Bleaching can easily weaken delicate fibers of your linen products and cause unwanted discoloration. But there are ways how to whiten linen by using natural methods.

How to store linen?

Store your linen in a dry, cool, and airy place that is away from direct sunlight. Linen material is natural and needs to breathe in order to stay fresh and lovely. Before storing your linen, do not forget to completely dry it off, this way you will avoid the unpleasantness of mould and mildew.

There you go, these are the answers to the main questions about how to wash linens. Love and care for your linen products, and they will certainly bring you joy and last many days to come.

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