Keep Your Linen Clothes Stain Free: How to Wash Linen (Full Guide)
Read on and find out how to wash linen with step-by-step instructions. You’ll be surprised how easy it is.
Light and breathable, linen clothing is a popular go-to. Plus, as if linen’s got all the luck, it’s also one of the strongest and most durable natural fabrics on offer. So as long as you stick to a few general rules, washing linen’s not hard at all.
In this blog, we’ll try to answer all the most pressing questions. What temperature °an you wash linen in? How to get rid of stains? And we’ll share bonus tips for how to keep your favourite linen pieces in pristine condition for years to come.
Where’s the fun in all your most stylish linens being relegated to the closet? Linen’s meant to be lived in and enjoyed. We’ll show you how to wash linen for the best results without fuss. Hopefully, after reading, you’ll feel confident enough to wear your beloved linens to brunch, lunch or dinner.
Top 2 Rules When Washing Linen
- No Temperatures Above 30°C
- The key when cleaning linen is to stay clear of any extreme temperatures, as they can weaken the fabric.
- You can both machine wash and tumble dry linen but only at mild temperatures.
- Too high temperatures can cause shrinkage.
- When washing or tumble drying your linen clothing stick to roughly 30°C (don’t go higher) and you’ll have success every time.
- Try To Be Gentle
- Taking extra care when washing will make your favourite pieces, like linen tops and linen dresses What does that look like?
- When you’re handwashing your linens, don’t scrub or twist the fabric.
- If you’re using the washing machine, choose the gentlest cycle possible.
- Try to use a mild detergent without too many harsh chemicals. Bleach is a big no-no.
How To Wash Linen Clothing
Just like diamonds or many of nature’s other gifts, not all linen is created equal. If you want linen that lasts and also washes well, it must be top-quality. Plus, it will make all the difference if you double-check where your linen is sourced from and its purity percentage.
Always look at the garment label for the washing instructions and follow them. Certain lined linen pieces like blazers or elaborate dresses may ask for “dry cleaning only”. If it’s not explicitly stated otherwise, most other linen clothing can be washed easily at home.
In love with your LUXMII Linens? Check out our Garment Care page for specific instructions on how to care for your pieces and keep them in top condition for years.
Before any washing takes place, it’s a good idea to decide whether you’ll use the washing machine or wash by hand. Linen is a woven textile with some pieces more delicate than others. If your linen clothing features a very loose weave with lots of breathability and transparency, it’s best to opt for handwashing. For any other linens, machine washing is convenient and won’t cause any damage.
How To Wash Linen – Machine Wash
- Load only half the washing machine to prevent creases and damage to your linen clothing. Wash linens only with other linens. Plus, light-coloured linens should be washed separately from darker colours.
- Turn your linens inside out and unbutton any buttons before washing them.
- Add a small amount of gentle detergent to the washing machine.
- Choose the gentlest cycle available. The temperature should not exceed 30°C. Go with a short spin.
- If you have the option to select the amount of water, always choose the maximum water level. It will allow your linens to move around effortlessly and without obstruction.
- Keep an eye on the finish time of the cycle. As soon as the cycle’s done, take the clothes out of the washing machine. This will prevent wrinkles from setting.
- The best way to dry linen clothes is to hang them on the clothesline to air-dry.
How To Wash Linen – Hand Wash
- When handwashing, wash one piece of linen clothing at a time.
- Into a sink or bucket, pour moderately warm water. The temperature shouldn’t be higher than 30°C. Throw in a teaspoon of gentle detergent, and mix it around until it’s dissolved.
- Put your linen into the water. Hold it under the water for roughly 10 minutes.
- Move the linen around gently in the water. Don’t scrub or twist. It could damage the clothing.
- Next, pour out the soapy water. Keep rinsing your linen with cold water until there’s no more soap.
- Hang your linen on the line to dry naturally.
Darker Coloured Linens
For dark or vibrantly coloured linens, it’s best to wash them separately. It will help prevent any colour bleeding and fading.
To keep your colours full of life and brightness, stay away from warm and hot temperatures. It’ll keep your linens just as vibrant as they were on day 1.
How To Remove Stains From Linen
Hopefully, with our tips, even the most stubborn stains will no longer be feared. Here are a few critical ways to well and truly say farewell to stains:
- For particularly delicate linen clothes, remove stains from the inside out. It will help keep the exterior even more protected.
- Act swiftly; don’t waste time. Try not to let stains sit and sink deeply into the fabric. It will make removing them tricky.
- Rinse the spot under cold water. Or for wine spills, sparkling water is best.
- For tougher spots, gently rub dish detergent into the affected area. Always remember to wash out with water.
- Very stubborn spots that have already dried might need something stronger. Baking soda and a few tiny drops of white vinegar should do the trick. Next, blot with a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture.
- Never use undiluted bleach on linen clothing, even if it’s a white linen shirt. It will weaken the fibres of the fabric. If you really can’t avoid bleach, make sure to dilute it with water at least 2:1.
- Before trying any stain removal treatments, always test on a hidden area of the linen clothing first. This will let you see how the fabric will react without ruining your garment.
- Once you’ve removed the stain, always wash your linens as per the steps outlined above. It will help remove any soapy residue and the last remnants of dirt.
Spills and dirt can be a headache to remove for every fabric, not just linen. Plus, what makes it harder is different stains usually need different treatments. If you’re ever stuck for answers, here’s a helpful and extensive stain removal guide.
Does Linen Shrink When Washed?
Does linen shrink when washed? Premium quality linen, when washed correctly, doesn’t shrink. Although linen clothes experience a small amount of shrinkage after the first wash, most brands only offer prewashed linen, so that doesn’t happen.
The last thing anyone wants is for their treasured linen clothes to drop one size from a simple wash. But as long as you follow the cleaning steps correctly, that unfortunate outcome is totally avoidable. The most critical key to remember is to keep the temperatures under 30°C.
The best way to dry linen is on the clothesline in the air. But, if you must use a tumble dryer, keep to very mild temperatures. Here’s a tip if you’re tumble drying: remove the linen while it’s still damp to prevent creases from setting. Then finish off the drying by hanging it on the line.
Conclusion: How To Wash Linen
Putting in extra attention to care for your linens will pay off in the long run. As long as you stick to the general rules, you'll be able to enjoy your linens well into the future. Here's a quick recap of how to wash linen the easy way, with perfect results every time.
- Stay away from high temperatures. For both the washing and drying stages, don't exceed 30°C, and your linens will remain in top shape.
- Don't overstuff the washing machine. Your clothes should have enough room to move around freely to prevent any damage. Doing half a load is helpful.
- Hand washing is an ideal option for delicate pieces. It'll guarantee that your most loosely woven linens aren't damaged. Whenever your linen clothes aren't particularly dirty, skip the washing machine and gently clean them by hand.
- Don't be rough with your linen clothing. Any twisting or scrubbing can wear down your fabric over time. When handwashing, it's best to swish the linen around gently.
- Got a wine spill? If your linen is stained, then jump into action immediately. First, don't wash until you've treated the stain. To finish off, rinse with cold water to remove any residue.
We hope we've made the process of how to wash linen more straightforward and simple. Use these tips to keep your favourite linens as fresh and clean as when you first bought them. Happy washing!