How to Wash Linen Fabric? Best Linen Washing Guide

How to Wash Linen Fabric? Best Linen Washing Guide

With the help of our handy guide, learn how to wash linen and our best linen stain removal advice.

When you finally have your ideal linen dress or another linen item in your possession, you may be wondering how to wash linen clothing safely without causing any damage.

Apart from its inherent character, linen fabric is one of the most prized and valuable textiles in the world because maintenance is relatively straightforward. It can be machine washed, hand washed, or dry cleaned depending on how your fabric is applied.

In order to get the most out of your fabric, it’s crucial to adhere to the cleaning guidelines for the method you select in order to preserve the fabric’s quality. So let’s get into the details of our guide to washing linen.

How to Wash Linen Fabric?

Linen items can be both hand-washed and machine-washed – either of these methods is fine and won’t stretch or shrink your linens. If damage does occur during washing, it might be caused by the fabric’s quality or the chemicals used.

Machine Wash

Machine washing is an option for smaller items like clothing or curtains. However, they ought to be divided according to color. Never wash dark fabrics with light-colored ones. Additionally, linen fabrics ought to be washed in a distinct load from other kinds of fabrics.

Use water that is no hotter than lukewarm, preferably cold, when using a home or commercial washing machine. Warm water could weaken or shrink the fibers of linen fabric.

How to Wash Linen Fabric? Best Linen Washing Guide

Additional tips include:

  • To preserve the fibers, run your laundry on a gentle cycle.
  • Don’t overfill the machine; doing so could prevent your fabric from being cleaned evenly.
  • Don’t bleach; use gentle (delicate) detergent instead.

Hand Wash

If you decide to hand wash your linens, fill a sink (or another container big enough to hold your fabric) with lukewarm water and roughly one teaspoon of mild detergent.

Soak your linen for about 10 minutes. The fabric should then be moved around in the container using your hands. Important note: The fabric should not be twisted or scrubbed as this can harm the fibers.

Allow the water to drain and refill the sink. Once all of the detergents have been removed, repeat this step.

When linen is used for upholstery or pillows, hand washing will likely look different. To see if a cleaning code or cleaning instructions are attached, it is crucial to look at the manufacturer’s tag.

For example, the tag may include a “W,” which signals that the linen can be washed with water and a mild detergent solution. An “S,” on the other hand, requires cleaning with a solvent. The fibers can be harmed by using water that is hotter than lukewarm, as was already mentioned.

You Might Also Like: How to Dye Linen Fabric?

Other Cleaning Techniques

Though bleaching can be used to brighten various fabrics, it is not recommended for linens. The flax fibers may become weakened by bleaching. The fabric may become stained as well.

It is best to attempt stain removal as soon as the linen fabric becomes stained. Use a mixture of water and detergent to soak up the stain. A small amount of white vinegar, club soda, or even baking soda can be used to spot-clean the fabric. After using one of these solutions, blot the stain with a towel.

How to Wash Linen Fabric? Best Linen Washing Guide

If spot cleaning doesn’t work, try rubbing the stain with dish soap to get rid of any dirt that may be present. Then, wash the fabric either by hand or in a washing method using the tips outlined above.

Last but not least, maintaining your linens on a regular basis, especially in areas with heavy traffic like furniture or rugs, can keep the fabric feeling new. By simply sprinkling some baking soda on the fabric, letting it sit, and then vacuuming up the residue, you can get rid of odors that accumulate.

Drying Linen

If linen is pre-washed, you can place linens in the dryer on low heat. This will aid in removing some wrinkles that are frequently present on linen. The linens should be taken off, though, while they are still a little damp.

Air drying is necessary if the linen is used as upholstery on a piece of furniture or is on a larger piece that cannot be put inside a dryer.

Softening Linen

Every wash naturally makes linen softer, and stone-washed linen should already be at its softest. Fabric softeners (liquid or dryer sheets) coat the fibers, making them less absorbent and less capable of wicking away moisture.

Ironing Linen

You must expect wrinkles, crumplings, and creasing from natural fibers like linen. However, if you really want something pressed, press a damp towel over it or use a medium-hot iron on the linen fabric.

Storing Linen

To prevent mildew, ensure that your linens are entirely dry. The best places to store natural fibers like linen are cool, dry, well-ventilated spaces that are out of direct sunlight. Natural fibers like linen need to breathe. Avoid storing linen in plastic bags; instead, use linen bags or repurposed pillowcases.

We advise rotating three sets of bed linens: one for the bed, one for the closet, and one for the washer. This will lengthen the life of your linens by allowing each set to rest between washings.

How to Wash Linen Fabric? Best Linen Washing Guide

How to Wash Linen Bedding?

A lot of you ask us for tips on how to wash linen sheets and other bedding items. With a few additional significant points to be aware of, the same rules apply. First, prep the laundry by turning them inside out and buttoning up all the buttons, zipping up zippers, tying up ties, etc.

Then, check that your laundry has enough room to rinse effectively. You can wash linen bedding with other delicates but do not mix it with heavy items like towels, or denim.

How to Wash Linen Clothing?

Compared to linen sheets or duvet covers, for instance, clothing made of linen is typically more intricate and structured, so washing it may call for a little extra care.

The tendency of linen clothing to wrinkle is something that many people want to prevent if not control. A couple of ways to do that is by washing linen clothing in plenty of space and hanging it to dry immediately after the wash.

Related: How to Wash a Linen Tablecloth Safely and Effectively?

Does Linen Shrink in Wash?

If not properly washed, the linen may shrink. The label on the clothing should be carefully read and followed as it contains important instructions.

Always select a lower wash temperature, which must be under 40 Degrees Celsius/104 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not use a fabric softener; instead, use a natural detergent made for delicate fabrics. It is completely unnecessary because linen naturally gets softer with each wash.

How to Wash Linen Fabric? Best Linen Washing Guide

Keep in mind that after the first wash, linen can shrink by 3% to 10%. Unless specifically stated otherwise in the labeled care instructions, you can pre-wash linen clothing in cold water to avoid that. Be aware that linen fabric tends to shrink when exposed to hot water or high dryer heat.

Should You Wash Linen That Says Dry Clean Only?

This interesting question will give you peace of mind for all your clothing items that say “Dry Clean Only.” If the tag declares “Dry Clean Only,” it does not mean that it cannot be washed. Professional dry cleaners can clean them according to your preferences and financial constraints.

The more structured tailored items such as linen jackets or blazers are better washed “dry clean.” Labeled dry clean linen items can be hand washed or even machine washed on a gentle cycle without causing you any serious problems.

But if you have the money and no time, dry cleaning is the best option for you because it will save you a lot of time, effort, and stress from having to hang dry your clothes, among other things.

What additional information is required regarding washing linen clothing? Linen is a natural and delicate fabric that is easy to care for. Simply abide by this rule to ensure that your favorite linen clothing lasts for many lovely years.

Use the delicate, gentle wash cycle as directed on the label, and let linen clothing air dry, preferably outside.

Conclusion: Wash Linen Fabric

The world over, linen is considered to be one of the most elegant and pure textiles. Though classic in design and dependable in use, linen requires some level of regular maintenance and cleaning in order to maintain its freshness.

Now that you know how to wash linen easily, you’ll always have that essential piece of clothing ready to wear, free from stains and creases.


Can Linen Be Washed in the Washing Machine?

Most linens can be washed in a conventional washing machine unless they are marked for hand washing or dry cleaning only. Vintage or heavily embroidered linens need to be hand washed in cold water with a mild detergent made for delicates. Extra care must be taken when handling fine hand-hemstitched clothing.

How Much Does 100% Linen Shrink?

After its first wash, linen does indeed naturally shrink. The average is around 4% shrinkage for pure linen. Many businesses sell linen fabric that has already been washed to prevent changes in the size and shape of clothing and textiles. This initial wash ensured that the fabric would shrink very little when washed again.

Can Linen Be Ironed?

Linen wrinkles and creases very easily so if you want it to appear smooth and flat, it needs ironing. Also, it might require starching. However, the wrinkles in the fabric are often considered part of linen’s character, and many linen garments are now designed to be air-dried and worn without ironing.

Why is Linen Dry Clean Only?

You can hand wash in cold and air dry but it often requires ironing. The flax fibers used to make linen are known for keeping people cool and fresh in hot weather. If washed incorrectly, it can lose its crispness and clean finish. Frequently, linen clothing is best cleaned by dry cleaning.

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