Making your linen is an easy task. But how the linen shall be used depends on the care method you select.
Linen is among the best textiles globally. An excellent choice for its durable quality and contemporary look, you can use linen in products that range from bedding and clothing to furniture and drapes.
Based on how the fabric is applied, you can use a machine to wash it, dry clean it, or even hand wash it. But that depends on you! It’s vital to follow all the cleaning requirements for any method you choose to get the best out of your fabric. However, if you recently purchased linen clothing and didn’t know how to wash it, here’s the solution.
Before you begin washing the linen clothing, make sure you check its label. Even though fine linens can be washed using several ways, the manufacturer recommends a specific washing method for that clothing.
- Machine Wash
You can wash smaller things like curtains using a machine. But it would help if you first separated them based on their color. Never mix dark fabrics with light-colored fabrics. Ensure you wash linen fabrics on a separate load from the rest of the fabrics.
While using a commercial or household washing machine, please keep the water temperature cold or lukewarm. Using hot water may weaken the fibers or even cause linen fabric to shrink. Use a gentle cycle to make the linen fibers intact and never overload the washing machine as this might prevent the clothing from getting properly cleaned.
Also, using a delicate or mild detergent to prevent bleaching your clothes.
- Hand Wash
When you decide to hand wash the clothes, mix about 1 tbsp. of milk detergent with lukewarm water in a container.
Then soak the linen for 15 minutes. Later, move the fabric gently using your hand around the container. Never scrub nor twist the linen as this will end up damaging the fibers on the fabric. With that done, allow water to drain, then refill your sink. Go on with this process until you remove all the detergent.
In case your pillows or upholstery are made of linen, handwashing them will be quite different. Here, you must check on the manufacturer’s tag to check whether the cleaning directions are attached.
For instance, the tag might have a “W,” meaning you can wash the linen with mild detergent solution and water. An “S,” implies the linen should be cleaned using a solvent.
- Dry Cleaning
Linen is made of flax fibers that are more prone to wrinkles. And that’s why you should dry-clean them. Even though handwashing the linens is preferable, dry cleaning them will save you from pressing the linens to get rid of wrinkles and creases.
If you pre-wash your linen clothes, you can put them inside a dryer under a low heat setting. Doing this helps in eliminating wrinkles related to linen. Make sure you remove the linens while still damp.
When you used the linen as upholstery on your furniture, you can air dry them.
Pressing your Linen
Even though you can air dry the linen clothing, you must get ready to press them gently to get rid of any wrinkles. For this to happen, turn on the iron medium-low heat setting, then begin ironing the linen while still wet.
Alternatively, you can place a damp clean towel on top of the linen before you begin ironing it.
Alternative Cleaning Methods
Even though bleaching the linen can make them look more bright, it’s not the best cleaning method for linen clothing. Doing this will end up weakening their flex fibers, thus discoloring the fabric.
In case the linen has stains, make sure you get rid of the stain as quickly as possible. Begin by soaking it using a solution made of detergent and water. Additionally, you can spot clean the linen using a club soda, white vinegar, or baking soda. Then blot the stain using a clean towel.
In case this method fails to work, you can rub the stain first using dish soap, eliminating any dirt as possible. After that, wash the fabric using any of the cleaning methods illustrated above.
Lastly, maintaining your linen frequently, more so in high-trafficked places like rugs or furniture, will assist the fabric in maintaining its fresh state. You can use a baking soda or kitchen staple to remove odors that build up through spraying some on your fabric. Allow it to sit, then remove the dirt with a vacuum.
Linen needs some level of cleaning and maintenance to retain its freshness.
How to Wash Linen Bedding
What you’ll need
- Laundry stain remover
- Liquid laundry detergent
- A large tub or a washing machine
- Drying rack, clothes dryer, or clothesline
- Steam iron
- Ironing board
- Steam iron
Step 1: Arrange The Laundry
You should sort your linen bedding according to their color. Never wash ecru or white linen with darker colors. It’s advisable to wash the linen bedding using other natural fibers such as bamboo and cotton.
In case you just purchased new linen, make sure you wash it before using it. New fabrics will irritate you as they feel slightly coarse on the skin. Although washing them frequently will flatten and soften the fibers. Also, more lint can be seen once you wash the linen first since this will remove loose fibers. But after several washings, lint will become loose.
Step 2: Pretreat Stains
In case you spot any visible dirt on the sheets, treat the area using the guidelines for that particular type of stain. Nail polish, blood, or oily stains each need a specific kind of stain removal method.
However, many bedding stains can be scrapped off by applying a small amount of the regular detergent on the affected area. Use a soft-bristled brush or your fingers to work on the stained site using a liquid detergent. Let the detergent stay there for about 15 minutes before you clean the linen bedding normally.
Please never use chlorine bleach while cleaning the linen bedding as this can make the fibers weak. If you choose to use chlorine bleach, make sure you properly dilute the bleach with enough water but don’t pour it on the linen directly.
Step 3: Choose a Washer Cycle and Water Temperature
You should wash your linen clothing in cold or warm water with the permanent press cycle. Extended washing cycles having high-speed spins can add more wrinkles to the linen. Plus, high water temperature will shrink your fabric.
Step 4: Now Load the Washer Properly
Before you add the linen bedding to the washing machine, ensure you close all buttons and zippers on pillow covers and duvets. Failure to do this will prevent snags thus tearing your fabric.
Make sure you load the bedding on the machine in loose folds, never overcrowd it, or else the linen will come out with too many wrinkles.
Step 5: Drying The Bedding
After washing your linen, hung it either on a drying rack, air dry, or on a clothesline. Then smoothen the edges and hems as you hang the bedding to get rid of wrinkles and get rid of wrinkles and help the bedding maintain their shape.
When drying using an automated dryer, find a timed dry cycle using a medium heat setting. After that, add wool dryer balls to speed up the drying process as well as softening the fabric. Ensure you remove the fabric while still damp to get rid of wrinkles.
Using wool dryer balls rather than dryer sheets or fabric softener will assist the linen maintain its moisture breathability and wicking. Too much usage of commercial softeners leaves behind a residue on your bedding that can make it “sleep hotter.”
If you wish to use a scent when drying the bedding, sprinkle the wool dryer balls using some drops of essential oils.
David Nilsen is the former editor of Fourth & Sycamore. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. You can find more of his writing on his website at davidnilsenwriter.com and follow him on Twitter as @NilsenDavid.