Now that you have finally bought those quality linen bed sheets you've always wanted you'll want to look after them so they last! The good news is it’s not hard to properly care for your linen sheets and as long as you follow some simple tips your linen will continue to love you back for years to come!
Once considered a ‘Nobel’ fibre, linen has been cultivated and used to create textiles for thousands of years. Which means it’s been successfully washed and cared for well before modern washing machines and chemical detergents. As it is a natural fibre fabric, the general rule of thumb is it's far happier and healthier with simple, uncomplicated care techniques and natural care products untainted by harmful chemicals and machines. Here are 8 of our best tips when caring for your linen sheets:
1.Pre-treat stains before washing your sheets
Before you wash your linen it’s important to pre-treat any stains (being mindful to use only stain removing products that are tailored to natural fabrics and that do not include any synthetic bleach.) Stain removal products with synthetic bleach, can leave an unsightly colour faded patch on your linen sheets which is irreversible. We recommend using Stain Savvy which is purposefully designed for natural fabrics
It’s always preferable to wash your linen in cold to luke warm water. A lot of linen bedding is machine washable (refer to your item’s care instruction) but generally we recommend setting your machine to a gentle or delicate wash and check the temperature.
3.Don’t overload your machine and wash items with similar colours-
If you’re going to machine wash, the golden rule is the more water the better as linen is highly absorbent. Overloading your machine with too many items in together with your linen, may cause a limit to the amount of agitation around your sheets and not enough water to be able to pass easily through the fabric and could result in an inconsistent or incomplete clean.
4.Not all laundry products are created equal, using the right one is paramount!
In our experience, you will always achieve far better results when you use a laundry liquid rather than a laundry powder. Powder washing detergents are problematic because they can get imbedded into the linen fibres, particularly if there isn’t enough agitation when they’re being washed causing damage to the fibres. Also using a laundry liquid that’s made specifically for the needs of natural fabrics will also achieve better results than standard one-size-fits all laundry products.
Most importantly, avoid laundry products that contain chemicals like synthetic bleach, synthetic softener or synthetic fragrance. These can weaken the fibres of your linen and may irreversibly damage the texture and colour, rendering your linen less soft, a bit crunchy, lacklustre and faded over time. When you purchase a good quality, naturally derived linen laundry wash specifically made to protect and preserve linen, like Linen Savvy, you’re going to protect and prolong the life of your linen so you can continue to enjoy it for years to come. Linen Savvy, doesn’t just care for your Linen, it elevates the feel and comfort of the fabric.
5.It’s probably best you avoid softening agents-
There’s a lot of debate around the use of softening agents but many studies suggest they’re actually best avoided. Particularly with regard to natural fabrics due to the amount of chemicals and synthetic fragrance they typically contain. The reality is the amount of long term permanent damage using softening agents can cause out ways any short term potential gains from using them. This is particularly relevant for people who suffer from skin sensitivities like contact dermatitis and that love linen sheets for the relief they often provide their sensitive skin.
The truth is, the more you wash linen with the right products, they will naturally and beautifully soften with age, so additional products are absolutely not needed. Moreover, premium natural laundry products, like Linen Savvy, already has a built-in naturally derived softener and naturally derived fragrance, so additional unnecessary softening agents are not required (and best avoided!)
6.Drying your Linen – it’s time to get outside!
Whether you’re hand washing or machine washing your sheets, make sure they’re thoroughly rinsed before you dry them. Which again, is easier with liquid than it is with powder detergents. Because linen can shrink with heat, we always recommend line drying your linen bed sheets. Plus of course when you line dry them they have that added wonderful fresh feeling.
However, if you do prefer or have to use a dryer, you should always set your machine to the delicate/cool setting. Even then, we still suggest taking your sheets out of the tumble dryer before they are completely dry and still a little damp, and hanging them on the line to finish off wherever possible. Note though, you should avoid leaving them for extended periods of time in the direct sunlight because the sun can sometimes naturally bleach your linen fabric, especially dark colours.
7.Dry Cleaning & Ironing-
Bonus! There’s no real need to dry clean your linen and actually we recommend that you don’t. Dry cleaners tend to use some pretty hard-core chemicals in their laundering which will likely negatively affect your bed sheets, weaken the fibres, and may cause irreversible damage to their quality.
And double bonus! When it comes to ironing, you can also leave that out of the equation; Linen is so beautiful, with its relaxed feel & look, you don’t need an iron to achieve that luxurious result. Remember too, Linen doesn’t really like heat so another reason to love those natural creases and folds.
8.Storing your Linen Bedding-
It’s best that you store your linen in a cool dry place and when it’s time for use, we suggest you air your sheets outside before you make your bed with them. It’s not recommended to store your linen in plastic bags.
Finally, linen is such a wonderful natural fibre and is loved by many for good reason! Not only does it feel amazing, look beautiful, and support your wellbeing, it’s actually a great choice for the planet. If you look after your linen sheets properly it’s a better choice for you, your family and the future.
For more information on our specialist natural fabric laundry wash, Linen Savvy and handy care products like Stain Savvy