How to Care for Linen Sheets

The linen sheets are the most durable and naturally strong cover for your bed. If you are a fan of this type of fabric, it is important to know how to wash linen sheets properly to maximize their lifespan and keep it looking and feeling as good as the day you first purchased them.

There are some tips which will help you be more accessible, take care of your sheets and make the most out of your bedding.

Linen Care Basic Guidelines 

As a matter of a fact, linen is a simple and natural fabric and it's so easy to care for it. Moreover, after each wash, the linen becomes more absorbent and softer, which is one of the reasons why people prefer to have a bedding set.

Should You “Dry-Clean Only” Your Linens?

First of all, you should pay attention to the instructions on how often you have to launder your sheets and what settings to wash linen sheets to avoid shrinking, discoloration and other damage. However, lots of linen brands provide a misconception that says that linens are hard to care for, and most likely you can see this warning like “dry-clean only.” That is not exactly what it is. In actual fact, this type of fabric is very easy to wash and you do not need to dry-clean it.

Should I Wash Linen Sheets in Hot or Cold Water?

Before you wash your linen sheets, make sure that you use a gentle cycle with a natural soft detergent made for delicates. Launder your sheets with cold or lukewarm water and tumble them with low to medium heat for around 10 minutes in a dryer. Do not leave your sheets in a drier for too long. In order to avoid heat damage and protect its soft fibre, hang your linen sheets up to let them air out naturally. Basically, we would recommend doing both air and machine drying. Take the linen sheets out of the dryer when they are still a little damp.

Note: do not over-dry your linen sheets to avoid breaking down the natural fibres and fabric to shrink and cause them to deteriorate.

The temperature setting is crucial, do not choose too high or low settings. Keep in mind that you still need to dissolve dirt, body oils and other leftover chemical residues from the detergent used and keep your fibres in shape at the same time. To do so, the optimal temperature is 40 degrees.

Additionally, let your bedding sheets move around freely in your washing machine - do not launder your linens with too many items at once. It will help you not lose the shape of your linens. Be sure that all textiles you wash with linens are similar in terms of washing instructions, colours and weight. Do not launder them with heavy items like towels and pants.

Do I Need Iron Linen Sheets?

The linen is a very simple fabric to care for, and it's so sensitive to any heat and high temperatures. Linen Sheets are all about delicate care. Whether you wash, dry or iron - use medium-hot temperatures to keep your linen sheets looking beautiful for years to come. Often ironing your linen beddings can cause losing inherent natural creases that give this fabric its drapey and soft feel. However, if you feel that your sheets look wrinkly, just feel free to iron them while the fabric is still damp, but don’t do it so often and choose medium heat settings.

Note: We would recommend you also read our guidelines why you should wash your new bed sheets after purchasing them.

Hand Washing Your Linen Bedding

Before you decide to wash your linen by hand, we would like to warn you about what kind of detergent is better to use or if you need to use any softener. As we mentioned before, linen is a very gentle fabric that’s why it's better to wash them with soft detergent for delicate fabrics. Some chemicals such as optical brightening agents can cause weakening and potentially discolour organic fabrics like linen. 

Hand washing of linen is obviously a good idea if it's not heavily soiled or when your fabric has a loose weave. In any other cases, it's better to launder them in the washing machine. If doing so, stick to the same rules as you washing them in the machine: 

  • Wash linen in a warm water
  • Select mild detergent for your linen sheets
  • Check properly that all detergent is completely rinsed from your sheets before drying
  • Do not twist, wring or scrub linen sheets 
  • Use a "delicate" cycle to protect the natural fibres
  • Rinse the linens and repeat until the water is soap-free
  • Choose for washing spacious sink 

How Often Should You Wash Linen Sheets

The frequency of washing your linen sheets depends on some factors, such as sensitivity to your skin, if you wear any pajamas or not, or if you are eating sometimes on your bed. All these things should be taken into account before you decide to launder your sheets and how often. Let’s look at each point and figure out why the frequency of cleaning sheets is important.

As we mentioned at the beginning your sheets naturally get dirt from body oils and some fluids can contain bacteria which can cause skin irritations, and especially if you have sensitive skin, often washing your linen sheets is always a good idea. Basically, frequency directly depends on your lifestyle factors and habits. 

  • Every two weeks: recommended for those who take a bath before going to sleep or wearing pajamas. In this case, your skin most likely releases the least of body oils and dirt which will help your sheets stay cleaner for longer. You still can change them weekly, but do not stay with unwashed sheets longer than two weeks. 
  • Weekly: if you prefer to have a meal in a bed, allow your pet to curl up in the bed or sweating heavily, you better wash your beddings more often.
  • Twice weekly: people who have a stuffy nose when they wake up, might be caused by shed skin cells or dust mites in their bedsheets that could badly affect respiratory passages. That is an essential reason to wash sheets more frequently. 
  • Daily: for those who got a virus, flu or cold, it is so important to change beddings every day. If you have any other skin problems or allergies we would recommend washing your pillowcases more often than sheets to prevent transfer of bacteria. 

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