Linen is one of the strongest natural fibres in the world. It is a huge 30% stronger and thicker than cotton, which adds to the longevity of this glorious fabric. Linen is also known for its health properties, and because if its almost antibacterial properties. It draws out moisture and dries much faster than cotton, so doesn’t let bacteria build up against your skin.
Linen is extremely popular for bedding, bath towels and kitchen items as it gets rid of dust mites and other germs with its complex properties. Those who suffer from allergies often use linen in their home, as they know it can keep germs at bay. But can linen be washed easily? And will the antibacterial properties remain?
Yes, we can machine wash linen, but it’s extremely important to use the lightest and most gentle cycle. Check with the label in the garments first before you decide on a machine wash! Ensure that when filling the machine that is it not too tightly packed and all your clothing pieces can rotate freely when washing.
All linen pieces that you are machine washing should be similar in terms of colour and weight. If any of your linen clothing is marked or stained, a great tip is to sprinkle some baking soda on the area, followed by a small amount of white vinegar. Allow the stained clothing to soak before washing as normal.
Linen is very delicate, so handwashing is always the best choice. You need to fill up the sink or a small washing bowl with cold water – not warm – and then add a tiny bit of your normal detergent. There are specialist detergents that you can buy, but as long as your regular choice isn’t too harsh, it should be just fine. Carefully move the garment on the water, pressing it slightly where it needs extra freshness. Do not wring the fabric or it will stretch!
When the clothing is ready to rinse, drain the bowl or sink and refill with clean, cool water. Lightly rinse the item in the water as you did before, and repeat a few times to make sure all detergent has been removed.
After washing linen items of clothing, the best way to dry is outside on a rotary dryer, a clothes line or lying the garments flat somewhere (not in direct sunlight). It’s best not to use a tumble dryer as the direct heat can seriously damage the fibres, and the shape, of the linen item.
Make sure the linen clothing is completely dry before you wear, to avoid any wrinkling! If you stick to this guide to handwash your linen clothing, all items will stay looking fresh and new – and the antibacterial properties will remain.