Cleaning Center

How to Wash and Care For Linen

How to Wash and Care For Linen

Our guide to how to care for linen will help keep your linen pieces looking effortlessly chic and beautifully maintained.

Linen has been a popular choice for summer clothes for a few years now. But do you know how to keep it in good enough condition to stand the test of time? This beautiful material needs gentle care, but washing and drying it isn’t too complicated. We have the ultimate guide for how to care for linen, whether you’re washing by hand or machine!

How to Care for Linen

When it comes to luxurious and breathable fabrics, linen takes the spotlight. To ensure your linen garments and linens maintain their quality and pristine appearance, it's essential to understand how to care for linen properly. We’ll show you how to wash linen by hand or in a washing machine to keep it in great condition for years to come.

Step 1: Separate Your Linens

Can linen be washed in a washing machine? It depends on the weave! Before washing your linen items, take a close look at the fabric to determine whether it has a loose or tight weave. The washing machine will damage linen with a looser weave, so your best bet is to hand wash these. Tightly woven linen can be washed in the washing machine. When in doubt, consult the garment’s care label.

sorting out linen garments

Step 2: Hand Wash Loose Weave Linen

Fill a clean sink or basin with warm water and a gentle detergent, like Dropps Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent Pods. Let the pod fully dissolve, and wait for the water to become lukewarm before adding the linen. Use a gentle swishing motion to clean. Do not twist or scrub the fabric when it is wet, as this can damage it.

adding detergent pod to sink of water

Step 3: Machine Wash Tightly Woven Linen

When machine washing linen, always choose a gentle cycle with as much water as possible. We recommend using cold water for environmental purposes and to prevent excess shrinking. Unless your linen clothes were sold as pre-washed, you should expect them to shrink a bit after the first wash. This is normal, and is something to be expected when it comes to how to wash linen clothes. Don’t worry–they shouldn’t shrink every time!

selecting washing setting

Step 4: Dry

We recommend you dry your linen clothes flat, as hangers can cause dents in the fabric. You can also tumble dry your linen clothes, as long as you stick to low temperatures! If you prefer this method, just make sure you remove them from the dryer when still slightly damp to avoid the linen becoming stiff.

laying linen out to dry

Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about how to care for linen? We’ve got answers to all your linen cleaning questions.

Can you wash and dry 100% linen?

Yes, you can wash and dry 100% linen! However, it is important to care for it properly to maintain the quality of the fabric. Always check the item’s care instructions before washing, and follow our guide above!

Does linen shrink with every wash?

Linen’s reputation for shrinking is true, but only to an extent! If your linen item is not advertised as being pre-washed, it will shrink after being washed for the first time. To minimize shrinkage, use cool water and avoid exposing the item to heat in the wash or dry cycle.

Does linen shrink in the dryer?

Linen can shrink when exposed to high heat, such as a warm or hot dryer cycle. To minimize shrinkage, choose a low heat or delicate setting, or consider air drying your item instead.

Is it OK to put linen in the dryer? Does drying linen ruin it?

Linen items can be dried in a dryer or allowed to air dry. If you choose to use a dryer, be sure to select a low or no-heat option to minimize shrinkage. Always consult the item’s care label before drying to see if the item has any special instructions.

Is linen difficult to care for?

Linen is a delicate fabric that should be treated with care, but it is not difficult to care for! When in doubt, wash linen by hand or with a gentle cycle in the washing machine, and avoid exposing it to high heat.

Can I wash linen in the washing machine?

Tightly woven linen can absolutely be washed in the washing machine! We recommend using a cold or delicate cycle to prevent shrinking. Always consult an item’s care label before washing.