How to Wash Linen Sheets

Linen is a durable natural fabric made from flax trees that is a favored choice of bedding fabric. Linen sheets are hypoallergenic, breathable, soft, long-lasting, and seasonless.

Contrary to popular belief, linen sheets are effortless to maintain. They are also machine washable, making the wash process easily achievable in your home. Once you understand all the procedures, wash days should be a breeze.

Sort the Linen Sheets

One of the most crucial steps you can take when planning to wash your linen sheets is to read the attached care label. It will give exact wash instructions to prevent unintentional damage.

Never mix colored linen sheets with white ones in the washer. The color that seeps out during the wash will stain the white sheets, giving them a dull look.

Pair similarly-colored linen sheets when sorting them into laundry loads.

Repair Loose Seams and Treat the Stains

The seams of your linen sheets getting loose is an annoyance. However, you do not want the tear to worsen, which will happen if you place the damaged sheets in the washer.

When you remove the linen sheets from your bed, check around for tears and repair them immediately. Also, check for stains on the sheets and treat them before the wash.

Pre-treating the stains on the linen sheets is a fantastic way to prevent extra washing, which can affect the overall life span of the sheets.

Stain Removal Procedure:

  • Place the linen sheets on a flat surface for better visibility.
  • Sprinkle water on the stained area to make it damp. Dry stains are tougher to remove.
  • Pour the correct amount of stain remover – as recommended on the bottle’s label – and gently scrub the stained area with a soft brush or white cloth.
  • Leave the treatment to soak for 20 minutes.
  • Rinse the treated area with cold water.
  • Repeat the process if there are still stains.
  • Transfer the linen sheets to the washer.

Wash the Linen Sheets

Linen sheets tend to shrink, get wrinkles, fade, or lose their absorbency in the washer. This side effect is part of the reason people avoid washing their linen sheets themselves.

However, there are tips you should know to avoid this problem.


  1. Sort the linen sheets into separate loads based on color and soil level. Don’t wash the linen sheets with other clothing.
  2. Prepare the Laundry Additives

Avoid the detergents with many extra features; they are harsh on linen sheets. Select a mild non-bleach liquid detergent to wash your linen sheets because powdered detergent leaves residue on the sheets that may not remove easily.

Pour the correct amount of detergent into the washer because too much can damage the sheets. Check the detergent bottle for the recommended amount.

Do not use fabric softener; it makes linen sheets lose their softness and absorbency. Instead, pour in white vinegar during the rinse cycle.

Never use chlorine bleach to wash your linen sheets, even white ones; they can stain them. If you must use bleach, try oxygen bleach.

  1. Choose the Correct Wash Settings

Select the “delicate/gentle” wash cycle for your linen sheets. This wash cycle has a slow spin speed to prevent wrinkles and other damage during the wash. You can also use the “permanent press” wash cycle.

Check the care label on the sheets to confirm.

Ensure the water you’re using to wash the linen sheets is not too hot. It should be warm or cold because hot water can shrink the sheets.

  1. Place the linen sheets in the washer.

Try not to squeeze the linen sheets into the washer but divide them into smaller loads. Overloading the washer will not allow movement, and the linen sheets will not wash properly. It can even cause mechanical damage in severe cases.

  1. Start the wash cycle.
  2. Rinse the Sheets

The rinse cycle is vital because if any detergent residue or soap suds remain on the sheets, it can cause damage.

Pour ½ a cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to preserve the softness of the linen sheets without causing damage.

  1. Remove the Linen Sheets

Immediately after washing ends, remove the linen sheets from the washer to avoid color bleeding, shrinkage, and wrinkles.

Hand Washing the Linen Sheets

Follow the same laundry additives and water temperature practices as stated above.


  • Fill a bowl or bucket or your sink or bathtub with warm water.
  • Pour the same mild liquid laundry detergent.
  • Stir the water with your hand, allowing the detergent to dissolve.
  • Place the linen sheets into the water and let them soak for ten minutes.
  • Gently agitate the water and the sheets as you wash, but do not wring or squeeze them.
  • Remove the linen sheets and drain the water.
  • Rinse the sheets in cold or warm water till there are no more soap suds.

Dry the Linen Sheets

Linen sheets last for a lengthened period, and that’s why it is popular among many people. Hanging the linen sheets to air-dry is the preferred drying method because it preserves the life span of the sheets.

Spread the linen sheets on a clothesline outside to allow them to breathe, prevent wrinkles and maintain their softness.

Avoid direct sunlight because the heat can shrink the linen sheets or fade colored ones. Dry your clothes in an area with sufficient shade from the sun.

You can also hang your linen sheets on a drying rack indoors but ensure it is in a well-ventilated room with a carefully placed fan.

If you must tumble dry your linen sheets, do so with the lowest heat setting in ten minutes to avoid damage. Some dryers have an ” air fluff” setting that does not use heat; this setting is better for drying linen sheets.

You can also use the half method; put the linen sheets in the dryer and hang it to air-dry when it is almost dry but still damp.

Put wool dryer balls to speed up drying time, reduce static on the linen sheets, and fluff them well.

Iron the Linen Sheets

It is not compulsory to iron sheets as the design and aesthetic of “wrinkled” linen sheets is a preference for some. Many people love the natural crease linen sheets present after use that they refuse to iron them. However, some prefer a straightened look and feel.

Iron your linen sheets with low heat when it’s still damp for better results. If the sheets are dry, use a steam iron to straighten them.

Store the Linen Sheets

Your linen sheets should be dry before you fold them and keep them in storage.

Store your linen sheets in a dark area far from a direct light source to prevent fading. Avoid putting the linen sheets in plastic bags because they will become damp.

The storage area should have proper ventilation and temperature control to prevent mold formation.

How Often Should You Wash Linen Sheets?

People spend a lot of time on their beds, which affects the linen sheets. Makeup, creams, body oils, hair products, allergens, dust mites, etc., are some debris and residue that falls on sheets daily.

Washing your linen sheets at least once a week is not just good hygiene; it preserves your health.

Linen Sheets Care Tips

  • Wash new linen sheets before use.
  • Treat stains immediately when you see them.
  • Have multiple linen sheets in rotation to reduce the wash frequency and preserve the integrity of the sheets.
  • Store the linen sheets in a fabric bag.
  • ●       Use a linen spray to freshen the sheets between washes.

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