Fabric care

How to clean linen

how to clean linen

How to care for linen clothing at home

Linen is a summer go-to for everything from tableware to formal suits thanks to its cool, absorbent and incredibly versatile nature. Made from flax plant fibers, linen is known to be the oldest natural fabric in the world and is even stronger and more breathable than cotton. Even with this resilience, caring for linen correctly is key to ensuring its longevity. Read on for our top tips on how to take care of linen clothes and linen tableware at home.

Tips to care for linen items

Before you start to wash your linen garments and items, we’ve got some general tips you need to know about how to properly care for your clothes, tablecloths and napkins:  

Always read the label – before attempting to wash your linens, always read the manufacture’s care instructions.  

Wash with care – when washing linen use a short, cool cycle on your machine and use a gentle detergent.  

Drying your linen – linens can withstand low heat from the tumble dryer, however, air drying them is also a great option to reduce the exposure to heat. Always remove and hang your linen while it is slightly damp to reduce the risk of creases. 

Dealing with wrinkles – the natural fibers in linen will crease and wrinkle easily which is to be expected. If you want to iron your items, it’s best to use a medium heat while the garment is still damp.

How to wash linen clothing

Despite its many benefits, linen clothing does have a reputation for yellowing if not washed for properly. So, how do you wash linen clothes without ruining them forever? Fortunately, linen is considered one of the easiest fabrics to clean at home thanks to its durability. In fact, 100% linen is even thought to improve with washing!

Read our machine washing instructions below to learn how to care for linen clothing and keep your pieces looking like new for longer.  

Usage instructions – Top loaders

  1. Select appropriate washing cycle. Usually, it’s advised that linen is washed on a gentle or delicate cycle 

  2. Follow the garment label instructions for water temperature 

Usage instructions – Front loaders

  1. Select appropriate washing cycle 

  2. Follow the garment label instructions for water temperature 

  3. Pour a dose of Woolite® Damage Defense or Woolite® Delicates into dispenser/drawer. For medium load washes, fill the measuring cap to line 1 

  4. Add garments

Always check the label before washing.

Depending on whether your linen clothes are blended with other fabrics will determine how you should clean your items. Some of these other fabrics may require specific care, so it’s always best to check the label before you wash.

How to dry linen

When it comes to drying your linen, although the fabric can withstand the high temperatures in a tumble dryer, air drying your items will ensure they keep their shape and avoid stiffness.

How to wash linen tableware in the washing machine

Nothing says style like fresh linen tableware, perfect for special occasion meals or summer lunches at home in the yard. From linen tablecloths to linen napkins, modern linen is particularly durable and easy to throw in the washing machine after you’ve enjoyed a lovely meal.  

If your favorite table linens have been subjected to some nasty food or drink stains, don’t fear – it’s easy to learn how to care for linen fabric. Simply spot treat the affected area and follow the machine wash instructions above.

How to wash vintage linen

You may even find that you’ve been gifted beautiful linen heirloom pieces from family members. Vintage linen requires a little extra care, so it’s best that you use Woolite® Delicates with a hand washing method to ensure these special items can be enjoyed for years to come.  

Usage instructions - Handwash

  1. Fill a sink or wash tub with cold water unless label instructs otherwise 

  2. Using the measuring cap, pour Woolite® Delicates up to line 1, pour into water and stir with your hands

Always check the label before washing

No matter which way you choose to clean your table linen, always remember to wash your items with other fabrics that are a similar color and dry them flat or on the clothesline.

Woolite® Delicates

Sometimes your most precious items deserve a little extra TLC. Treat your clothes with the love and care they deserve with Woolite® Delicates.

woolite delicates

Woolite® Damage Defense

Looking for a detergent that's perfect for a range of clothes in your wardrobe? With Woolite® Damage Defense laundry detergent, you can keep the clothes you love looking like new for longer.


Top tips on caring for your clothes

Take a look through our guides to find out the most effective way to clean a range of different fabrics.