Linen is such beautiful, natural fabric, it  keeps its shape and condition literally for generations. We have sold antique French linen towels and napkins that were over a century old, and they can still be used and enjoyed for at least another 100 years! Linen doesn’t absorb odors, and tends to resist most stains. In order to care of your linen – it’s super easy, trust me – here are my very best tips for How to Care for Linen.

How to Care for Linen

 

Linen is really easy to care for the right way so that the pieces you love will still be around for many everydays and celebratory days chez vous.

 

 

How to Care for Linen

 

 

How to Wash Linens:

 

Always sort your linens before you wash. Wash whites ONLY with white. Period. Sort the rest of your linens by “like” colors.

Set your washer on cold. Modern detergents work great with cold water.

Use detergent very sparingly. {Never use Tide for your linens.} We use a natural very concentrated detergent at our house.

I love wool dryer balls – I put one drop of lavender oil on one of the balls to make the linens smell amazing! The balls help the linens dry quicker, and keeps them from wrinkling somewhat.

Skip dryer sheets or fabric softener, neither one of those are really great for 100% natural linen.

Dry at medium heat, making sure you don’t over-dry the pieces. I try to time it so that I take them out about 1 minute before the end of the cycle so I can give each piece a little shake, smooth with my hands, and fold if needed. {This is all I do with my linen napkins here at home.}

You can also hand wash linen in a sink or basin with a spoon of detergent. Gently swish linens around, then be sure to rinse, rinse and rinse again. Hang to dry.

*Make sure your linen is 100% DRY before you put it in the closet. Because linen is a natural product, it will mildew if put away even slightly wet.

 

How to Care for Linen

 

How To Keep Linen Colorful:

 

Never use chlorine bleach, never.

Never use Tide, the harsh chemicals that will change the colors of linen.

If you have a stubborn stain, use Biz as a  soak. Oxyclean has peroxide, so that’s not a good fit for your colored linen pieces.

 

colored linen care

 

How to Get Stains Out of Linen:

 

Try the least invasive method first.  Rinse the linen through cold-ish water immediately if possible, add a little dish soap, and gently rub the spot, rinse.

I know some hostesses who have a bucket filled with water in their laundry room so they can put all their linen napkins in it right after guests leave.
I’m not that organized, but if you are, bless you and do that!

If someone spills a glass of red wine on your linen tablecloth during dinner, cover it immediately with regular kitchen salt. Just throw a new napkin over it, smile and return to entertaining. Don’t let a spill ruin the great time you are all having! The salt will absorb much of the wine. After your guests leave is the time to soak your cloth in a bucket. Soak stains of lipstick or make-up or anything else “oil” based in a bucket overnight with some Biz. Since Biz has enzymes, the enzymes will break down the oils and proteins in these kinds of stains.

 

Madeira Embroidered Linens

 

True story: When I dated Mr. FGH, one of the first places we went together was the home of one of his older and just married friends. They had white…WHITE…new carpeting. We sat on the ground with glasses of red wine. You probably guessed it, I spilled mine all over the white carpet. Immediately, our host threw a whole pot of salt on the stain, and it absorbed the red. I was still mortified…but it did work!

 

 

I hope that these tips will help you to enjoy your beautiful 100% linen beauties for a life time.  Make sure you store your linen in a cool and dry area, and not in a plastic bags, cardboard boxes or cedar chests.

 

We just unpacked a shipment of antique linens, beautiful towels, tablecloths and napkins that I bought on the last buying trip. Have a look – your prettiest table setting might need one of these!

 

shop linen care

SHOP ANTIQUE LINENS >

 

With these easy tips for How to Care for Linen your linen pieces that you love will last and last, and give you and your family joy every day.

 

Are you a linen lover? and…I’m taking a quick poll – do you iron all your linen?

 

A BIENTOT

 

Shop for the best in French Antiques, furniture with the patina of age, vintage accessories to delight you and your family & friends, and French Country utilitarian pieces. Treasures that make your home fresh, beautiful, inspirational and above all uniquely yours. Visit our shop FrenchGardenHouse.com