Washing and ironing linen: how to care of linen clothes.

How to wash linen

Linen is an elegant and timeless material that is made for summer. The natural fibres make this material breathable. Linen is a great choice as it dries quickly and it also helps to keep you cool on hot summer days. There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind when washing linen so that you can get the most out of your linen clothes. Despite its robust texture, linen requires special care to maintain its quality. We will show you how to wash, dry and iron linen so that your clothes always look pristine.

How to wash linen

Linen is a versatile material that can feel a bit rough in comparison to cotton. However, depending on the processing and material blends, it can also sometimes be quite soft. It is important that you always look after linen. If linen clothes aren’t very dirty you can quite often leave them out to air. However, if you would like to wash your linen clothes you can follow our wash and care tips below:

Washing linen: temperature

Wash linen at a maximum temperature of 30 to 40 °C to protect the fibres. This is especially important with dyed linen as this will prevent the colours from fading. Undyed linen can sometimes be washed at 60 to 95 °C, but you should always double check the manufacturer's textile label. Clothes made out of linen do not need to be washed at temperatures over 60 °C, however, for bed linen made out of undyed linen you can wash it at a high temperature. In general, washing linen clothes at a low temperature is recommended so that there is no risk of shrinkage or discolouration.


In order to protect your linen clothes from getting damaged or any discolouration, it is advised to separate your laundry and do not completely fill the washing machine with dirty laundry. For example, do not wash linen with durable or rough materials such as denim. To ensure that your linen clothes stay intact you can pop them into a laundry net bag before putting them in the washing machine.

Washing linen: wash program and spin speed

You can wash most things made out of linen in the washing machine without any problems. However, make sure that you choose a wash program for delicates, so that the fibres don’t get damaged and also to avoid excessive creasing. Make sure to choose a low spin speed such as a maximum of 600 revolutions.

Double check the care label on very delicate fabrics such as light scarves as it may recommend handwashing them.

Washing linen: choosing the right laundry detergent

Make sure to use a mild laundry detergent to wash linen. Although the fabric has a stable and robust structure it is still made up of sensitive natural fibres that can easily get damaged by harsh substances such as bleach. Even light coloured linen should not be washed with laundry detergents containing bleach or optical brighteners. A colour or mild laundry detergent is perfect for washing and gently caring for linen.

Light and airy linen summer looks
Washing linen: double check the care label for more information on how to wash and dry linen.

How to dry linen

As already mentioned above it is important that you do not wash linen at a high temperature or use a laundry detergent that contains lots of chemicals or bleach. It is also advised not to tumble dry linen, but instead you should leave it out to air dry. Follow the tips and advice below to dry linen:

  • Hang up any clothes made out of linen on a clothes horse or on a hanger to dry.

  • Avoid direct sunlight on coloured linen as the colour on the fabric can fade very quickly.

  • White linen can be dried in the sun to keep it looking bright.

  • Don’t leave linen to completely dry if you would like to iron it.


If you have enough room in your wardrobe, it is recommended to store linen clothes hanging up so that they don’t become creased or lose their shape. Wide hangers for shirts or blouses are the best choice.

Ironing linen: slightly damp linen clothes can be ironed on a slightly higher heat.

How to iron linen

Linen is well known for creasing, but you can still iron it. Below you will find some helpful ironing tips for linen:

Ironing linen: the right temperature

When it comes to ironing linen you can use a higher temperature in comparison to what is recommended for washing linen. However, always make sure to follow the care instructions. Depending on the composition, dyed linen or mixed fabrics can sometimes only be ironed on a medium heat.

How to iron linen – step-by-step

It’s best to iron linen clothing when they are still slightly damp because it is easier to smooth out any small creases. If your item of clothing is completely dry, you can give it a quick spray with a little bit of water. A steam iron is not a must for ironing linen, but it can make it easier.

  • Use the correct setting and temperature depending on the item of clothing.

  • To avoid shiny iron marks, you should iron especially dark coloured linen clothes inside out.

  • For extra care you can put a slightly damp cotton cloth between the ironing board and the linen clothes.

  • Iron slowly and evenly, making sure to remove all residual moisture from the clothes.

  • Don’t forget to leave your linen clothes to cool down before putting them away. This will help to fix the smoothed fibres.

Discover our wide range of linen clothes
How to wash and iron linen: with the right care linen can be long lasting.

FAQs on how to take care of linen

Linen is a natural fibre and with the right care it can be very durable and resistant. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about how to wash and dry linen.

Should you wash linen with fabric softener?

You shouldn’t wash linen with fabric softener as it can damage the natural structure of the linen. This will have an affect not only on the quality of the material, but also the beneficial properties of the fabric. Fabric softener damages the breathable fibres in linen as well as how well it can soak up moisture.

Can linen be washed in the washing machine?

In general, you can wash linen in the washing machine, but you must make sure that it is washed at a low temperature on a delicates wash program with a mild laundry detergent. Afterwards leave any items of clothing made out of linen to air dry. This will help to prevent any damage to the fibres and it will also help the clothes to keep their shape.

Can you tumble dry linen?

It is recommended to not tumble dry linen. Even gentle drying programs can still damage the delicate fibres, which can cause your linen clothes to not only become very creased but also to shrink. Make sure to double check whether your linen clothes or clothes made out of mixed materials can be tumble dried. If you’re not sure, it’s best to leave them out to air dry.

Does linen shrink when it is washed?

Linen is made up of natural fibres that swell when they come into contact with water and can shrink again once it has dried. The first time linen is washed it may shrink a little and lose a bit of its shape. However, any shrinkage can be reduced or ideally avoided by washing and drying correctly. It is also important to make sure to not wash linen at a high temperature or to put it on a rapid spin cycle.

Light and airy linen clothing: linen is the perfect material for summer clothing.

Even with proper care, natural fibres can shrink a little after they have been washed. Therefore, when buying linen trousers, for example, you should make sure that they aren’t too close-fitting.

Conclusion: care tips for washing linen

You should wash linen at a low temperature and on a delicates wash program to help it keep its shape and also to protect the delicate fibres. It is also advised not to use bleaching agents or optical brighteners as this can damage linen. In general, you can iron linen but do not tumble dry it. To get the best results when ironing linen, make sure that the material is still slightly damp.

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