Because fine linen is a prized possession, it should not be treated like any other fabric. It requires special care and proper maintenance. Cleaning fine linen particularly should be done with caution. And to be on the safe side, it is generally best to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. But to help you, here are some general guides.
- Hand wash fine linens. Old linens specifically need to be hand washed since they are very delicate. To start, fill a tub with hot water and add a few cups of gentle detergent. For better results, use detergent specifically formulated for linen. Then begin stirring the water to dissolve the detergent. Put the fine linen items in the tub and soak them for at least a day. Agitate the water periodically to remove dirt from the fine linens. When they are completely clean, rinse them in a tub of warm water. Avoid wringing the linen items to squeeze excess water out, as this will damage the fabric. Instead, gently press them down. Hang them dry under the sun afterwards.
- Put fine linens in the washer. Fine linens can also be washed in the washing machine. Fill the washer with cold water. Then pour cups of gentle detergent, or linen detergent if you prefer. Run the washer for a few minutes to completely dissolve the detergent. Next, put the fine linen items in. Remember not to overload the washer, as this may cause fabric wrinkles. Better if you load the washer with up to three items at a time. If you are laundering many items, make sure to wash together the items with the same color.
- Run the washing machine. No matter how big or dirty your fine linens are, always set the washing machine on gentle cycle. This will protect the fabric fibers from weakening and damages. Allow the washing machine run its full cycle before rinsing.
- Rinse fine linens thoroughly. After washing, make sure to thoroughly rinse your fine linens. Remember that soap residues should be completely removed. If not removed well, they may form stains and can affect the texture of your fine linens.
- Tumble dry your fine linens. You can choose to line dry your fine linens, although using a dryer is a quicker way to dry your items. Again, to avoid wrinkles and potential damage, do not overload the dryer. Put three linens at a time, and then set the dryer on gentle cycle. Once dry, immediately take the linen items out to prevent damaging the dryer.
- Iron your fine line items. It is best to iron your fine linens while still damp. Doing so will smooth out wrinkles and leave your items crisp and neat. It will also help if you sprinkle a small of amount of starch while ironing to help remove wrinkles.
Always store your linen items in a cool, dry closet. To keep them from potential stains, put them in a plastic bag. Also, make sure to completely dry your fine linen items before storing to prevent mold and mildew growths.