How to Wash White Linen: A Comprehensive Guide

White linen is a beautiful and timeless fabric that can elevate any space. However, it’s also a notoriously difficult fabric to clean. If you want to keep your white linen looking fresh and bright, it’s important to know how to wash it properly. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about washing white linen.

What is Linen?

Linen is a natural fabric made from the fibers of the flax plant. It’s known for its durability, breathability, and ability to absorb moisture. Linen is also hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, making it a great choice for people with sensitive skin.

Why is White Linen So Difficult to Clean?

White linen is particularly difficult to clean because it stains easily and can become discolored over time. The fibers in linen are also prone to shrinkage and damage if not washed properly.

What You’ll Need to Wash White Linen

Before you start washing your white linen, make sure you have the following items:

  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • A washing machine
  • A dryer or drying rack

Step-by-Step Guide to Washing White Linen

Follow these steps to wash your white linen:

Step 1: Pre-Treat Stains

If your white linen has any stains, it’s important to pre-treat them before washing. Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste, and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before washing.

Step 2: Sort Your Laundry

Separate your white linen from any other colors or fabrics. Linen can bleed and transfer color, so it’s important to wash it separately.

Step 3: Use the Right Water Temperature

White linen should be washed in hot water to remove stains and bacteria. However, if your linen is delicate or has any embellishments, use cold water instead.

Step 4: Add Detergent and Vinegar

Add a small amount of mild laundry detergent and half a cup of white vinegar to the washing machine. The vinegar will help brighten your white linen and remove any odors.

Step 5: Wash on a Gentle Cycle

Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle to avoid damaging the fibers in your white linen. Avoid using fabric softener or bleach, as these can damage the fabric.

Step 6: Remove from the Washing Machine

Once the washing cycle is complete, remove your white linen from the machine and shake it out to remove any wrinkles. Do not wring or twist the fabric, as this can damage it.

Step 7: Dry Your White Linen

You can either dry your white linen in a dryer on a low heat setting or hang it on a drying rack. Avoid drying your linen in direct sunlight, as this can cause it to yellow.

Step 8: Iron Your White Linen

If your white linen is wrinkled, iron it on a low heat setting. Be sure to use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric from direct heat.

FAQs About Washing White Linen

What should I do if my white linen turns yellow?

If your white linen has turned yellow, mix equal parts white vinegar and water and soak the fabric in the solution for 30 minutes. Then, wash the linen as usual.

Can I use bleach to clean my white linen?

Avoid using bleach on white linen, as it can damage the fabric. Instead, use white vinegar to brighten your linen.

Can I put my white linen in the dryer?

Yes, you can put your white linen in the dryer on a low heat setting. However, be sure to remove it promptly to avoid wrinkles.


White linen is a beautiful and timeless fabric that can add a touch of elegance to any space. To keep it looking fresh and bright, it’s important to know how to wash it properly. Follow the steps outlined in this article to keep your white linen looking its best.

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