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Can you wash linen in a washing machine?

Are you wondering if you can wash linen in the washing machine? Here we explain the best methods for washing linen clothes & sheets.

Updated

little child with a linen sheet over them to look like a ghost

When the weather at home gets warmer, or we’re preparing for a holiday in sunnier climes, linen clothes are usually at the top of the must-have wardrobe list. Why? Because the natural fibres allow our skin to breathe better and they’re cooler against our skin. But how practical is linen really? Won’t it get terribly creased in your washing machine? Amazingly linen is pretty easy to launder – just follow our step-by-step guide below.

Linen clothes are favourable for hot climates, and they’re easy to wash, too – so you don’t have to worry about doing the laundry after a holiday!

How to wash linen in a washing machine

Linen is made from flax, a natural fibre that can absorb a lot of water. It is prone to heavy creasing in the wash (or while wearing it, too!), but if you give items a lot of space to move around in the drum, you’ll find this particular situation is greatly improved. The best way to wash linen is to check the care label and then follow these steps.

  1. Wash linens as a half load

    Wash your linen items separately as a half load or one large item at a time – lights and darks in different batches. Delicates are better hand-washed.

  2. Use a gentle detergent

    Select a gentle detergent and add the appropriate amount to the machine.

  3. Wash on a long soak, short wash, rinse and short spin

    Choose a program with a long soak, a short wash, a rinse, and a short spin.

  4. Wash on a cool temperature

    Make sure the cycle uses a moderate to cool temperature.

  5. Once done, immediately remove from the washing machine

    When the cycle is finished immediately remove the clothes from the machine to avoid any extra creasing from sitting damp in the drum.

  6. Hang out to dry

    Hang out on a washing line to air-dry.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

Need help washing other fabrics? Try our articles on how to care for clothes made of rayonhow to wash wool, and how to clean delicates like silk.

Originally published