You care about your quality of sleep, so you’ve invested in your bed linens – and it’s an investment you want to last. It will, if you know how to take care of them.
A few things first…
While bed linen is often used synonymously with bed sheets, strictly speaking, linens are actually made from flax fibers. Not cotton, cashmere, or silk. Flax. It’s the flax that facilitates linen’s air permeability, moisture absorbency, and durability. A well-maintained set of quality linen sheets can last decades.
DIY Care Tips for Linen
Gentle Wash. While there’s no need to hand wash your linens, you do want to make sure you put them in a gentle cycle. Yes, linen is durable, but so is a brick wall. You still wouldn’t want to hit it over and over and over again with a hammer if you want it to last.
Let it Move. To allow the material to move freely (and therefore be washed more thoroughly), use the highest water level possible. On a similar note, avoid stuffing too much into the machine with your linens to avoid unnecessary twisting. This can misshape your linens over time.
The Rule of Hand. If you do dig hand washing your linen, don’t twist the fabric. Simply soak it and swish it around.
The Temperature. Stick to lukewarm or cold water. Stay away from extreme hot or cold, since they can damage the integrity of the weave.
Dry Deal. Avoid the dryer at all costs and instead allow your linens to air dry on a flat surface. If you iron your sheets, do so when they are a little damp to prevent exposure to that extreme heat.
DIY Detergent. Body oil can really soak into your linens. For a gentle and powerful clean, dump a 1/2 cup of baking soda into the washer and let it run. Avoid use of fabric softener, which compromises linen’s absorbency by coating the fibres in waxes, fragrance and oils.
Buy Backup. If you really want your linens to stand the test of time, then buy two sets per bed. This way, you have one that’s good to go when you’re washing the other, and you are spreading out usage and minimizing stress on the weave. Again, linen is definitely durable – more so than most fabrics – but it’s not indestructible.
Wash Frequency. How often you wash your linens will depend on how often you sleep in a particular bed. Bedding in a guestroom, for example, doesn’t have to be laundered weekly until there is a guest staying there. In general, once every week or two is enough to slough off all the grim, dry skin and body oils. The wear and tear of over-washing is just as detrimental to your linens as the breakdown of fibres caused by the buildup of dirt and oils due to under-washing.
Store. When not in use, fold your linens and store them in a cool, dry closet.
There you have it! Easy DIY tips for bed linens that will keep your linens strong, and your slumber sound. Happy sleeping!