The Ultimate Guide For Washing Your Linen And Stain Removal Tips

Table linen is an important component of commercial hospitality linen for elevating the appearance of venue interiors. Often getting dirty and stained, table linen needs to be frequently washed to give your guests a pleasant experience.

At Linen Connect, we’ve created the ultimate guide on how to wash your table linen with tips for stain removal. This guide is best suited for those planning to wash their linen at home as opposed to a commercial laundry service.

Table of contents

How to wash tablecloths and linens

Separate by colour

As is the case when washing clothes, it is recommended that you separate your different shades of linen to avoid cross-staining and prevent white linens from greying. 

Pre-treat stains and wash

Use a low temperature when washing linen, as high temperatures can weaken the linen fibres. Keep other materials out of your washing machine and only use about three-quarters of the available drum capacity. Leaving some extra space and using the maximum water level will give your linen more movement to maximise the effectiveness of the washing process.

Dry your linens

When it comes to drying your linen, avoid tumble drying. Tumble drying can result in your linen shrinking – the best way to dry linen is to hang them outside. If tumble drying is your only option, ensure you set your tumble dryer to the lowest heat setting.

Treating stains on tablecloths and linens

Biological detergents are highly recommended when washing your linen as they contain special enzymes that can break down stains. For heavily stained linen, it is recommended that you wipe the stain with undiluted biological detergent. You can use a brush or your fingers to rub the detergent into the stain. Once you have rubbed it in, leave your linen to sit for around 15 minutes before putting it in the washing machine.

If you need to brighten any of your linen, you can do this by soaking the linen in a mixture of warm water and bleaching powder overnight. Once you have done this, wash the linen normally. Adding a drop of bluing liquid to your wash cycle is an alternative to this solution which works by adding a blue pigment that counteracts the natural yellowing that happens when laundering.

How to wash coloured and patterned linen

When taking care of coloured linens, ensure that you use a mild detergent and wash the linen in warm water. Coloured linens should be dried in the shade and hung neatly over a washing line. Different fabric types require different ways to wash them to avoid any damage.

Linen with a crushed or velvet texture should not be ironed or steamed, as this can ruin the linen’s appearance. Any linen which has sequins attached should be placed in mesh laundry bags before putting them in to wash to avoid the sequins clinging together. Linen with any printed design should not be treated with high heat as this could damage the design.

How to iron tablecloths and linens

Ironing your linen is easiest to do when it is damp, as this will make it easier to remove any creases. If you tumble dry your linen, remove it while damp to get the best ironing results. Keep the heat as low as possible to avoid melting or scorching the linen.

If you are ironing your linen after you have just taken it out of storage, you will need to follow a couple of steps to ensure you keep your linen in top condition.

Firstly, you should check that your iron is clean. Test your iron on an old piece of fabric to ensure that no marks are left. For linen light in colour, begin by ironing the linen on the underside before turning over the fabric and ironing on the linen’s display side. Ironing on both sides will help bring out the linen’s shine. You only need to iron on the underside of dark-coloured linen.

Any linen which has a monogram will need to be ironed face down against a thick white terry towel. After ironing the monogram, flip over the linen and iron around the monogram to prevent any damage. By ironing the monogram against a towel, the design will stay crisp.

How to store tablecloths and linens

Linen should be stored in a cool, dry place that will not be prone to any changes in humidity and temperature, as exposure to moisture could potentially damage your linen. Ensure you don’t store your linen in any kind of plastic, as this could lead to yellowing of the linen.

Always check for any stains before you store your linen away. Any stains on linen could potentially be used as food for insects, so ensuring your linen is stain-free will prevent any possible damage. Do not fold or store your linen if it is damp. If your linen is damp, spread it out flat to allow it to dry completely. Once your linen is dry, you should store it flat or hang it in a cool area.

Top tips for washing linen at home 

  • Separate linens by colour
  • Use a low temperature when washing linen
  • Only use about three-quarters of the available drum capacity
  • If storing linens, refold them twice a year to prevent a stress line in any one area.
  • Check how to wash your linen by fabric type

Find the perfect linen for you at Linen Connect

Now you know how to wash your linen and treat any stains, there is no better place than Linen Connect to buy premium linen. Linen Connect’s linen ensures only the highest quality.

As well as providing only the highest quality products, Linen Connect is deeply committed to maintaining Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance, so they act in your best interests. Why not add to your linen collection and browse the latest range table linen?

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