Knowing how to wash, dry and care for your linen bedding will not only keep it beautifully fresh, but will also ensure that it stays in great condition, as linen is incredibly long-lasting if cared for correctly. Our team at Piglet in Bed has compiled a useful guide to share all our tips on caring for your linen, including washing, drying, ironing and storing your bedding, to ensure it only gets softer, wash after wash.
How do I wash my bed linen?
- Separate: the first thing to do is separate your bedding into colours and lights (including whites and creams). Not sure what to wash your striped fabrics with? Stripes that are yarn-dyed (like Piglet in Bed’s Luna Stripe range) mean that they are colour fast and won’t leach any dye. All of our striped bedding is yarn-dyed and not printed, so remember this mantra for washing your striped bedding: “if there is white in your stripes, wash with your lights”.
- Temperature: we recommend washing your linen at a gentle 40 degrees, which is the temperature that will effectively remove dirt and natural body oils and is less energy consumptive than higher washing temperatures.
- Button it up: to avoid all of your sheets and pillowcases climbing into the inside of the duvet cover in the washing machine, button your duvet cover up before loading it into the machine.
- Detergent: try to choose a detergent suitable to the linen you are washing, especially if you like to mix and match the colours on your bed (we love to see it!). Colour detergents purposefully don’t contain optical brighteners as these cause colours to fade, so should therefore be used for your coloured linen. Detergents containing optical brighteners should only be used on your white and light bedding. Non-biological detergents do not contain enzymes (used to help break-down stains) and are often the preferred option for people with sensitive skin.
- Fabric softener: we do not recommend the use of fabric softener on our linen bedding. Linen is a natural fabric that softens over time of its own accord, so there really is no need for fabric softener.
- Stains: our best tip is to act fast! Apply stain remover directly to the stain and wash as soon as possible. If you don’t have any stain remover to hand, spot cleaning with washing up liquid can work wonders for spot cleaning food stains (just don’t do this on wool or silk).
- Don’t overload your machine: fill it up to a maximum of three quarters capacity. This will also avoid prominent creases.
How often should I change my bed linen?
We spend a lot of time in bed - an average total of two days a week in bed to be precise. During that time, we shed millions of skin cells, we sweat (even if we don’t notice it) and we produce natural body oils that build up in the sheets. Even if you shower before bed every night, this will still happen. Sorry.
It is recommended that you should change the full set of bed linen once or twice a fortnight. This will keep germs at bay without making bedding laundering your new full time job. Having two linen bundles per bed means you can put your new set directly on to the bed while the other set is washed.
On the upside, is there a nicer feeling than climbing into freshly laundered linen bedding? We don’t think so.
How should I dry my bed linen?
- If you have access to it, the easiest and most energy efficient way to dry your sheets is to hang on a line outdoors, on the warmer, sunnier days. If you are in the UK, be sure to make the best use of this two week opportunity. Alternatively, dry flat or on a clothes airer inside.
- If you don’t have access to outdoor space or if you want to give your bed linen a bit of a helping hand in the colder months, then tumble dry on low until the bedding is almost dry then leave to fully dry on a line or an airer inside.
- Remember that the sun bleaches fabrics! Great for those white and light colours, but keep an eye on darker linens left too long out in the hot sunshine.
- Dry all your bedding inside out where possible.
Do I need to iron my bed linen?
- In a word, nope! At Piglet in Bed, we love the natural look of slightly rumpled linen and if we could choose to remove any step of the laundering process, we would remove ironing every time.
- The best way to avoid big creases is to remove the bedding promptly from the washing machine, give it a couple of good flicks and then air dry.
- If you want super crisp sheets and find ironing relaxing and therapeutic (some do!), then iron on both sides with a medium iron and lots of steam, preferably while the sheets are still a bit damp.
How to store my bed linen
- Store in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight.
- We recommend storing your bedding bundles in the linen bag Piglet in Bed provided as part of your purchase, which will keep your sets together neatly. Alternatively, you could put the whole set into one of the pillowcases, to keep everything organised and easy to find.
Linen is a beautiful, natural, low-maintenance fabric that deserves to be cared for with love. In return, it will get softer and softer with age and will keep you sleeping soundly for as long as you need it to.
Main and final image by @brixtonhome (www.brixtonhome.com)