how to care for your linen

On the hierarchy of sheet sets, my linen sheets have a secure position at the top, reigning over all others because I am so in love with their lush softness and coolness. I also prefer a soft mattress, so in tandem with my linen, I sink into a deep sleep every night. Many of you may feel the same as well, as they are a perfect option for those of us living in hot and humid Brisbane (but really a perfect for anywhere!). Yet as my mum has always said, sleeping in linen or wearing linen is a privilege that comes with a responsibility to properly care for them. Now that I am in my mid-twenties, I understand what my mum had instilled in me when caring for my linens and valuing all of my belongings. Between my mom and being with Sheets on the Line, I’ve been given a trove of care tips that I have molded into a linen routine that works well for me and sustains the quality of my sheets which I will share today!

Washing 

To save the integrity of the fibres, the best thing you can do for your linens on wash day is to spin them on a gentle cycle at 30 degrees with a plant-based detergent. Although you may think that a higher temperature and faster spin will get you a better clean, excess heat is not your friend! A plant-based cleaning agent is also an imperative part of my linen routine because of the harsh chemicals and fillers found in commercial detergents that will eat away at your fabric! Not to get too “sciency” here, but in an effort to keep costs down and make you believe you are getting more product, many big-brand laundry companies bulk their formulas with sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) which is the ingredient in most products that cause them to bubble. However, more bubbles do not equate to cleaner laundry. And this nasty stuff will have a lasting effect on your linen beyond your wash time! The granular agents left behind will sit between your fibres and continue to decompose while in storage which eventually causes your linens to smell bad as this process attracts moisture. Also, if you have ever had a skin reaction or irritation from your sheets, SLS is most likely to blame as it has an outstanding record of stripping away the protective barrier on your skin. Basically, SLS is a hard no for me! I have two safe options to recommend, one being soapberries and the other that I use--Everything laundry soap. I have linked the two if you would like to do a bit of further reading on these products. P.S. bleach and fabric softeners are also things you don’t want to use while washing your linens. 

Drying 

The drying process of my routine takes the least amount of effort yet is the most crucial! After washing, I always shake my sheets out then creatively lay them on my drying rack. Unfortunately, I live in an apartment, so I often have to harness a few dining chairs as well to ensure my sheets will dry. But the great thing with Sheets on the Line’s linen is that they will dry in an afternoon’s time due to their fine, European open-weave! I also make sure that they are in the shade so that the sun doesn’t cause any fading or discoloration throughout the sheet. You probably already know putting linen in the dryer is not a good idea as it aggressively strips away the substance of your sheet, but luckily line drying is just as simple really and won’t take any more time out of your day!

Sleep cycle 

If I could sleep on linen 24/7 I would, but I only have two sets, and honestly, I adore my cotton sheets almost just as much! It is incredibly beneficial to the longevity of your linen if you can break up how often you sleep on them. This shouldn’t be too difficult to achieve as long as you have at least one extra set. If you are following the recommended wash time of every 7-10 days, then I would suggest alternating your linen sheets for others every other 10 day period. This may seem silly or like an insufficient step, but cutting down on frequently you wash your linen is not silly if it means you get more life! 

Storage 

Following in line perfectly after sleep cycle is how to properly store your linen sheets while they aren’t being used. I have a linen closet at home, but I am still a bit cautious, so I store all of the sheets, linen or cotton, in a sealable, canvas bag with red cedar blocks. Red cedar wood is a natural deterrent of moths and silverfish that can do a number on your sheets and clothes! And you get options with red cedar! Depending on your storage situation, you can buy red cedar in blocks, satchels, on hooks, or as an essential oil. Red cedar is one of those sustainable products my mum always used, so it was natural for me to use it too. And quick tip--as your red cedar begins to fade in smell, you can “re-cedar” the blocks by gently sanding them to bring the scent back! 

Our lovely bedding gives so much and asks so little of us, so it’s important to take care of them so that you can continue to enjoy them for as long as possible. I hope you found my linen routine helpful and stayed tuned for a guide on how to care for your cotton sheets! Shop our new pure linen, cloudland here! 

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