How to Care for Linen Towels: Your Complete Guide

linen towels

Do you have linen towels in your home that you’re wondering how to care for?

Linen towels make a great addition to any home. Not only are they extremely functional, but linen towels are also very aesthetically appealing and provide a nice alternative to cotton towels. 

But, caring for them can sometimes be tricky. Even though linen is a strong fabric, it has different care requirements than other common fabrics like cotton or polyester. Plus, if you don’t care for your linen towels properly, you’ll end up having to replace them more frequently. 

So, just what do you need to do to care for your linen towels?

Check out this guide to learn how to take proper care of your linen towels. 

Washing Linen Towels 

Luckily, linen is a fabric that can either be machine washed or hand washed. Either method is completely fine, and neither method will cause your linens to shrink or stretch out. 

If, however, you do experience damage to your linens when washing them, it’s likely that the fabric is either poor quality or that you used the wrong chemicals. 

Machine Wash 

When machine washing your linen towels, here’s what you need to do:

  • Separate dark, colored, and white linens. For optimal results, wash your towels separately from other fabrics
  • Wash in lukewarm water (104 degrees Fahrenheit/40 degrees Celsius). Temperatures that are too high can cause the linen to stretch and weaken the fibers of the linen. 
  • Use a gentle cycle and be sure to not overload your washing machine
  • Use a mild detergent that’s specifically formulated for delicate fabrics. Do not use bleach

Hand Wash

If you choose to hand wash your linen towels, here’s what you need to do:

  • Fill a small sink or bucket with lukewarm water and add in a teaspoon of mild detergent.
  • Submerge your linen towels into the lukewarm water and let them soak for around 10 minutes.
  • Gently swish around your linen towels, being mindful to not wring, twist, or scrub, as this will stretch the fabric.
  • Drain the water and then rinse your linen towels repeatedly until all the soapy residue has washed away.
  • Hang your linen towels to dry.

Removing Stains from Linen Towels 

Just because we use towels to wipe away dirt and grime, doesn’t mean we want our towels looking dirty. 

If you notice any stains on your linen towels, try your best to remove them before they have the chance to set in.

For minor spot treatment, soak your linen towels in a water detergent solution. Or, you can try removing the stain by dabbing it with some club soda. 

If these methods don’t work, pour a small amount of dish soap onto the linen towels and gently massage the stain until it releases. 

Lastly, for trickier stains, sprinkle some baking soda and a few drops of vinegar onto the fabric. Then, blot the linen with a towel to soak up the moisture. 

Drying Your Linen Towels 

Once your linen towels have been washed and stain proofed, it’s time to dry them. 

Linen towels can either be hung out to dry or dried in the dryer. If you choose to use the dryer, just make sure to tumble dry them on a low heat setting. Then, remove your linen towels from the dryer when they are still damp and hang them out to finish the drying process. 

Bleaching, Softening, and Ironing 

As we mentioned earlier, bleaching your linen is almost never a good idea. This is because bleaches actually tend to cause discoloration and weaken the fibers of the linen towels. 

If you’re dealing with a stain, just use one of the methods above to remove it instead of resorting to bleach. 

Fabric softeners are also not a good idea for linen towels, as linen already becomes softer with each wash. Fabric softeners only serve to weaken the fibers of the linen towels and reduce their absorbency. 

As you’ve probably already noticed, linen fabrics tend to crinkle and crease a lot. This is natural for linen and something you just have to accept. However, if you really can’t stand the crinkling and the creasing, then you can press your linen towels with a medium-hot iron while they are still damp. 

Storing Your Linen Towels 

How you store your linen towels is a very important but often overlooked part of the overall care process. 

In general, you’ll want to store your linen towels in a cool and dry area. Avoid storing your linen towels in cedar chests, plastic bags, or cardboard boxes. 

Also, make sure your linens are completely dry when you store them in order to avoid mildew. Lastly, be sure to store your linen towels away from direct sunlight. 

Additional Tips 

Here are a few final additional care tips for your linen towels:

  • Clean your dryer’s lint trap after each drying cycle to keep your linens fresh (and your home safe).
  • Avoid mixing cotton with poly cotton linens when washing.
  • Wash new linen towels separately in order to avoid excess lint.
  • Always check the care label of your linen towels to discover any extra necessary instructions.
  • Shake out and untangle linens before adding to the dryer to ensure that everything will dry properly.
  • Wash linen towels separately from linen sheets.

Caring for Linen Towels: Wrap Up 

As you can see, caring for your linen towels isn’t too much extra work. Just check in with this guide to help you remember how to care for them. 

And, if you’re in the market for new towels, be sure to check out our online store for a wide range of options.