One of the popular fibers used in the construction of duvet covers is linen, and the reason behind its choice is no secret.
Linen is very durable, even more durable than cotton, so when it comes to eliminating the pathogens and stains that accumulate on it’s surface during it’s “service time” as the insert guard, it can be washed ”hard” without fear of any negative consequences.
Washing linen duvet covers is very easy. You can use the washer or even clean them by hand. Below, we’ll discuss the hand and machine washing instructions for cleaning linen covers.
What is linen?
Linen has a pretty old (yet) interesting history, but the best summary you can ever get about it is that linen is the fiber derived from the plant called flax.
It is more durable than cotton because the fibers are longer and more bundled together than in cotton. Linen is used for a wide variety of textile from towels, beddings to apparel and even industrial products like sewing threads.
One of its popular bedding uses is in duvet covers. Let’s learn how to properly care and maintain linen duvet covers.
How to wash linen duvet covers
Follow the instructions below to properly clean your linen at home.
Check the care label
Linen is pretty strong. It’s more durable than cotton due to the nature of its fibers and the way they’re bundle together, as a result, linen can withstand all that cotton can withstand and even more.
This means that you can subject linen to high wash temperature, heavy duty cycles, and even put it in the dryer at high heat.
With that said however, you still want to check that the care label of your linen permits such kinds of treatments, as sometimes it’s not all about the fiber, but the nature of finishing and even the structure.
Fluff to remove dust
Before you ever put linen in the washing machine, you should make sure you fluff it up to remove dust and any dirt that is on it.
This would help prevent their collection in the drain or holes in the washer which could cause drainage problems or smell. Removing dust from linen also facilitates proper cleaning of the linen.
You can remove dust and dirt from linen by vacuuming it.
If you have stains on your linen duvet cover, now is the time to treat that stain. Never put linen with stain in the washing machine as any stain the remains after washing will be permanently set in in the dryer.
Depending on your activity at home, you may pick up different kinds of stains on your duvet, for example drink spills, coffee stains, grease stains etc.
There are different ways to treat different kinds of stains and you should make sure to use the appropriate technique for the specific type of stain that you have. If you have a stain that has aged, you can use an all purpose stain remover to try and get it out, or better still, take the stain to the dry cleaners instead.
The most basic (yet effective) way to remove most types of stains at home though is using a mild detergent and water.
Create a concentrated solution and apply it to the stain area using gentle motion from a soft brush or cloth. Let sit for some minutes, making sure it doesn’t dry completely, (alternatively, you can soak the entire cover and let it sit for longer than 15 minutes), and then work a soft sponge around that area to remove the stain. You can try this method first and see if it works, and then only resort to professional stain removal products or services when it doesn’t.
Clean in the washer
In the washer (preferably a front loading washing machine), use hot water (60°C), a standard setting and mild detergent. If you want an extra layer of protection against bacteria, use a laundry sanitizer during the rinse cycle.
Before you use hot water however, make sure to check the fabric care label to make sure that the linen you have can tolerate hot water washing.
If you have a white linen, then you can use a chlorine bleach on it for disinfection. But make sure to avoid using bleach consistently as it can cause weakening of fibers.
Wash by hand
You can also wash linen by hand. First, create a solution of mild detergent and water in a bathtub, and soak the linen duvet inside.
Let it sit there for about an hour, then begin to move it around in the wash water to facilitate soil removal. You can remove part of the blanket and plunge back to create the effect of agitation without actually scrubbing, or scrub gently so you don’t wear down the fibers.
When you’re satisfied with the washing, drain the sudsy water and fill up the bathtub with fresh water. Gently agitate the duvet in the washer to release soiling and soap and repeat rinsing with fresh water as many times as you like.
After rinsing, remove as much water from the duvet as possible by pressing it against the sides of the tub.
Transfer the wet duvet into the dryer and run a medium setting. Take out the duvet and fluff it on all sides gently, then run another cycle on low heat. Then take out the duvet and repeat the fluffing. Next, redo another cycle on low heat, then spread the duvet flat on your bed to allow for tiny leftover moist spots to fully dry out before using.
If you want, you can air dry, but machine drying is recommended as it combines motion and heat which helps fluff the duvet back up.
When air drying, make sure to interrupt mid-way with fluffing using your hands or a clean badminton racket. When using the latter, make sure to go as gently as possible.
How do you wash a cotton and polyester duvet cover?
Cotton duvet cover is perfectly safe to wash in very hot water. In fact, it’s recommended to do so because that temperature kills bugs, bacteria, viruses, and even dust mites.
Polyester isn’t as durable as cotton when it comes to hot water wash. It can shrink with consistent practice, but once in a while (for disinfection purpose) isn’t a bad idea!
With polyester, it’s best to use warm water and a cotton setting. Or the permanent press cycle to reduce the formation of wrinkles.
How do you wash silk duvet covers?
If you have a silk duvet cover, avoid putting it in the washing machine. The reason is because silk is sensitive to water temperature, agitation and drying heat. Putting your silk duvet in the washer can ruin its overall appearance and integrity.
The best way to clean silk at home is by hand washing without scrubbing. Simply soak it in a bathtub and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then swish and swirl in the wash water to release soiling. After that, rinse and air dry flat on a clothesline.
Line duvet covers do not require special care. As linen is durable, you can use very hot water on it for disinfection (60°C) and also a mild detergent and the cotton setting. This will ensure the duvet is getting the proper cleaning and disinfection it deserves.
If you want to take a step further, feel free to bleach your white linen duvet covers with chlorine bleach to remove dust mites and kill harmful pathogens. You can as well use a laundry sanitizer, but avoid using fabric softener which can reduce the breathability of the fabric and cause it’s loft to decrease.
If you’ve got a polyester duvet cover, you can also get away with warm or even hot water washing. If you have a silk duvet cover however, you want to avoid cleaning it in the washing machine using hot water. The best way to clean silk duvet is by hand washing using detergent and water.