Pure linen thrives with regular laundering so you do not need to save 'for best'. Linen sheds dirt far more easily than other materials and with thorough rinsing can come up 'as new' every time.
White linen articles without special finishes can be washed at temperatures up to 95°C (203°F). Use a stain remover on any stains before washing but do not use bleach as it weakens fibres.
Avoid washing linen with synthetics - natural fibres may rub against harsh synthetic fibres in the washing machine drum.
Bleach should never be used as a cleansing agent as it will severely weaken the fibres, and significantly reduce the life of the product.
Commercial soap powders and liquid detergents for natural items can be safely used but as with all other textiles, always test for colour fastness.
Avoid detergents which contain Optical Brightening Agents (O.B.A.) as they may cause colours to alter slightly and weaken the fibres.
Fabric conditioners should be avoided.
Never tumble dry linen as this can over dry the fibres - iron on the wrong side whilst damp.
HELP - RED WINE STAINS!!
This is one of the most common questions we get asked. Preferably it is best to get the cloth off as soon as possible and soak in water. Linen quickly absorbs liquids (which is why it makes a great drying up cloth) so wine is no exception. Pouring on salt doesn't have that much effect.
After some extensive testing, we would recommend Vanish Oxy Action Crystals (Pink tub). Make up the warm solution as recommended and start soaking as soon as you can. Red wine stains may initially go an odd green colour but let it do the job for an hour or two. Stains that have dried on have also been effectively removed by Vanish!
Once the colour has come clean make sure you rinse out several times and then wash and dry through as normal. Vanish Oxy has also been tested on a variety of other stains too and generally found to give very good results. However, too many treatments with Vanish may shorten the life of the product so some care is needed.