How to Remove Stains From Linen Clothing

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Woven from flax fibers, linen is a durable fabric often used in lightweight clothing. While it is stronger than cotton, linen clothing is still susceptible to becoming worn or damaged if not cared for properly. Removing stains from your linen items should be done carefully -- excessive scrubbing can cause linen fibers to break. As with all fabrics, read the care label before attempting to remove stains on your own. While many linens can be machine or hand washed, some may require dry cleaning. Take these items to a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean, lint-free white cloths
  • Liquid laundry detergent
  • Stain removal pretreatment spray
  • Sink or bucket
  • Color safe bleach
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Use a clean, lint-free cloth to carefully blot up any excess stain that hasn't yet soaked into the fabric. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing.

  • Fill a sink or large bucket or bowl with cold water. Submerge the stained item in the water and allow it to soak for approximately 30 minutes.

  • Remove the item from the cold water bath. Inspect the stained area. If stains are still visible, continue to the next step.

  • Pour a liquid detergent directly on the stains. Allow the detergent to remain on the stain for approximately 30 minutes.

  • Rinse away the detergent in a sink or bucket, using cool water. Inspect for remaining stains.

  • Wash in warm water as instructed on the label (some garments may require the delicate cycle or hand washing). Use a color safe bleach, following the directions on the bleach to determine the amount to add.

  • Remove from the wash and inspect for stains. Allow to air dry if no stains remain.

  • Saturate the stained areas in a stain removing pretreatment product. Allow the pretreatment to remain on the item for approximately eight hours (or overnight.)

  • Wash the item in very hot water, using regular laundry detergent. Be sure to follow the label instructions regarding wash cycle. Inspect the garment for further stains. Allow to air dry.

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  • Photo Credit James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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