Linen is not necessary to be dry cleaned as it can be machine and hand washed. It can also be tumble dried at low temperatures. The only garments that should be dry cleaned are those that are more structured and fitted, such as linen jackets or suits, due to their construction.
If you choose to use the washing machine…
Washing in cold or extremely hot water should be avoided. If the water level in the washing machine may be adjusted, use the highest setting available. Clothing should be able to move freely so don’t overcrowd it as it can make the fabric to be out of shape. Take note that the items in the washing machine need to have the same color, weight, and cleaning instructions as your linens.
If you choose to use hand wash…
When hand-washing linens, apply a gentle swishing motion. Do not wring, twist, or scrub the fabric. Hand-washing is ideal for linen fabrics with a loose weave to avoid damage from using a machine. Do not wash your linen clothes in cold or hot water. Lukewarm water only. And yes, linen clothes can shrink especially if the water is too hot. Expect for a slight shrink if your linen clothes aren’t pre-washed regardless of the water temperature. When washing, use a light detergent and make sure that any residue is entirely washed from the garment before drying.
To dry your linen clothes, you may machine tumble dry them as long as you keep the temperature low. To avoid the linen getting stiff, remove it from the dryer while it is still somewhat damp and lay flat to finish the drying process. Do air dry your linens flat and avoid hangers or clothespin as it can leave marks or change its shapes.
For cotton clothes, you may use the washing machine. Before washing your clothes, do sort them according to their types, weight and color. Avoid overloading your washing machine. When a washing machine is overloaded, clothes aren't properly cleaned or rinsed. Stains will set in, and you may end up with ripped or pilled clothes. Before tossing garments in the wash, turn them inside out to keep color in place. When garments rub together in the washer, it fuzz forms, which can take the color off your garments. For the usage of detergents, it’s best to use it less as it helps to accelerate the deterioration of our clothing. To dry your cotton clothes, you may air-dry using your dryer.