It's Linen Season, And We're Sharing All The Tips To Keep Your 'Fits Wrinkle-Free

It's summertime and the linen's easy! Linen, along with your go-to sandals and chic raffia bag, is the ultimate summer staple thanks to its easy breezy appeal. It's no secret that linen is an ideal choice when trying to combat sweltering temps during the dog days of summer. "Linen is a comfortable material for summer because of its high moisture absorptivity and relative stiffness," Jintu Fan, a fiber science and apparel design professor at Cornell University, told Vogue. "The former property absorbs sweat, and the latter property makes it detached from human skin, creating spaces between the human body and clothing for ventilative cooling." And besides all that, linen is fun to style and looks effortless.

Alas, keeping those linen outfits wrinkle-free is anything but easy. "Why does everyone love linen so much?" one TikTok user asked in a video while showing her followers a dress covered in wrinkles and lint. "How are you guys wearing linen? I just don't understand," she lamented. Fortunately, from air-drying to using starch, we have a few helpful tips to keep those easy, breezy, beautiful linen 'fits wrinkle and crinkle-free.

Hand wash your linen

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your goal is to keep your linen clothes wrinkle-free, it's best to hand wash them. Basically, the less friction while washing the linen, the fewer wrinkles when it comes out of the wash. That makes sense, right? But what are the dos and don'ts of hand washing your clothes? According to Addie Helms, the owner of Addie's Boutique in Abilene, Texas, you should never wring or twist your linen garments while handwashing. "You are stretching it out, or it's losing its shape, and you're creating permanent creases in the fabric. You don't want to do that," she explained in a YouTube video aptly titled "How to Wash Your Linen." So what do you do instead? The Laundress co-founder Lindsey Boyd recommended to Bustle that, "Instead, press garments against the edge of the tub to get rid of excess water." And voila! Your linen is squeaky clean.

Machine wash your linen with lots of water and pull it out ASAP

Still, we know that not everyone has time to hand wash their linen. Boutique owner Addie Helms says it's a-okay to machine wash your linen. The trick, however, is to ensure the machine is filled with plenty of water. "Linen loves water," she explained in her YouTube video. "So in your washing machine, you want more water and fewer pieces of linen," she explained. "Don't overcrowd it. Linen needs lots of room to groove in there."

Another trick when it comes to machine washing linen is to pull it out immediately. The longer it sits there, the more chance that wrinkles will develop, and by that time, they'll be nearly impossible to remove. Easier said than done, though, right? Fortunately, there's a hack for that. Barbara Costello, aka everyone's favorite mom or grandma on TikTok and Instagram, instructed viewers in a video on her "Brunch with Babs" YouTube channel to utilize the delayed wash button on their machines. "If you can't find it on yours, check your manual because I have a feeling it's there," she noted. According to Costello, she prefers to throw her laundry in the night before and set it to start at 6 a.m. And then, when she wakes up, she has clean clothes ready to be switched to the dryer or hung out to dry just in time. No wrinkles on Babs' watch!

Lay linen flat to dry

But speaking of machine washing linen... what do you do when it's done? If you think you're just going to switch your linen right on over to the dryer and go on your merry way, think again. Repeat after us: linen clothing does not go in the dryer. Instead, it's better to let it air dry. "Linen fabric prefers to be dried naturally. It's best to avoid using a tumble dryer as the heat and motion can create wrinkling in your fabric and may, over time, also weaken the fabric," I Love Linen's creative director Lauren Roe told Homes To Love

But not so fast. Instead of hanging the linen clothing on a line, lay it flat to dry. "As the garment dries, it will take the shape of whatever it is on, which is why it's important to lay flat any items you may not want to spend time reshaping with the iron or steamer," Miguel Villalobos, the head of revenue and service of on-demand laundry service Dree, explained to Apartment Therapy. And let's be real — if there was ever a fabric you didn't want to spend even more time reshaping, it's linen. 

Ironing boards, steamers, and hot showers! Oh my!

Perhaps, however, the best way to get those pesky wrinkles out of your linen is by breaking out the trusty, albeit deeply antiquated, iron and ironing board. Fortunately, for those who really, really loathe using an ironing board, there's something new on the market: steam irons that require no ironing board. A hybrid, if you will. Courtney Toll and Annabel Love, co-founders of the all-in-one iron and steamer, Nori Press, told the "Today" show that irons are the superior choice for linen because the fabric naturally requires more pressing and irons "will treat [wrinkles] much easier with the weight of an iron versus a steamer, which could be more difficult to relax the wrinkles." 

But if you're still against irons, traditional steamers are also an option to combat the wrinkles on your linen duds. And in a last-ditch effort, it's always worth a shot to hang your linen frock up, jump in the shower, and let the good ol' shower steam work its magic.

Spray starch for the win

When in doubt, spray starch it out. Sadly, no matter how much you care for linen, once you get on with your day and life starts to happen, the fabric will inevitably wrinkle. And that's where spray starch comes into play. In a YouTube video by Grae Cove, the clothing brand recommends consumers use starch spray or wrinkle-release fabric spray in wrinkle-prone areas, including the knees, elbows, and crotch areas, to ensure that the linen stays wrinkle-free longer. 

And if you're worried about all the added alcohol and chemicals from the commercial brands, you can always make your own. According to quiltmaker Fallon Caldwell, you only need two tablespoons of cornstarch, two cups of water, and a spray bottle. "It is actually really, really easy to make your own spray starch, and you can save a decent amount of money too by making it yourself," she explained in a YouTube video on her channel.