Clean and Bright Linen Donations

Older linen items such as napkins, doilies and table clothes are some of the regularly donated items when downsizing a home.
If they have been sitting in a cupboard and become discoloured, here are a few tried and true tips on how to get them whiter and pretty once again.
With a little bit of effort and some good products, your clean and bright linen donations will be much easier for your chosen charity shop to sell.

Soak and wash in whitening or brightening products
– Separate into groups; the white items, cream coloured and the ones with coloured prints or embroidery.
– Spot treat stains with a specialist stain remover product. Follow the product label instructions for use.
– For all white items, soak fully submerged in a tub or bucket of a whitening fabric powder and cold water.
– For coloured items or ones with coloured embroidery use a colour brightening product.
– Rinse the items to check the degree of cleaning/whitening.
It may take a few repeats of the soaking and rinsing process to get much whiter/cleaner linen.

Dry in the sun
– Line dry or use a clothes drying rack in full sun, this helps the bleaching and brightening process.

Wash or dampen before ironing
– Wash or dampen the items you want to iron.
– Set your iron onto the ‘linen’ or ‘cotton’ setting and iron while the fabric is still damp.
This makes it much easier to get any starchy wrinkles out making ironing more enjoyable.

– Fold and group into sets.
– Tie with string to keep sets together and present nicely.
Consider including a tag if you want to let people know how many items are in the set.
(I made mine out of an out of date calendar, but recycling nice birthday cards is also quite good).

Effective products I use
NapiSan Vanish Oxi-Action Crystal White
NapiSan Vanish Oxi-Action Colour Safe
Sard Stain Remover Super Power

Natural product options
There are also a number of plant based eco products and you can also use lemon juice to help whiten white fabrics. Squeeze some juice onto a stain or discoloured linen item and let it sit until you see it begin to lighten, and then rinse it out.

The finished product. Linen items ready to donate to charity with string and a gift tag.

Linen tablecloth soaking in a buc

Linen soaking in a bucket of whitening liquid.

Drying linen and cotton items in the sun will help whiten them.

Reusing an old calendar to make gift tags
Reusing a calendar to make recycled gift tags.