the guide to french flax linen and lube
A high-quality set of 100% French flax linen bedding will serve you well for years of use with proper care.
Fortunately, ‘proper care’ of linen is low maintenance. Understanding how your flax linen bedding responds to lubricant is a matter of understanding the properties of linen and your lubricant of choice.
Linen is absorbent
Linen’s high absorbency is a desirable quality for bed sheets - the fabric will quickly pull perspiration away from your body and help you to enjoy a comfortable sleep. The downside of this high absorbency is that stains, particularly stains from certain types of lubricants, will need to be addressed as quickly as possible. While the general rule of all stains should be to address them quickly, this is especially important for oil or silicone-based lubricants.
Treating silicone-based lubricant stains in flax linen
Silicone lubricant stains (or silicone-hybrid lubricant) act in much the same ways as a grease stain, they are tough, and it is best to avoid letting silicone stains set into the fabric. In general, linen fibres are hardy and highly resistant to cleaning solvents but to err on the side of caution, opt for gentler products.
Pre-wash treatments will go a long way in helping remove stubborn stains. Sex toy cleaner, if you have it, can work well as a pre-wash treatment (Note: silicone lubricant can cause silicone sex toys to degrade). These cleaners are specifically formulated to remove lubricant and sexual fluids. Simply apply to the stain prior to your regular washing routine. Degreasers or regular stain remover powder or soakers can also work well, and some are even designed specifically for linen. Again, apply to the stain prior to washing (and per the instructions).
It’s generally not advisable to use a dryer after tackling any lubricant stain. Wet linen can easily obscure residual stains that did not lift in the wash, and using a dryer will set those stains permanently.
Oil stains and flax linen
Oil stains are difficult to remove from any fabric, so it is best to avoid them altogether. However, oil lubricants can be treated much the same way as silicone-based lubricants, with some additional steps. Address the stain as quickly as possible, first by blotting it from the outside in with a paper towel. Avoid using a scrubbing motion as this can cause an oil stain to set. Next, apply baby powder to the stain for 20 minutes. Gently brush off the baby powder and apply a degreaser before following with a regular wash. Avoid setting residual stains by avoiding tumble drying. If tough stains are a consistent problem, it may be worth considering if water-based or natural lubricants are appropriate in light of your sexual health needs.
Flax linen and water-based or natural lubricant
When selecting among lubricants compatibility with your bedding should always come secondary to looking after your sexual health. But for the curious; water and plant-derived lubricants (also called natural lubricants) are the best choices for caring for linen sheets because any stains are extremely easy to remove. Water-based lubricants are non-greasy by definition, and most natural lubricants are made from non-greasy aloe vera. It’s important to check the ingredients to properly identify the type of stain, but in general, combining a pre-wash treatment with your regular laundering process should be more than enough to remove these types of stains.
Flax linen is made to last
Flax linen is highly durable and responds well to most cleaning products without affecting the quality of the flax fibres. Some lubricants, like water-based or plant-derived, are easy to launder. Oil-based or silicon-based, like any grease stain, can be extremely difficult to remove. Knowing how to care for the different types of stains can help you to avoid permanent damage and ensure your linen will endure for years or until you decide it’s time to redecorate.