Here at A Touch of Lace, we are asked on a weekly basis if it's okay to use chlorine bleach or fabric softener to wash fine linens. Thanks to our friends at SFERRA they've provided us with the perfect response and, we must say, we couldn't have said it better ourselves:
A: NO, it is not okay to use chlorine bleach or fabric softener when washing fine linens. Chlorine bleach will cause fading and discoloration. In addition, it will break down and permanently weaken the cotton fibers. It may also leave a residue on the fabric. It is equally important to ensure that your linens do not come in contact with other forms of household bleach products, such as face creams or toothpaste. If necessary, an oxygen-based bleach may be used - It is safe for use on almost all washable fabrics and colors. When using an oxygen-based bleach, the chemical ingredient oxidizes to help remove soil and organic matter brightening the fabric and removing stains.
Fabric softener is designed to coat fibers in oils, waxes, and fragrances that might make the fabric feel soft, but the build-up of chemicals can damage the fabric. In addition, fabric softeners clog the pores of Egyptian cotton sheets, preventing them from breathing and decreasing the luster and gloss of the appearance. High quality Egyptian cotton linens do not need to be treated with fabric softener and, actually, with repeated washings and dryings, become softer naturally.
A Touch of Lace offers linen wash that will make your linens feel and look impeccable!