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What is Linen Water?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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A time honored device for helping to provide bedding and other types of cloth with a pleasing aroma, linen water is a liquid essence that is sprinkled or misted onto fabric before pressing with an iron takes place. Usually, it is prepared with a pleasing scent that is intended to add a hint of aroma without being overpowering. Scented water may be prepared in the home or purchased at a number of retail outlets.

The basic recipe for a linen water spray involves the combination of only a few basic ingredients. Water always forms the basis, and typically, a small amount of alcohol, usually vodka, is added as the second liquid ingredient. The presence of the alcohol helps to keep the linen water fresh over a longer period of time, and also will help to enhance the scent. The actual aroma usually comes from the inclusion of one or more scented oils.

In many types of homemade linen water, lavender oil is included. Other oils with a pleasant scent, such as peppermint or rosemary, may be added to compliment the scent of the lavender. Just about any type of scent can be included, even oils derived from the peels of citrus fruits, such as lemon or orange peel. The finished product will have a faint but perceptible scent that will provide an enhanced sense of freshness to any fabric that is misted or sprinkled with it.

Fresh linen water is usually applied just before ironing. Many people choose to use a spray bottle that allows the water to be misted across the surface of the fabric in a thin but even coat. The application of the hot iron helps to infuse the scent into the fabric, ensuring that the aroma will be enjoyed for an extended period of time. The mist may be applied to dress shirts, bed sheets, and any other material that is desired. Before applying the water, it is a good idea to make sure the fabric will not react to the product by staining or spotting. Cotton often works very well with it, while some synthetics may demonstrate a tendency to spot or discolor as a result of the combination of the water with a hot iron.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including HomeQuestionsAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By BambooForest — On Jan 04, 2011

@panda2006, I agree, if linen water is too strong, an entire linen closet can smell like cologne, which is about as enjoyable as a person who smells too strongly of cologne.

By panda2006 — On Nov 14, 2010

I've known people who used lavender linen water. It is a nice touch for bedding. I've also known people who just used perfume or cologne, which could be overpowering.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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