Cleaning household linens is done as appropriate to the type of cloth. Household linens are most likely to have stains from organic sources such as food, blood, and soil. If the linens are made of natural fibres such as linen or cotton, the cloth will need to be rinsed as soon as possible in cold water to prevent the stain from becoming permanent. Stains from red wine, or red or purple berries and fruit are an exception and must be washed in boiling water,yet despite this, these stains may be impossible to remove. Otherwise, regular washing of household linens should be done in hot water for hygienic reasons, to destroy bacteria left on the linens from frequent use. Linen and cotton that are white may also become yellow over time, but this is eliminated by bleaching, either with liquid bleach, or by the traditional method of hanging the linens in the sun to let the sunlight bleach out the discoloration.
Household linens are stored near the area where they are used, when possible, for convenience. Otherwise, bed and kitchen and dining linens may be stored together in a linen closet or cupboard. There are many methods of folding linens for storage. For formal occasions, table linens may be ironed before use. Traditionally, table linens could be starched while ironing, to decrease wrinkling and retain a smooth, pristine appearance. Seasonal storage of linens led to the development of natural pest control methods in Europe to prevent moth larvae and other insects or rodents from eating the cloth. Sachets made of dried Margosa, cloves, lavender, and other herbs are traditional, as are cedar wood chips.