How To Clean Altar Linens


Getting the spots out of altar linens can be a challenge. Here is the best way to do it.

  1. Remember that you are handling cloth (corporals and purificators) that may have remains of the Precious Body and Blood on it. Be careful as you carry these linens around that you are careful not to drop any stray particles.
  2. Soak the corporals and purificators in a container of water - not a sink. Once the Precious Blood and any remaining particles of the Precious Body have dissolved, remove the linens and pour the water in a suitable location outside. Don't pour it down a drain or in a place where people walk.
  3. Spot treat the purificators with a make-up stain remover. Carbona works very well if you follow the instructions. Put the purificators and corporals in a small soaking cycle in your washer with Carbona red juice and wine remover. Soak overnight.
  4. Check that all stains have been removed. If not, spot treat again. Put all linens (purificators, corporals, lavabo towels, etc) in a normal HOT wash cycle with detergent. Don't add bleach.
  5. Lavabo towels can be put in the dryer.
  6. Lay other linens out flat and let partially dry.
  7. Iron the linens while they are still damp. Put a small amount of starch on the corporals, none on the other linens.
  8. Check all linens for lint and pet hair before folding.

These instructions were adapted from the Communion Linen laundry instructions at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Colorado Springs, CO.

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