Clothes these days are no longer just body covering. They have become part of our lifestyle investments. From our favorite pair of jeans to our most worn tees, clothes have been fully integrated into our being. Since they posses relevance to our lives, how do we take care of our clothes so they won’t shrink, stain, tear, and fade, especially when we wash them?
To Avoid Shrinking
Clothes shrink when they are washed in warm water. So the best way to avoid shrinking of clothes when washing is to use cold water. The cold water would avoid the clothing to relax and release, which is often the top cause for shrinking or misshaping. Apart from using cold water, choose a gentle laundry cycle. A gentle laundry cycle avoids stressing the fabric and its seams that could sometimes make the garments shrink. This is especially applicable when washing fibers like cotton, wool, and cashmere. Lastly, choose the right laundry machine. You may want to consider front-loading machines as they are less destructive and will cause less shrinkage than the customary top-loading machines because the natural tumbling action in the front-loading machines is much more gentle.
To Avoid Staining
A major prevention to staining is to separate the garments. Never wash whites, such as abayas, with colors. Also, consider separately washing new clothes, especially dark, colored cottons because these may release a lot of dye.
If you’ve done this and stains still appear, then you might want to double-check your fabric conditioner. Most fabric conditioners are oil based, and if you use too much or added too soon or too late into the cycle and this hits your clothes without being diluted enough, it will cause oily spots on your clothes. Thus, make sure to dissolve the fabric conditioners first before pouring.
There’s another common type of stain: rust stains. These can come from rusts developing in your washing machine or the water you are using to wash your clothes. To avoid this, always check your washing machine for rusts, and make it a habit to run the water first. It would not also hurt to have your water pipes check for rusts.
To Avoid Tearing
Holes in our clothes could have many reasons. It could be from much chlorine bleach. It could also be from abrasive surfaces. Too high spin speed is also another cause as well as overloading.
Just like how to avoid staining, a major prevention to tearing is sorting your clothes well. Remember to not wash a delicate garment, such as scarves, with jeans or any clothes with zippers and other protrusions. Delicate garments that have lace and are made of silk could snag on zippers that could lead to tearing. Additionally, always zip, button, and fasten all clothing before washing to avoid catching other garments. If you can’t wash these separately, consider placing delicate garments in a mesh laundry bag before placing into the washer.
To Avoid Fading Quickly
A top advice to retain colors is to wash black clothes with other black clothes or with other dark garments. Fading happens when the dye runs, but when there are no lighter garments to soak the dark dyes, those dyes will be reabsorbed back into the black clothes they came from. Apart from sorting the colors, consider the weight, too. Doing so would protect the weave and color of your more delicate black garments.
Just like when avoiding shrinking of clothes, use cold water when washing colored clothes. This avoids the breaking down of fibers and its dyes.
When it comes to your washing machine, try using the shortest cycle possible because this means lesser chance the dye has to run and fade. You might also want to skip the dryer because the heat could facilitate fading. Instead, hung the clothes, which you have turned inside out, to dry or laid flat to dry, but when you do, make sure that you place them in an area away from the sun. Sunlight acts as natural bleach, which will fade your black clothes faster. Finally, consider adding vinegar, salt, black pepper, or baking soda, as these have ingredients that help retain colors.
Which of these tips would you apply? Do you have any other tips to share? Let me know in the comment section. 🙂