Best tips to take care of your clothes
Some people say your clothes define who you are. What you wear reflects your personality as well as how you take care of yourself. Thus, the style and price of your clothes is not the only vital aspect when it comes to dressing yourself. Keeping your clothes clean, ironed, comfortable and in good condition is also important.
Check out the helpful tips you can use if you want to take care of your clothes and keep them in great shape below:
Sort your clothes by colour before washing them
When it comes to washing your clothes, make sure to sort them first by colour or by how dirty they are. Sorting your clothes by colour and dirtiness will prevent dye or extra grime from transferring to other garments. You can divide your laundry into whites, darks, pastels or medium-tones and brights.
In addition, separate other clothes such as delicates and loose knits into a separate load. This is because such clothes like towels, fuzzy shirts and robes tend to produce lots of lint. Avoid tossing all your clothes into the washing machine at the same time. Doing all of these will keep your garments in good condition.
Read the labels of your clothes
Ensure that you read the label of your clothes first before doing your laundry. Some clothes have care labels on them that will guide you on how to wash them. The care label is a soft tag inside the garment with various symbols on it. Each icon indicates the best wash cycle and temperature you should use as well as other washing instructions you should follow.
For instance, a bucket of water icon means you can wash the garment. If you see an open triangle at the label, it means that you can bleach the clothes. But if the triangle is crossed out, it means you should not use any bleach solution on the fabric. Meanwhile, a square with a circle inside shows specific tumble drying instructions. An iron symbol means you can iron the garment.
Remove the stains as soon as possible
If your clothes have stains on them, make sure to remove them as soon as possible. Treating stains right away is easier since they haven’t been set into the fabric yet. To remove the stains, blot the spot using a clean sponge. Avoid rubbing it in since you will only force the stain deeper.
Make sure to pretreat the stain before you toss the clothes into the washing machine to avoid other clothes from being stained too. Here is how you should pretreat and remove stains:
- Coffee stains: If you spilt coffee on your clothes, soak the fabric into cold water and pretreat it using a stain remover or a quality detergent. Check the label of the garment if it is safe to wash using bleach. If it is, wash the clothes with bleach.
- Ink stains: To remove ink stains, dip a sponge in rubbing alcohol and pat it on the stain. Flip the clothes over and dab more alcohol. After that, rinse out the stain by washing the garment as you normally would.
- Bloodstains: Make sure to wash your clothes as soon as possible if they have fresh bloodstains. Soak the garment in cold water first then wash it as usual. If you don’t have the chance to wash the garment instantly, soak the item in warm water with a detergent first before washing as usual.
- Mud stains: Spread a powder detergent paste over the mud stains and launder the clothes as you normally would. If the garment has heavier mud stains on them, pretreat the clothes in a container of water mixed with detergent before washing them.
Wash your t-shirts in cold water
T-shirts are items that are not too delicate to wash, thus they are safe to be tossed in both washer and dryer. However, experts suggest that you use cold water to wash them along with a permanent press cycle when drying them. Wash your shirts with bleach if they have obvious pit stains.
Using cold water when washing your clothes is better in general since it can keep the garments from shrinking and fading in the long run. Cold water is also more effective for dark colours since cold water reduces the amount of dye that runs from these clothes.
Know how to use your washing machine
Most washing machines have temperature settings to allow you to choose different levels of heat or cold when washing certain types of clothes. It is best to use hot water for light colours that are extremely dirty. The heat from the water will scald the stains out of the light coloured items.
There are also multiple knobs on your washers that represent various types of cycles for different types of clothing. Some of the common cycles are:
- Regular cycle: Regular or normal cycle is best when washing white clothes.
- Permanent press: Permanent press is used for coloured clothes since this uses warm water and rinses with cold water, keeping your clothes looking bright and preventing the colours from fading.
- Delicate: Delicate is used for all delicate garments such as underwear, dress shirts, bras and so on. Make sure that the delicate clothes you are going to wash can be put into a washing machine.
Wash your jeans inside-out
Make sure to turn your jeans inside-out when washing them to prevent them from fading. In addition, it is also better to wash your jeans infrequently at least once every 3 wears. Doing these things will protect the colour of your jeans. After washing, hang up the jeans to air-dry them.
Hand-wash delicate garments and let them air-dry
Delicate garments such as your underwear, swimsuits and intimates don’t usually hold up well in the washer so make sure to hand-wash them instead. Washers may damage the elasticity of your delicate garments. Materials like lycra, silk, wool, nylon, rayon, spandex, crochet items and thin knits are all delicate materials.
Avoid washing delicate garments all the time unless they are extremely dirty. Also, make sure to read their care label if they have one before laundering them. When washing delicate clothes, add them all in a basin of cold water and use a gentle detergent. Wring out excess water gently and drape the clothes on a drying rack.
Once the items are washed and dried, store them in a cool, dry place. For example, hang delicate dresses, jackets and shawls on padded hangers. Knitwear, on the other hand, can be folded and stored flat.
Let your dress shirts air-dry and iron them after
When it comes to dress shirts, it is best to let them air-dry after washing and iron them after drying. Do not tumble dry dress shirts since they will shrink and damage the fabric over time. Treat any stains as soon as possible and run the items into a cold water cycle. After washing, shake out the clothes to get rid of wrinkles and let them air-dry.
After drying, press the dress shirts before putting them on a hanger and storing them in your closet. Iron the collar first then move to the cuffs and body.
Do not overload your dryer
Avoid overloading your dryer to prevent a longer drying time and other mechanical issues. Larger laundry loads will look wrinklier once you pull them out so make sure that the clothes can move and tumble freely in the dryer. It is also better to air-dry your clothes if you don’t need them as soon as possible since it is better for the environment and a lot less harsh on the garments.
Iron the garments based on the recommended temperatures
It is not ideal for some garments to be pressed using extremely high temperatures. Thus, make sure to read your clothes’ care labels and see what fabric they are made of. Most irons have designated settings based on the types of garments you will press. If they don’t have one, here is a quick guide on how to iron your clothes:
- Silk and cotton need to be pressed while the garments are still slightly damp.
- Nylon and polyester should be ironed once the garments are dry.
- Acetate, nylon. Polyester, acrylic need cooler temperatures.
- Wool and silk need warmer temperatures.
- Cotton garments need hot temperatures.
Use wooden and padded hangers
Use wooden and padded hangers instead of wired ones since they provide greater support and prevent changing the shape of your clothes. Coats, jackets, shirts and pants should be hung on wooden hangers. Delicate materials such as silk need padded hangers to get extra support.
Felt hangers are also another reliable hanger but they are more expensive than the wooden and padded ones. Make sure to always hang your clothes that tend to get easily wrinkled such as dresses, suits and delicate shirts.
Mend your clothes if needed
Do not wear clothes that have tears, rips or snags on them since they can cause accidents and will make you look less presentable. In addition, these simple tears or rips can be the start of your clothes’ ruination. Buy a sewing kit and mend your clothes if needed.