Do you want clothing that you love to last? Taking care of your clothing starts with the laundry. We put together The Guide to Clothing Care to help you give your clothes the love and care that they need. #lovedclotheslast
Sort the clothing
1. Darks - The important thing here is preserving the color. Preserve the color of your dark clothes by washing them separately using a quick wash cold water cycle. Line dry (out of direct sunlight) when possible to help maintain the original appearance of these garments. If you’re short on time or don't have a place to line dry, load the dryer and set it to the lowest temperature, being careful not to over-dry these items.
2. Lights and Brights - Separate clothes by color: bright colors and light colors. Choose the shortest cycle appropriate for the type of fabric and its soil-level.
3. Whites - The best way to keep your whites looking their best is to launder all your white items together in the hottest water the fabric can withstand, pretreating any stains, spills, and sweat marks before placing in the washing machine.
Look at fabric type
Always read the care instructions. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you're checking those labels. Not all fabrics are created equal. Most cotton, linen, and synthetic fabrics can be washed at home, but some fabrics like velvet, rayon and silk may need to be dry cleaned. So check those tags!
Is it Hand Wash Only?
Ok now let's talk about those "Hand Wash Only" labels. This can be a little more time consuming, but you're taking care of and protecting clothing items that you love so they'll last longer. So here are some tips to do it right.
1. Prep - Whether it’s your kitchen sink or your bathtub, make sure you pick something that’s big enough to fully submerge your garments. Start by filling it with warm water (cold for linen and wool fabrics) then add a tablespoon of detergent.
*Keep in mind more detergent doesn’t equal cleaner clothes. There’s such a thing as over-doing it on laundry detergent.
2. Soak - Let delicates soak in water. Then drain the sink or tub and fill it up again with water (or just run your garments under the water to rinse.)
3. Dry - When it’s time to dry DO NOT wring out clothes, it twists the shape and life right out of your delicate items. Instead, use your hands to press down on fabric to push excess water out. Lay items on a flat surface on top of a clean, dry towel.
Take Care of those Stains
Here are some quick tips to remove some common stains from clothing. A reminder to treat these stains as soon as possible for the best chance of getting the stains out of the garments.
Blood - Soak the stain in a mixture of vinegar and warm water, then dab.
Chocolate - Cover with laundry detergent for 10 minutes, then soak in cold water before laundering
Coffee - Blot, then dab with a mix of warm water, dish soap, and white vinegar.
Grass - Mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of dish soap. soak for a few hours
Grease - cover with baking soda, baby powder or cornstarch to soak up the grease
Gum - freeze with ice then scrape with knife then wash in normal cycle
Ink - apply white toothpaste, then rub vigorously with fabric
Juice - scrub with white vinegar and dish washing liquid then wash in cold
Red wine - dab stain to absorb, don't rub! and then apply a mixture of 3 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dishsoap
Makeup - add shaving cream and rub it in, leave it sit for 5-10 minutes then rinse it off under cold water, repeat as needed then wash in normal cycle
*If your stain requires some rubbing or scrubbing, try to go with the grain of the fabric to minimize breakage of the fibres.
*Don't try these methods on garments with special care instructions like like silks, leather, suede and delicates.
How to Wash & Care for Fabrics
Cotton - Always wash your cotton garments in a cold wash. Cotton is best dried flat or hang-dried to prevent the need for ironing. Cotton is a natural fibre and if non-dyed can potentially be composted, but this is rarely the case with most garments. It is possible to recycle cotton at a textile recycling bin.
Denim - Close the zippers and buttons and turn your denim inside out before washing in cold water. When drying, place the denim on low heat for one cycle and then let the denim finish drying by hang-dry or laying flat to dry.
Rayon (Viscose), Lyocell and Modal - Turn inside out before washing. Rayon is prone to shrinkage so always lay flat to dry. Modal and lyocell are more resilient and can be tumble dried if needed.
Fleece - A fleece jacket can shed up to 250,000 microfibres per wash releasing toxins into the water supply. Wash fleece items with a Cora Ball or use a Guppy Friend wash bag. Avoid tumble dry and lay these items flat to dry.
Acrylic, Nylon, and Polyester - Synthetic fibres like these are cheap to produce and not environmentally friendly. Machine wash these garments with a Cora Ball or use a Guppy Friend wash bag to prevent the tiny microfibres from polluting the water supply. It's best to hang dry then garments since the dryer will weaken and damage the fibres more quickly.
How to Dispose of Old Fabrics
Cotton - Cotton is a natural fibre and if non-dyed can potentially be composted, but this is rarely the case with most garments. It is possible to recycle cotton at a nearby textile recycling bin. If that's not an option, you can always make cleaning rags from your old cotton clothes.
Denim - Denim is very durable and should last for awhile, but when you're ready to part with the denim and it's no longer wearable it could be reused, recycled or down cycled. An example is Blue Jeans Go Green that turns denim that can't be re-worn into building insulation to keep it out of landfills for awhile.
Rayon (Viscose), Lyocell and Modal - Modal and Lyocell are durable fibres and should last awhile if cared for properly. If they can no longer be worn, take them to a textile recycling center for reuse or down-cycling. Companies like For Days work with recycling partners to repurpose each item and divert them from landfills. They are recycled into things like insulation, rugs, or cleaning materials.
Fleece - Fleece can be recycled if it is 100% polyester. It can also be down-cycled into building insulation. You could also considering donating to a homeless shelter if this item is still in good condition.
Acrylic, Nylon, and Polyester -You can take these to a textile recycling center, but as of right now most of these fabrics can't be recycled. If it is 100% polyestr it can be recycyled. There are some companies are working on technology to make this possible in the future to recycle acrylic and nylon.