Caring for clothes is not always easy. Stains, wear and tear, and color loss make your favorite outfits look less than their best. However, there are many things you can do to take care of your clothes so that they last longer. Read on to learn more about how to care for your favorite wardrobe items easily.
1. How to Wash Clothes:
Your clothing will last longer and look better if you know how to wash them correctly:
- Turn your clothes inside before washing them, especially if their colors are light and might run (like whites). Even dark colors like blacks can dye lighter colors like pastels.
- Try Pre-treat any spots or stains with a stain remover/treatment that is safe for the fabric’s fiber content before washing. For example, on silk, treat stains with vinegar; on wool, use a pre-spotter such as Shout; and on cotton, garments use pre-treatment sprays such as Spray ‘n Wash or Biz.
- When using a washer, always use the gentle cycle. If you don’t have a gentle cycle, wash with cold water; when using hot water, make sure to separate dark colors from light colors.
- Read the garment’s care label first and follow its instructions (usually line dry or tumble dry on low). Set your dryer on low heat if no instructions are given for machine drying (usually not recommended).
2. How to Iron Clothes:
- Always read your clothes’ care label first to determine if they can be ironed, what settings are safe for them, and how you should handle them while ironing. For example, cotton garments use a medium heat setting; wool blend clothing uses a low heat; most silks are best pressed at a low temperature with steam. Moreover, if you have linen tunic tops, it will require the heat accordingly.
- Unless you’re treating a tough wrinkle that won’t budge, permanently remove clothing from the dryer promptly when the cycle is finished. Hang it immediately, so it has time to relax before being handled or worn.
3. How to Dry Clean Clothes:
- Most dry cleaners are professional chemists, so always ask what the safest cleaning option is for your garment.
- As with washer and dryer instructions, follow the care labels provided by the manufacturer of your clothes. If no label exists, take them to a reputable cleaner where you can explain what kind of garment they are, how often you wear it/use it, and what kind of environment it’s used in.
4. How to Spiff Up Clothing:
If your clothing gets too wrinkled from being folded or hanging in your closet for a long time, consider purchasing an anti-wrinkle spray that refreshes garments without harming their fibers. Use it on both sides of clothing before hanging or folding them up.
5. How to Clean Up a Stain:
- For silks and other delicate garments where you can’t use soap or spot removers containing it, rub some liquid white vinegar into the fabric to help dissolve any oily substances that might’ve caused the stain to lift them from the fibers. Then blot until all traces of the stain are gone.
- Treat stains made by blood or other body fluids with an enzyme pre-treatment product such as Shout Advanced Gel. Launder as directed on the care label.
- To remove fresh fruit and vegetable stains, scrape off any excess, then rub the stain with a clean cloth dampened in cold water or club soda until it’s removed. Rinse thoroughly and launder as usual.
- Treat old rust stains by rubbing them with lemon juice and letting them sit for about 15 minutes before laundering as usual – however if this doesn’t work, take the garment to a dry cleaner who uses professional strength rust removers.
6. How to Prevent Wrinkling:
– Hang heavy wool blend coats and jackets on wide padded hangers, so they don’t lose their shape at the shoulders. Use thin leather hangers for delicate fabrics that the metal clips of wider hangers could damage.
– When storing clothes, always lay them flat in their original protective wrappings (e.g., poly bags for formal gowns and wedding dresses; acid-free tissue paper for hats) or on padded hangers to protect them from sharp objects that could cause snags or tears. Keep items that can be wrinkled easily stored in breathable garment bags not to get crushed or creased while being stored.
7. How to Clean Leather Clothing:
- Use saddle soap specifically formulated for cleaning fine leathers such as car upholstery, not gentle household cleaners meant for smooth leather shoes which might contain oils harmful to your apparel. Follow with a damp cloth to remove any excess soap residue.
- Gently brush suede clothing with a soft-bristled suede brush, paying particular attention to the nap (direction of the pile). Brush in the direction of the pile to remove dirt and restore smoothness. Be careful not to rub too briskly as this can cause damage and excessive shedding.
If you follow the above care tips, you should find that your clothes are cleaner and last longer. It can help you save money on clothing in the long run!