It used to be that some folks had to learn the hard way to not treat all fabrics the same. All it took was for that favorite sweater to shrink to doll-size before they learned not to wash wool in hot water or for their bright white linens or underwear to turn pink because they washed them with their favorite red shirt.
Here are some tips for fabric care for those who didn’t listen to their mum:
Wash Colors Separately
Colors should be separated then washed according to the fabric and how dirty they are. People who don’t want to waste water and detergent by washing their two items of scarlet clothing in their washing machine can either hand-wash the items, or send them to the dry cleaners if they can’t be hand-washed.
Read the Care Labels
Care labels must be read and understood. Though labels do have words, others have symbols that might be challenging to decipher. If the owner is stumped, the meaning of the symbols can be looked up online.
Dry White Fabrics Outside
Drying white fabrics on the clothesline outside on a warm, sunny day will make them even whiter and brighter.
Here’s a spring cleaning tip: According to the Master Dry Cleaners team, you should clean your curtains at least once a year to remove any mold growth or dust mites on them. Other tips are to not leave a stained dry-clean-only garment around for a long time, because stains can set. When it’s taken to the dry cleaners, point out the stain and tell the cleaner what caused it.
When the dry-cleaning is brought home, take it out of the bag immediately, for even the bag can stain it. Put it on a good, sturdy hanger, and hang it outside or in a well-ventilated place to get rid of that dry cleaning smell.
How To Wash Different Fabrics
Some people are afraid to wash silk because they believe it is too delicate. However, silk is tougher than it looks. One way to check is to crush it a bit. If it smooths out, it can be hand-washed. If it doesn’t, it should be sent to the dry-cleaners. Silk is best hand-washed in water that’s no warmer than 37 degrees Celsius. If the garment can be ironed, do it on a cool setting and on the wrong side.
Washing wool in a washing machine, even in cool water, does violence to it unless the care label says it can be machine-washed. As with silk, the best way to wash wool is by hand in water that is no more than warmish.
Synthetics were created largely because of their ease of care. They can be washed in the washing machine with a regular detergent. To be on the safe side, they should only be dried in a cool dryer or air dried.
Some people think that rayon is a synthetic, but it sort of isn’t. It’s made of treated wood pulp and can behave like wool or silk if it is tossed in the washing machine. It is best to hand-wash or send to the dry cleaners.
These are a few tips that concern the art and science of laundering clothes. Done the right way, clothes can last for decades or at least until they’re no longer in fashion. It only takes a bit of information to avoid a catastrophe.