There is hardly any person in the world who doesn’t like dressing well. A female’s wardrobe, for instance, contains all kinds of clothes starting with jeans, blouses, and sweaters and ending with cardigans and skirts. Those are typically made of different fabrics and require a specific approach to washing, drying, and ironing. The way wool must be treated, for example, is not suitable for linen and vice versa. Learn everything on how to care for items made of the most common natural and artificial textiles if you want your clothes to last longer.
1. How to treat cotton clothing?
The versatility of cotton is well-known. It’s good both for casual clothing such as a T-shirt and for more formal attire like a dress. Cotton can also be used for making thicker and stronger items such as denim jackets. Another characteristic of this fabric is its ability to breathe, which makes it an especially good choice on hot summer days. That said, cotton also soaks up sweat and other bodily fluids very easily. That’s why it should be treated in its own specific way.
- Choose the water temperature depending on the particular cotton blend (for items that can be preshrunk). Follow the label instructions. If they say “Wash in cold water,” do it. Try to avoid extreme heat, though, as your clothes may get ruined.
- Pre-treat cotton items with color-safe stain remover to make them last longer and have a nicer smell. The most common place for that is in underarms.
- Add chlorine bleach to white cotton items to get rid of stains. Make sure the item’s manufacturer allows it, though.
- Add non-chlorine bleach for colored items. That will keep them bright longer.
- Wash cotton jeans in cold water to help them retain their deep color.
- Avoid excessive drying of cotton things since they may shrink and become useless.
- Set the dryer to the lowest value.
- Remove cotton items from the dryer while they are still a little damp. Then, dry them on a clothesline.
- Iron cotton clothes on the wrong side and with a large heat value. That’s because wrinkles on cotton things are more stubborn and take ages to smooth over.
- Use spray starch for better crispness of such items as shirts.
2. How to treat linen clothing?
For hundreds of years, people used this fabric produced from the flax plant to make tablecloths. Now, it’s used in many kinds of garments. Linen is about three times stronger than cotton. Just like cotton, it’s wonderfully breathable. In many cases, dry cleaning or hand washing is preferable for linen things. If an item has a label that allows machine washing, follow these tips:
- Avoid stuffing too many things in the washer when laundering linen clothing. That’s because this fabric absorbs water more than other materials.
- Wash in lukewarm water and use a tepid detergent solution.
- Leave colored linen things in salt water for some time before you start laundering them in the washer. That way you will keep the color longer.
- Air dry your linen clothes because they shrink easily in a hot environment. If you do need to use your dryer, set it to the lowest value possible.
- Avoid hangers for drying linen items as that will leave marks on them.
- Hang linen things on a drying rack or put them flat on a towel.
- Iron linen on the wrong side.
- To remove wrinkles quickly, set the iron to the maximum heat value and use steam.
3. How to treat polyester clothing?
This is one of the most durable synthetic fabrics, invented in the first half of the last century in Britain. It’s versatile and easy to care for. Many polyester clothes are well suited for machine washing. Still, it’s a good idea to have a look at the label on a particular item for information.
- Wash polyester things in warm water.
- Before the final rinsing, use fabric softeners. That’s necessary because polyester is prone to getting stiff.
- Use a low heat setting to tumble dry polyester things.
- Take clothes out of the dryer when they are a little wet. Reason: you will avoid wrinkles and static electricity accumulation on the fabric.
- Never use a hot iron as it will simply melt polyester. If possible, avoid ironing altogether or at least use a cloth as an intermediary between the iron and the fabric.
4. How to treat silk clothing?
Silk is known to be already worn in China several thousand years ago. This beautiful natural fabric is very delicate and may quickly lose its color and pucker if you don’t follow proper washing guidelines. The best option for silk is hand washing, although dry cleaning is preferable in many cases, too.
- Use a mild baby shampoo to hand wash silk. Make sure the shampoo doesn’t contain a conditioner. You can also use a mild detergent.
- Wash in lukewarm water.
- During the final rinsing, pour a small amount of good quality hair conditioner into the water. That will prevent the fabric from clinging to your body.
- Don’t wring out silk as it will ruin it.
- Wrap a silk item in a towel and press on it gently to remove excessive moisture.
- Air dry the item, but don’t expose it to direct sun rays.
- Set the iron to the minimum heat value possible.
- Iron with steam and use a cloth.
Like polyester, this is a synthetic fabric. It has its own unique properties, though. For instance, it can expand to 600% and then return to its original size without any damage or change. Spandex is normally used in small amounts as an additive to other fabrics to make them more elastic.
- Hand or machine wash spandex in tepid water only.
- Never add chlorine bleach, especially for fabrics that contain Lycra.
- Take great care to rinse spandex properly.
- Avoid tumble drying spandex as it may pucker when exposed to heat.
- Press spandex quickly and avoid keeping the iron on one spot too long.
- Set the iron to the minimum heat value.
Apart from knowing what fabrics your clothes are made of, as well as washing and drying them properly, don’t forget to store your things right to prolong their lifespan.