THE 10 OR 12 COMMANDMENTS OF CLOTHING CARE
We all know how to wash our clothes, or do we? Caring for our closet's beautiful finds and treasures can become no easy feat. That’s why we thought we might try to compile a selection of our own rules to keep you, your closet, and the planet covered when it comes to cleaning your favorite rags.
1. Symbols explained: Follow the instructions on the care label. The thing is, these symbols are akin to the Egyptian hieroglyphs, so here is a very comprehensive guide courtesy of the Readers Digest.
2. Air your clothes out: Washing less will help protect your clothes, natural fibers like cotton stand regular washing better than linens or wool. The tear and wear that comes with washing can degrade the thickness of your clothes’ fibers, so spacing the washing times is a great ally to keep them looking beautiful for longer. Simply hang them outside for a few hours, and they’ll come back refreshed and free of smells.
3. 30ºC is your magic number: Set the washing machine temperature at 30ºC. If warmer you could damage the material and risk shrinkages or color transferring; if colder (and on a shorter cycle) your clothes could end up with soap stains from undiluted detergent.
If your clothes are very dirty, you could go for 40º but only Cotton or Tencel (Technically you can do it also with Wool, but it’s risky, so we wouldn’t recommend it).
4. Less detergent is more: Use as much as half of what the soap label states. Remember: you don’t want soap rings or stains in your clothes. Use quality, gentle, enzyme-free detergent for best results on delicate items made of Wool or Linen.
5. Tumble dry is a no-no: Unless you are in a really tight situation with drying times we strongly recommend you do avoid the tumble dryer since each cycle will gradually damage the fibers in your clothes. So keep it in mind: the best tumble dry frequency for your clothes is as little as possible.
6. Zip up: This might sound silly, but there’s no damage in reminding you. Close all zippers and fasteners before washing to prevent snagging and rough stretching during the washing cycle.
7. Delicate pieces in a bag: Use a mesh bag to wash those pieces that you really really don’t want to be damaged, it will avoid snagging or stretching if caught with other clothes.
8. Divide and conquer: Another basic one. Wash similar colors together to prevent color fading or transferring issues.
9. Flat is better: Of course, this will depend on your space issues, but flat drying is better for Wool and Tencel. If you’re not able to do so, gently spin these fabrics to have them release as much moisture as possible and then hang them from a part of the garment that won’t stretch. Note: when spinning Wool, reduce it to a minimum speed.
10. Soak wool first: If you’re washing Wool in the washing machine, soak it in cold water thoroughly before you add it to your laundry. This will protect the garment further.
(A couple of extra tips)
11. Store your clothes as far away as you can from dust (use dust bags), natural light, and damp environments. This will enlarge the lifespan of your favorite garments and keep them looking just as new for years to come.
12. Using a lint brush before storing your jackets and suits will keep them spotless. Unless you have a steely touch, stay away from using fabric shavers since they can damage the fibers in your clothes.
Happy closets, Walkers!