How to take care of your clothes?
A guide to help keep the immunity of your clothes intact
Clothes care seems easy, right? Buy, wear, wash after use, dry, iron and wear again. The cycle goes on. Sounds simple enough, yet our clothes don’t always seem that happy. They fade out quickly and lose their charm all too often.
So, how do you bring back the life in your clothes? Are we taking proper care of our clothes? We may not be as careful as we should be. But don’t worry, we got you covered. Here is an easy guide that breaks down the clothes care process step-by-step. At the end of this read, your clothes will thank you for bringing back their A-game.
Step 1: Washing
Soak, clean, dip and rinse. Sounds just about right but there are a few *terms and conditions that we may be missing out on.
Do not try to create a bond between the dark and light-coloured clothes.
Colour separation is essential before starting washing. Dark and light colour dyes on clothes react differently when soaked in water. After all, you don’t want a pool of colour mix when you wash your clothes.
Wash similar colour clothes together in one cycle. Keep dark shades like black, blue and red separately for another cycle or hand wash. Wash clothes in cold to warm water (at or below 30° C) to avoid heavy colour loss.
Separate different textures or materials
Similar to colour, textures or cloth material also affects the washing style- separate hefty or rough textured clothes like denim from more fragile ones. Bulky pieces require a longer soak and gentle, longer spin time compared to delicate pieces like t-shirts that need a simple, quick wash
When washing your denim, you need to turn them inside out for better cleaning and wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle to avoid any rips.
Keep those zippers shut close
Free zippers can be the reason for clothes to rip. Ensure they are closed before you throw any piece in the machine. Place your delicate garments such as lingerie and socks into a mesh bag or an old pillowcase. Doing this helps to avoid any damage due to the machine. A clean but ripped piece after a wash is probably more heartbreaking.
Check labels and wash
Every clothing piece has its care instruction label sewn on the garment itself. It is a way for the buyer to be mindful of any extraordinary guidelines in regards to the care of the clothing piece.
A few garments like bedding or curtains are not as simple to clean and deal with as others and may have uncommon care guidelines and specific considerations to keep in mind. Therefore, you should not take labels for granted. We have broken down all washing label symbols in our Instagram post. Do check it out and save for future use.
Clothes, water, detergent – what is the correct order?
Does the order in which you put all the required ingredients for washing matter all that much? Yes, it does.
First, the clothes which have been separated zips closed and delicate pieces handled correctly. Then add water if it is a hand wash. Finally, add detergent depending on the number of clothes. If it is a machine wash, add the detergent in the designated place and let the machine do the rest.
Avoid chlorine-based detergents and bleaches. They are not just harmful to the clothes in the long run but cause damage to the environment when disposed of.
Step 2: Drying
Drying is probably the easiest step if done right. Here are some prerequisites for a quick and careful cloth drink session.
Create the environment
Sun and air are the two natural conditions required for a perfect dry. Yet, it may not be that easy, especially if you live in a high-rise or a hostel room. Fret not, for we got your back.
Direct sunlight for long hours is a big no-no. Instead, find a warm shady spot in the house. As for wind, we don’t need a cool breeze or gusty winds blowing. A ventilated space is good enough to avoid trapping the moisture and delaying the drying process.
Create the space
Decided to wash a week’s worth of clothes but got no space to hand them dry. Don’t worry; we have all been in that spot. We are glad to inform you that there is a way out our old friend, hangers to the rescue.
To expand the advantages of your drying rack, hang your shirts and pullovers on hangers or even coat holders. Hanging clothes will guarantee they dry comparatively wrinkle-free and creates some extra space.
Step 3: Folding and Storage
Did you think we would skip over this step just like you sometimes do? We told you beforehand; this is a step-by-step guide. We got to cover all the points.
Fold in style
We are no experts like Marie Kondo when it comes to folding, so we will let her videos guide you for the best results.
Whatever style you choose, remember to be as thorough as possible. A good fold doesn’t just save storage space but also keeps the clothes wrinkle-free. Folding also avoids the need to iron clothes in some cases.
Hang for easy access
Jackets, shirts and any other outerwear are hung for easy, quick access. Besides, these clothes are usually bulky and hanging them gives a little extra storage space (something we all need all too often).
When it comes to hanging, don’t stop at shirts or outwear pieces, think of hanging your bottoms as well. Pants and jeans hung in hangers or on hooks are better than folding and storing. It ensures ventilation (a must for your jeans) and keeps them in shape.
Step 4: Ironing
The final step on the list of clothes care. Ironing is what makes or breaks your look.
Ironing requires a bit of a setup- a hard straight surface over which a few layers of bedsheets. Ensure the board is not bumpy and smooth.
Check the iron plate
The most typical slip-up is not checking the iron’s soleplate for stains before getting down to business. The outcome? Enormous, terrible stains over a clean outfit you were ready to flaunt for the day.
Start by a trial run on a spare cloth or the surface covering. On the off chance that the plate is filthy, you’ll see a stain almost immediately. Clean when the plate is cool with a moist cloth.
Another label check
Clothing labels don’t just have washing instructions but also ironing directions. To begin with, separate your garments into low-temperature ones like delicates and engineered materials (think silk, trim, polyester and nylon), and high-temperature things made of cotton.
Set your iron to the most minimal temperature. Begin pressing the low-temperature things first before expanding the temperature for your cotton clothes. Take additional consideration with artificial materials, since high warmth can liquefy the plastics in them and cause a glossy surface.
There you have it. A complete, step-by-step guide to clothes care. The only thing now left to do is to enjoy wearing the pieces you took care of so meticulously.
Our clothes have a journey of their own. The last step requires care by us, users. How comfortable we make this journey is in our hands (literally). So take care of your clothes immunity just like you do for your health.
Ayushi Shama is a fashion designer, writer and blogger. She has worked as a freelance writer for websites like Womensyeah and Tomatoheart. She is currently working for a Noida based software company as a fashion writer. If she is not working, she is curating content for her personal blog ‘Tea of Thoughts’.