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Blog - #clothingwashing

Clothing Care 101

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Okay, so you got your new favorite clothing item and now it's time to wash it.  You want to get it clean and not have anything happen to it.  You know the basics, whites with whites, colors with colors, throw them in the machine and add some detergent.  Tumble them dry and you are done.  But had you ever had that favorite item not come out so well, i.e. stretched, pulled, snagged, small holes, shrunk?  If you take a little more time with the process, you will have better results.

Here are some common label symbols.  If there is a x through any of these symbols, it means do not as in do not tumble dry.  If there is a hand in the wash bucket symbol, it means hand wash.  Read the care label directions carefully.  There are there for a reason and you will get the best results following them.  If you do not follow them, then stretching, shrinking, snagging, pulling, small holes, and fading can occur and you are taking the risk of these things happening.

If a label reads " dry clean only", proceed with caution.  This may mean water will damage the fabric or agitation is bad for a piece.  If you decide to hand-wash it, you're taking a chance, so if the item is irreplaceable or expensive, decide if it's worth it.

Believe in what you read on the care label.  Hand-washing and machine washing, even on the gentle or delicate cycle are different.  The agitation on the gentle cycle may stretch, snag, create small holes, or pull fabrics.  A front load machine will have less agitation, but regardless, hand-washing is not equivalent to your delicate cycle and you are taking your chances.  If it was meant to be put in the machine, it would have said that on the care label.

Okay, so your care label says hand wash, what does that even mean?  Here's how:

Use a clean sink: Clean the sink before you start -- simple enough.

  • Check your temperature: Water temperatures should be cool to lukewarm. Steve Boorstein, host of the radio show "The Clothing Doctor," recommended 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) or "just warm to the touch" at RealSimple.com. Hot water is great for stains but can bleed colors.
  • Choose a mild soap: Use a detergent specifically for hand-washing or delicates. These products rinse out more easily , and don't need hot temperatures to break down or be effective. Use the bottle directions to know how much to use.
  • Swish gently: After adding the clothes, keeping like fabrics and colors together, gently swish the clothes around for around two to five minutes. Ninety-eight percent of dirt comes out in the first five minutes of soaking, so you don't need to use rough motions. Remember -- it's the agitation in a washing machine that's rough on the clothes, so go easy. A gentle kneading, similar to baking bread, is as rough as you want to get.
  • Rinse, repeat: Rinsing takes several repetitions, and is typically the hardest part. Drain the sink, refill, rinse the clothes and repeat until all the soap is gone. One recommendation is to add a quarter cup of distilled vinegar to the rinse water as the acid helps dissolve the alkalies in detergents . However, rinse all the vinegar out well so you don't smell like a salad dressing.
  • Dry flat: Squeeze out the water without wringing or twisting. Lay the piece on a towel, then roll up the towel several times, pressing out the water. When finished, lay the item out flat on a drying rack or towel to dry .Re-shape as needed.  Avoid using hangers which can stretch out the shape of the garment.
  • Have some horrible stains?  Try this stain remover you can DIY.  Mix up 1 part of Dawn dishwashing liquid and 2 parts hydrogen peroxide.  Spay on the spots, scrub a little and throw it into the wash. For more difficult stains, leave the mixture on for a while before washing.   I mix up a little batch and put it in a spray bottle to use it.  Hydrogen peroxide does lose it effectiveness when exposed to light so I mix it up when I need it.  Check to see if the stain is gone before drying it.  Repeat if necessary.  As with any homemade cleaner, it is best to test first in an inconspicuous spot to be sure it is safe for your fabric.

    Hope this helps to keep you favorite clothing items your favorites! And come see us when you need some new things to pair with your old favorites!

    ------------5637-39 Manitou Road, Tonka Bay, MN  55331--952.474.5690------------



     

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