How to Take Good Care of Different Types of Fabrics
Many people wash and iron their clothes in the wrong way which makes new clothes look bad after a few washes. It seems that a quick wash at 20—30°C is good for all materials and jeans should be washed at 60—90°C to make sure they are clean. But it’s not all that simple.
5-Minute Crafts explains what we should take into consideration when it comes to cleaning and taking care of different fabrics and materials to keep your clothes in good shape.
The way a piece of clothing is made and the accessories used on it might have an impact on how to wash it. So, it’s better to treat something made of cotton in whatever way the label says.
If there’s no label, follow the standard recommendations. For example, towels and bedsheets should be washed from 40°C for colors to 60°C for whites and especially underwear and linen.
Cotton T-shirts might shrink after washing and drying, so hand wash them in cold or warm water (not more than 30°C). You should dry a wet t-shirt far from direct sunlight and, if possible, on a horizontal surface to avoid wrinkles.
Cotton can be dried in a dryer if there’s a special mode for cotton. If you are worried your clothes will lose color, always wash them in cold water.
Cotton can be ironed at high temperatures (unless the manufacturer says otherwise) when the fabric is still a bit wet. You can also spray the fabric with water.
If you are washing something made of linen in a washing machine, use the mode for delicate fabrics or a short cycle with warm or cold water. Don’t use aggressive detergents. Before washing, don’t forget to separate the whites from the colors.
Handwashing linen in cold water can prolong its life. Fill a clean sink with cool water, add a mild detergent, and put the linen clothing into it. Then, stir the water, remove the foamy water, and wash the clothes in cold water. To remove spots, wipe them off. Put a bit of water and soap on the stain, leave it for a little while, and then rub it and wash.
Linen should only be wrapped in a towel after washing, for it to absorb the extra moisture. Then, dry the fabric outside on a horizontal surface to prevent wrinkles.
While ironing, turn the clothes inside out, moisturize them a little bit, and choose an ironing mode with a high temperature and steam. Remember — white linen can be ironed from both sides and dark linen — only from the inside.
Denim will last much longer if you don’t wash it often and, when you do, you wash it using cold water. It’s recommended to zip up all the zippers and button all the buttons before washing. Turn the clothing inside out and, ideally, wash the denim at 30°C or lower.
Denim can be hand washed: mix warm and cold water with detergent and soak your clothes for 45 minutes. You can wipe off some stains using an old toothbrush and a mild detergent.
Dry denim on a horizontal surface or hanging, but not in direct sunlight: the fabric might fade.
Don’t use a dryer or an iron. In most cases, the wrinkles disappear a few minutes after wearing. If you still need to iron it, turn the clothes inside out and iron them at a high temperature with steam.
Also, if a denim piece of clothing doesn’t look dirty but smells bad, you can just put it in the freezer for a short time. It will kill the germs that are the source of the unpleasant smell and make it fresh again.
Usually, the labels on wool clothing recommend handwashing. So, you can hand wash wool or wash it in a washing machine using wool mode and cold water. Use detergents that are specially made for wool. To remove tiny stains on this material, wash it by hand in cold water and dry these spots with a piece of soft clean fabric.
After washing, wrap the clothes in a dry towel and put them on a horizontal surface for drying, far from sunlight or a source of heat. To make the wrinkles go away, use the special mode for wool on the iron or use steam.
In some cases, you can avoid washing altogether. To freshen up something made of wool, put it in a room with wet air for a little while.
Silk clothes don’t need frequent washing. Sometimes, you just need to leave them in fresh air for a few hours, for example, on a balcony or near an open window. But avoid direct sunlight that might fade the colors. If you don’t have a lot of time, steam the clothes.
Washing is only necessary when there is dirt on the clothing. If the manufacturer doesn’t say otherwise, silk clothing can be washed by hand or in a washing machine using a special mode for silk. If you use a washing machine, put the silk into a special bag to protect the delicate fabric from mechanical damage.
To get rid of stains, you can add a few drops of vinegar into the water. Remember, when handwashing, you can’t rub the fabric or squeeze it. Wrap the silk in a towel and give it time to absorb the extra water. After that, put it on a hanger to dry.
Silk can be ironed at low temperatures from the inside out. You can also cover it with a cotton towel and iron it at a high temperature.
Fleece can be hand washed in cold water or in a washing machine by turning the clothing inside out. Don’t use fabric softeners.
You can use a dryer if you choose a short cycle for delicate fabrics.
Fleece can be ironed only at low temperatures, sprayed with water and under a piece of cotton.
Cashmere clothing should be taken to the dry cleaners or hand washed. If you decide to wash them, turn them inside out and soak them in warm water with a mild detergent for 5 minutes. Then, squeeze and wash the fabrics carefully to remove the dirt.
Don’t dry cashmere in direct sunlight or on a radiator. Put wet cashmere between 2 clean cotton towels and leave it to dry on a horizontal surface. To get rid of the wrinkles, use a steamer.
A lot depends on what kind of clothing we are talking about. For example, gloves can be washed at home. But jackets or pants should be taken to a professional if the label reads “dry clean only” or “not washable.” What you can do by yourself is just wipe the surface with a damp cloth and let it dry or apply a leather protectant product.
The best way to get rid of wrinkles is to steam your leather pants. You should make sure that the steam won’t wet the pants completely, but just leave them damp. With this method, your pants will also get clean.
Corduroy clothes can be washed in a washing machine (unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise) inside out to protect the front. Washing on the delicate mode at a low temperature is good for colored and dark fabrics.
Corduroy can be put into a dryer for a short amount of time. After that, leave it to dry naturally.
Corduroy doesn’t usually need ironing. If necessary, you can iron it from the inside.