While you may occasionally snag your jeans on something sharp or spill tea on your favorite blouse, the most common reason you can’t keep clothes looking new is that you are washing it incorrectly. How many times have you seen a nice polo shrink in the dryer, or accidentally washed a dry clean only sweater and had it fall apart?
If you put some extra effort into how you wash and dry clothes, it can help extend their life spans. Here are some laundry tips on how to keep clothes looking new.
1. Choose the Right Washer Setting
Whether it is a blouse, dress, or polo, most clothes should be washed in a machine’s least-harsh setting. Depending on your washer, this can be labeled as gentle or delicate.
Using a gentle cycle will help eliminate most of the wear and tear washers can inflict, especially for delicate fibers.
More durable fabrics like denim can be washed on a normal setting. Just remember to always read the clothing label carefully, and use your best judgment when washing certain items.
2. Use Laundry Mesh Bags
If your washing machine does not have a gentle setting, you can still keep your clothes looking new by using a mesh laundry bag. This will help protect your garment from any damage. You may have tried using one for your undergarments. If not, they are well worth the under $10 price tag.
Put your clothes inside the mesh bag before throwing them in the washer. This way, you don’t need to worry about any rips, snags, or tangles.
3. Wash Clothes Inside Out
No guide on how to keep clothes looking new will be complete without this rule, one of the easiest but often overlooked laundry tips.
Be sure to turn all your clothes inside-out before putting them in the washer. A single spin cycle can put a lot of wear and tear on clothing. It is better to have the inside of your clothes take the brunt of damage rather than the display side.
Also, if you are washing something with beans, buttons, and sequins, washing inside-out can help prevent them from coming loose or falling off.
4. Wash in Cold Water
Hot water wears out most fabrics quickly. Save it for soiled loads, such as sports uniforms, dirty sheets, and gardening clothes. Wash everything else in cold water. Even if a clothing label says wash in hot water, washing in cold won’t ruin it. It will be just as clean, and the threads will remain intact and keep its strength.
5. Choose the Right Detergent
Using the best detergent can definitely help keep clothes looking new. However, not all laundry detergents are the same. Some are specifically made for delicate fabrics and can prevent shrinkage and discoloration. Also, powdered detergents are harsher on clothes, so get the liquid type.
You may also look for detergents that are made with plant-based materials. There are several brands available. Do your research and check online reviews.
6. Avoid Using Chlorine Bleach
You have a great household ingredient in vinegar! It can be used as a natural brightener for clothes. This way, you can avoid using chlorine bleach, which often wears out fabric fibers. Also, it is more environment and user-friendly to use natural products.
7. Air Dry
To keep clothes looking new, the only items that you can put safely in a dryer on a regular basis are basic cotton shirts, jeans, pajamas, and sweats. Everything else should be air-dried. Just like hot water, the use of hot air in most machine dryers can shrink or damage your fabrics.
If possible, get a clothesline and allow your clothes to air dry more often. If you live in a warm place, the outdoor heat will be perfect to dry them quickly. Also, fresh air always smells great on clothes. If you have limited space, look for collapsible or foldable drying racks.
If you live in places where the sun does not shine regularly and you must use the dryer, try the cool setting to help prevent shrinkage.
8. Follow the Clothing and Detergent Labels Carefully
Clothing labels will tell you exactly how to wash your garments. Dry clean only clothes are delicate. If you cannot do this at home, it is best to bring it to a professional dry cleaner.
Many people forget to read the directions on their detergent label. Never use too much detergent because it is hard to get excessive residues out of your clothing.
9. Get a Front-Loading Washer
Many people use top-loading washers, which use an agitator inside to pull your clothes around. If you are about to get a new one, look into front-loading machines. This type of washer uses gravity to tumble clothes in and out of the water, similar to how a dryer works. This is gentler and helps prevent tangling and snagging.
Even with these laundry tips in tow, you may decide you still want a little more help learning how to keep clothes looking new. Contact the main office of Kelly’s Dry Cleaners at (970) 903-1642 and talk to the professionals. We are the best dry cleaner in Durango, CO, and our staff will be more than happy to assist you.