Investing in quality clothing is an investment in yourself. Superior craftsmanship makes clothing last longer, but you can extend its life even more with some simple steps.
Dry Clean When Possible
The term “dry cleaning” is a slight misnomer. The process doesn’t involve water but immerses your clothes in a mild petroleum-based solvent. The pieces are very gently turned in a large washing drum, and the solvent lifts away dirt and stains. This prolongs the life of your clothing for two primary reasons. First, the drum turns much more slowly than a washing machine’s, preventing wear and tear. Second, water immersion is harder on many fibers than the petroleum solution.
Use Mesh Laundry Bags
Women have used mesh laundry bags for their delicates for years, but now everyone is discovering their wider use for all clothing. The bags are large enough to allow movement to remove stains, but they prevent the rougher tumbling that wears fibers down. For even more protection, turn the clothes inside out before putting them into the laundry bag.
Mesh laundry bags also work wonders if you are washing for multiple people. Simply wash each person’s clothes in a separate bag. Once the laundry is done, you won’t have to worry about mixing clothes up when sorting.
Use Natural Detergents
Experts warn that store-bought detergents may damage fabric in the washing machine. To prevent this, many have turned to natural cleaning alternatives. White vinegar serves several purposes in the laundry. It removes stains and odors, disinfects and leaves clothes soft. Do not use dark vinegar, which may stain clothes. Baking soda can remove tough stains and deodorize even the smelliest clothes. It works most effectively in warm water. Lemon juice is excellent for brightening whites and removing old stains that have sat for a while. Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is the key, however, since bottled lemon may have color added to it.
Select the Correct Machine Settings
To minimize the damage your machine may cause, choose either cold or warm water temperature and a slower spin cycle. Most stains don’t need hot water to remove them. Use the gentle cycle. This will prevent stretching but still offer enough rotation to remove dirt. Air dry if possible. If you do need to use a dryer, use the air-fluff setting as opposed to high heat. Leave the clothing in for the least amount of time and remove it immediately. Some people prefer a compromise approach where they place their clothes in the dryer to get most of the moisture out and then air dry them when they are just damp.
It’s wise to invest in high-quality clothing that will stand the test of time. Help it last even longer by using alternative laundry methods that avoid harsh chemicals and battering machine motions.
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