Zero Waste Shanghai
Clothing Care Tips!
Investing in clothes comes as well with taking good care of them... Here are the prime tips from Rachel Talbott on how to keep your clothes good for a long time!
Don’t over wash your clothes. Washing doesn’t only cleanse the item, but often fades color and removes structure. Items worn carefully and lightly can often be made fresh again by simply airing them out
Denim lasts forever between washes. Denim is super durable and easy to spot clean, but can lose its shape drastically with each wash. With that in mind, try freshening your denim with a nice steam in the dryer, or even hang them over your shower rod for a natural steam.
Organise your laundry. When it is time to do laundry, carefully read the tags on your clothes and divide accordingly. Not only lights with lights and darks with darks, but cool dry with cool dry and gentle rinse cycle with gentle rinse cycle items. The more attention you pay, the longer your clothes will stay looking like new!
Use a mesh bag for washing delicates. Put delicates inside it before washing to prevent them from catching on the washer and other garments.
If something shrinks in the wash, keep it damp and stretch. Often times, damp items can be gently stretched back to shape. After gently stretching the damp and shrunken item with your hands, try wearing it while it dries so it reshapes to your body. This is especially useful for fashion emergency situations!
Avoid the dryer! It is better for you, the environment, and your CLOTHES if you air dry.
Dryers not only rapidly dry your clothes, they rapidly wear down your clothes also. Do yourself and your electricity bill a favour and air dry the pieces you want to last. Most pieces can be dried in the sun, but take care to see which clothes need a cool dry (i.e swimsuits or more sensitive fabrics.)
NEVER use the dryer on your bras. This will seriously damage the structure and support intended; as will improper storage.
Keep bras organised and folded properly to maintain the cups. Fold padded bras in half with the straps tucked under the cups. This helps them keep their shape.
If you must use the dryer, always clean the lint trap after every load, and use the most gentle setting.
When your clothes are done drying, hang or fold them as soon as you remove them from the heat (sun or dryer). The change in temperature (from warm to cool) will lock in the current state of the clothes, hence why you want them in the most optimal position to not wrinkle. Hanging them is ideal.
Don’t over crowd your closet! Cramming clothes together, not only wrinkles, but wears down sensitive fabrics. Recently I minimised clutter by giving into those velvet (space saving) hangers I see everywhere.
Fold clothes along the seems, to avoid unwanted creases and to maintain the shape of the item.
Avoid wrinkles, by using a handheld steamer! Handheld steamers will save your outfit every time, and will leave your clothes fresh and wrinkle free.
Always clean seasonal clothes prior to storing. If you ever plan on storing your clothes, know that bugs like dirt, and strong scents like perfume and smoke. To avoid a breach in your seasonal gear, clean them before you store them.
On top of that, we would like to add:
Wash Dark Clothing Inside-Out. Dark-wash jeans, black blouses, and other darker material can become faded in the wash, particularly as it rubs up against other garments. Always launder your washer-safe dark clothes inside-out to ensure they hold their color.
Invest in a Clothesline or Drying Rack. If you don’t have a place to line-dry your clothes, they usually end up in the dryer – a death knell for line-dry-only garments. A clothesline only costs a few dollars and it can also help you save on energy costs. If you don’t have the yard or the climate to dry clothes outside, a drying rack for your laundry room is only about $20.
Wash Metal Separately. Buttons and zippers often find their way into the wash, but can become seriously hot in the dryer, which can lead to scorching and melting on your other clothes. Wash clothing with metal components separately and never with delicate clothes, such as silks or knits.
Go Color-Safe. Is there anything more frustrating than ruining clothes with bleach? While it helps make your whites whiter, it can also stain colored clothes and damage delicate fibers. Swap your regular bleach for a color-safe alternative, which is also gentler on fabric.
Wash Your Clothes Less. The washing process is famously tough on clothes. Agitating, tumbling, and coming in contact with other garments can leave garments faded, stretched, pilling, and damaged. Unless your outerwear is visibly dirty, you probably don’t need to wash it after each wearing. See if you can extend washing to every other wear, or even three wears, before you toss your garments in the laundry.
Get to Know Your Settings. While each make and model of washers and dryers is different, they all have something in common: They come with instruction manuals. Read up on your model so you know when to use “wrinkle release” as opposed to “delicate.” Delicate settings traditionally work well for lingerie, but they’re also effective for clothes that you want to preserve and treat gently. The delicate cycle uses less agitation, so there’s less wear and tear. This setting is perfect for lightly soiled stuff that requires a little extra care, or for items that specify the “delicate” setting on the tag.