How to Do Laundry Like a Pro: Care For Clothes & Make Them Last
In this tutorial, I’m going to share with you my top tips for taking care of your clothes properly. You're going to learn how to do laundry like a pro. I've worked in both the fashion industry and also in costume departments the theater so I have picked up some pretty great tips along the way of how to care for clothing.
1. Don’t put your clothes in the dryer
The most important tip in my eyes is not to just chuck your clothes in the dryer. A dryer scorches your clothes and when you put your clothes in the dryer over and over again it causes them to disintegrate. I honestly believe that this is the reason that people find that their clothes just don't last.
2. Hang dry your clothes
What you want to do instead is to hang dry or line dry them. If you have a clothesline outside, that is perfect on a sunny day. I suggest turning your clothing inside out before you peg them onto the line, that way the sun isn't directly on the outside of the clothing.
If you don't have an outdoor clothesline, you can get little portable ones that you can store away and bring out when you need.
3. Use laundry bags
The next tip is to use little washing bags or laundry bags. I chuck all my socks, underwear, and bras into them; they’re great for bras because we ladies know the little hooks on the bras can get caught on other pieces of clothing and snag them in the washing machine.
The washing bags are also fantastic for delicate items of clothing. If, for example, you have a blouse that has some really nice little buttons on it and you don't want the buttons snagging, turn that item inside out, put it in the washing bag, and then in with the rest of your stuff. Now there's no way that it can snag on anything.
4. Pin socks together
A trick to keep your socks in their rightful pair is to safety pin them together before you put them in. If you're a serial sock loser then this might be a good option for you.
5. Remove stains
Let's talk stain removal; I have a secret weapon for this. As we all know, there are a ton of stain removers on the market. The one that I use that has worked the absolute best for me is called Fels-Naptha; it is a laundry soap bar that has been on the market since 1893 and is still going strong today. To treat stains, I take the part of a garment that has a stain on it and run it under cold water.
I then grab the bar and rub the soap onto the stain and massage the soap into the fabric with my fingers. You can use a little brush such as a toothbrush to really work on the stain if you want. If you're working with something more delicate, brushing on the fabric might damage it, therefore, I find that working it in with my fingers is best.
Oftentimes you will see the stain just disappear before your eyes. With stains that are tougher to get out, I’ll leave the garment to soak for 10 or 15 minutes and then come back to it and work on it again. Once I feel like the stain has been worked on enough, I put it through the wash.
Another tip about stain removal is after you've worked on a stain and it's gone through the washing machine, make sure you check where the stain was before you go through the drying process. You never want to heat set a stain as once you heat set it, it's going to make it incredibly difficult to get that stain out.
6. You don’t have to separate too much
Everybody knows to separate lights, darks, and colors but personally, I'm not a major stickler for this. When I do my laundry, I don't have to have everything white. I just wash light colors together and then darks and colors. Of course, you don't want something red going into your whites, but I feel like it doesn't have to be as intense as many of us feel like it should be.
It is also important not to use too much detergent in your washing machine as this can actually break the machine. You really need less than you think because it foams up.
7. Use proper hangers
Now let's talk about storing your clothes. I am a little bit guilty of not using proper hangers. I will tend to find any hanger I can and put something on it, but really you do want quality hangers that are going to support the weight of your garment so that they don't fall and stretch.
8. Fold knitwear
You also don't want to be putting knitwear on a hanger. I always fold my knitwear and place it on a shelf as it can easily fall from a hanger and get stretched out of shape.
9. Cover special items with plastic
I recommend putting plastic over your really special items that you don’t want to get damaged or dusty. Every time I get something dry cleaned, I save the little plastic and then pop it over items that are really special to me.
10. Preventing damage
In terms of preventing staining or damage to your clothes, I have a little scarf that I pop over my head if I am changing clothes and have makeup on. This helps to ensure that the makeup doesn’t rub off onto the neckline.
11. Be mindful of what you’re wearing
Another thing is to just generally be aware of the clothing you're wearing. Consider whether it is delicate or not, and be aware of zips or studs that can snag delicate clothing.
How to do laundry like a pro
There are my little tips and tricks to take care of your clothing properly. If you want to ensure that your clothing lasts a long time and stays in good condition, follow these laundry hacks.
I hope that you’ve found them helpful and have learned something new. Let me know your laundry hacks in the comments below.
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