Washing your clothes: Our top tips

how to wash your clothes
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Washing clothes is something that everyone does. Taking care of garments can be tricky, but it will help them stay in shape longer and keep their vibrant color, crisp whiteness, or inky darkness for many washes to come. The best way to wash your clothes depends on their materials, but also on how soiled they are. These clothes washing tips and tricks will help wash those funky gym clothes, the musty vintage-shop sweater, and that spaghetti-Bolognese splattered toddler onesie.

Pre-Wash Soaking: How to properly wash soiled clothes

We’ve all been there. Chocolate on white pants, Bolognese sauce on that lovely new t-shirt, or mud smudged all over your hiking gear. So perhaps you’re wondering how to properly wash clothes now they’ve been properly dirtied. Well, clothes that have been soiled with food or similar need an extra step before throwing them into the laundry basket.

 

To prevent staining, removing as much of the food as possible can work wonders. Then give your clothes a refreshing soak in the sink or in a clean bucket, adding a stain removal detergent or just on their own. Depending on what kind of substance you’ve spilled, you may need warm or cold water. Sometimes warm water will set a stain so make sure you check if you’re not certain! Once your clothes have soaked for a while, wring them out and just pop them on a normal wash. Simple!

To wash or not to wash?

A surprising laundry tip for the best way to wash clothes is to ask yourself a question that may seem counterintuitive: Do they need a wash at all? You now know how to handle clothes that have been badly soiled (quickly!), but clothes that appear clean on first sight might not need a wash after all. Of course, there are clear-cut cases. Your teenagers’ gym clothes? Straight into the wash: Even if they look clean, we know they don’t smell clean, and in this case, that’s what matters!

 

However, sometimes clothes which have been stored for the summer and need unpacking when it gets chilly again (sweaters, coats etc.) don’t need a wash. Particularly in the case of wool clothing, you can prolong the life of your garment by washing it infrequently. This doesn’t mean they won’t smell fresh, though! Hanging wool clothes in fresh air in direct sunlight can work wonders on a slightly musty smell. If the smell persists, it is time to wash, but taking this first step can be highly effective at keeping delicates in shape.  

Washing clothes properly: Don’t forget drying and folding!

Part of knowing how to wash clothes properly is also knowing how to dry garments appropriately. Some items such as cashmere sweaters can lose their shape quickly if hung up to dry like a shirt or t-shirt. Instead, we suggest draping them over chairs or hangers in a way that the weight of the water in the wool won’t stretch the fabric too much. That way, you’ll have a good-looking sweater for years to come!

 

Another tip is to make sure that you don’t hang clothes right next to each other when they’re drying. This means that clothes can air out properly and dry faster, meaning you’ll avoid any musty smells of damp and you’ll get your favorite top back in the closest and ready to wear faster!

 

One final tip will help bra-lovers out there prolong their lingerie. Folding bras with one cup inside out distorts the cup shape, potentially reducing the support given, as well as changing their shape so the cups may not be uniform. Instead of twisting and folding your bras, you can hang them up or stack them up in a drawer. This might take a little bit more space but will mean your lingerie will look fresh for longer, helping you feel fresh and comfy for longer too!