If you’re reading this post you’ve obviously done your own laundry at some point in your life. Or at least I really hope so. If you haven’t… I urge you… LEARN. It’s a life skill. That being said, I’ll be totally honest.
My idea of doing the laundry has always been something like this:
Throw clothes in machine.
Dump detergent in machine.
If you want your clothes to last guys… this is NOT how we do the laundry.
Despite what you may believe, there is a right way to wash and dry your clothes. So here are some tips to prolong the lifespan of your wardrobe.
Remove stains immediately! Once a stain sets it is way harder and sometimes impossible to remove it. Remember your favorite white shirt that you spilled wine on after just one wear? (That can’t just be me right?)
If you want to save your shirt, the best thing to do in this situation is to run to the bathroom, or if one’s not immediately available, grab some water, soak a paper town and some soap (if you have it) and dab the stain until it’s gone or as close as you can get to it.
Sure you might have wet shirt and flash a few people on your way out of the bathroom, but honestly, I’m sure you can live with giving a few people a glimpse of the goods if it’ll save your shirt. (I sure can!)
Once you get home if the stain is still visible, rub some stain remover on it and you’ll be good to go!
Pay attention to the care labels. I hate this one. I reallyyyy do. BUT I’ll be honest, I’ve started to do this, mainly because what kind of a fashion blogger would I be if I didn’t practice what I preach?
Let me share a tidbit I’ve learned lately.
Not all outfits should are made the same! Every fabric is different and therefore should be cared for differently. Yes, half of what we wear (or more) is made from synthetic fabrics that you can toss in the wash, but there’s the other more delicate fabrics (some natural fibers require more care) that have their own methods of washing and drying.
Some outfits HAVE to be hand washed. Some outfits HAVE to be dry cleaned.
And rule of thumb? If it requires hand washing, you shouldn’t throw it in the dryer. So if you don’t want your favorite pair of black leather shorts that hug your butt just right to end up a shriveled mess in the laundry (I’m not mad), I urge you- CHECK THE LABEL.
And do yourself (and that cashmere sweater you paid $100 for) a favor and learn what these handy little symbols mean:
It’s easier than learning the Korean alphabet (which legit takes maybe 10 minutes to learn).
Don’t overwash your clothing – color can fade and the structure can be damaged.
I shower twice a day. No really. I wash my hair and straighten it literally every day despite the fact that the hair lady said it’s awful for my hair. Why? Because I want to be cute and smell like freesias and jasmine and all that good stuff, not like some bad curry (I can say that because I’m brown). The result is that my hair is DAM-AGEDDDD.
Just like you can murder your hair with too much shampoo and heat, you can murder your clothes with too many chemicals. And just think about all that dough you spent. So just like your hair guys, save some water and wash your clothes when they’re actually dirty.
That leads me to my next point-
Denim can go a while between washes! According to Who What Wear, you should be washing your jeans every 4 to 5 wears whereas Levi’s Chip Bergh says you should NEVER wash denim. I’m not going around advocating walking around smelling funky (Sorry- I don’t plan on being the reason you can’t get a date).
Try steaming instead so the denim doesn’t stretch out.
Steam your clothes between washes. I just mentioned steaming but you don’t just do this with denim. Steaming your clothes between washes will help remove odors and kill 99% of bacteria, germs and dust mites.
Personally, I invested in a steamer a few months ago and I haven’t used an iron since! It’s easier than ironing, plus it’s cleaner so it just makes sense.
If you don’t have a steamer or just don’t want to buy one though, you can use your iron on steam setting to steam clothes. You can also run your shower to steam clothes (while you’re taking a shower of course unless you really don’t care about your water bill).
Bras CANNOT be put in the DRYER! Tell your boyfriends to get their gritty hands off your delicates! At least when there’s laundry involved 😉
Air dry, Air Dry, Air Dry! The dryer is really damaging to your clothes because the heat causes the fibers to break down much quicker. AKA air dry as much as you can. If you must use the dryer, change your heat setting to low or medium. Lower heat will also keep clothes from shrinking.
Also, I know when I say air dry some of yall will automatically try to bake your clothes outside. Don’t do that! It causes fading and that’s one of the things you’re trying to avoid.
Use a green dry cleaner! When your clothes says dry clean, you should treat it more delicately to reduce the amount of times you actually NEED to dry clean. My brother goes to the dry cleaner every weekend. This is SO unnecessary.
You can totally get away with handwashing certain items if they’re simple pieces without a lot of construction involved or they aren’t more difficult fibers like wool.
Shell hand washes her silk blouses and hang dries them in her bathroom.
You can do this in the bathroom sink. Make sure it’s clean, and then pre-treat any stains on the blouse. Fill the sink with cool water and use a gentle detergent to get rid of oil and dirt. Afterwards, swirl it around and let it soak for 10 minutes, rinse it in cold water, and press out the water without squeezing or wringing too hard. After that just hang dry it and you’re good.
If you have to use a dry cleaner, use an eco-friendly one that doesn’t use harmful chemicals.
Fold or hang your clothes immediately! (Changes in temperature locks in the structure of the outfit and that’s why it wrinkles).
Use garment storage bags for nice clothes. If you’re like me, you don’t really want to spend money on garment bags and don’t really get why you even have to.
Humidity, dust, insects, and LIGHT believe it or not can all can all cause damage to clothing. Those money/fabric eating monster moths are no joke (FYI the LARVAE that’s definitely sitting on your favorite shirt right now is more damaging than the moth it self- your welcome for the lovely thought), light damage can cause dye to fade, and dust can settle on clothing to create microscopic tears in the fabric.
Initially, maybe you won’t see the damage, but these snags, frays and tears can wear away at an outfit and drastically reduce its lifespan.
To keep your nice clothes in good condition invest in some breathable garment bags ( stay away from the plastic ones- they trap moisture and cause molding).
They’re inexpensive and they’ll be saving you money in the long run. And if you really want to save money, just buy one or two and place multiple items in one bag.
It works like this guys: Spend some dough in the short term, SAVE some dough in the long term.
I know this is a lot more than what the majority of us do on a daily basis but most of these tips take no time at all!
It’s literally just ADULTING. So be grownups guys. Learn to do your laundry properly.
What’s a cleaning tip we should know about?
And remember. Be slow. Be fashionable.