Laundry Tips to Extend the Life of Your Clothes
From your selection of a washing machine to sorting a laundry load, many choices along the way can help extend the life of your clothes. Give your wardrobe a new lease on life by putting a bit more focus on fabric care.
You’ve spent a lot of time and money building your wardrobe. Don’t let your favourite clothes get prematurely worn out by careless washing. It’s easy to extend a garment’s life if you follow a few simple tips.
Before You Enter the Laundry Room
Caring for your clothes and making them last longer is an ongoing process, but some of the most important steps you can take happen before you ever purchase a garment. For instance:
- Read the care label: You know you’re supposed to read a garment’s care label before you wash it, but you really should give that tag a close look before you even leave the store. Weigh the garment’s requirements against your lifestyle to see if it’s a good fit for you. Does it require ironing? Dry-cleaning? Hand washing? You know what you are (and more importantly, are not) willing to do to maintain an item of clothing, so shop within those parameters.
- Choose the right machine: To prolong the life of your clothing, shop for a washing machine with special fabric care features. For instance, the Samsung MODEL / SERIES# features 3D Dynamic Wash, which employs a special wobble pulsator to prevent clothes-damaging laundry tangles during a wash cycle. The technology moves water currents both vertically and horizontally to reduce the likelihood of tangles.
- Study the owner’s manual: You may have been doing laundry for years, but it’s still essential to take the time to get to know the ins and outs of a new washing machine. Your new appliance has its own requirements for best performance, including maximum load capacity, type of detergent, and special settings. A few minutes spent perusing the manual will go a long way toward keeping your favourite clothes in peak condition.
Before You Load the Machine
It’s all too tempting to just scoop up all of the dirty clothes scattered among various baskets, hampers, and (admit it) dark corners in your house and stuff them into the washer, but it pays to take a few minutes to get organised first. Slow down and consider these tips:
- Sort it out: Sorting by colour is a common method to keep colours from bleeding onto lighter fabrics. But consider also sorting by fabric or garment type to further protect your delicate items. For instance, group sturdy fabrics like denim and woven cottons into a separate load so they won’t abrade soft fabrics like washable silk and cotton knits.
- Zip it up: Reduce the chance of snags by making sure that all zippers are zipped, buttons are buttoned, and hooks (especially tiny metal hooks) are hooked. Washing common snag-producers, like bras, in a zippered mesh laundry bag can add a further layer of protection. Also give a quick once-over to all pockets, to make sure you don’t accidentally wash anything valuable or (even worse) lint-producing, like a forgotten grocery list.
- Go inside-out: To preserve their dark rinse, turn blue jeans inside out before you wash them. Protect screen-printed T-shirts in the same way to keep their patterns from prematurely fading.
- Don’t overload: Consult your machine’s owner’s manual for its specific requirements regarding load size, but also apply a bit of common sense. If you have a hard time shutting the washing machine’s door, it’s going to have a hard time effectively washing.
Before You Push the Start Button
You’ve bought the right machine, separated colours from lights, fastened every fastener … and you’re almost there. Just a few more decisions to help ensure that your favourite clothes stay in top condition:
- Choose the right setting: There was a time when washing machines offered a cycle choice for “regular” or “delicate” fabrics only. Now, many machines have a specific setting for almost every laundry situation imaginable. For instance, the MODEL / SERIES# lets you choose from common settings like “delicate” and “quick,” but also offers specialised cycles like “heavy soil,” “blanket,” “fuzzy,” and even “jeans.” Choosing the right cycle for your fabric type can make a big difference in your clothing’s longevity.
- Check the manual, again: You got familiar with the manual before you ever started using the machine (right?) Don’t be afraid to refer back to it periodically to make sure you’re making the right choices for specific situations. Factors like the amount of detergent and when during a cycle to add chlorine bleach or fabric softener can all impact your clothes.
You agonized over the skinny jeans versus the boot cut, the colour of the jacket, and which was the perfect T-shirt. So put in a bit more effort to make sure that all of your favourite clothes stay favourites for years to come.