Lets Talk LaundryPosted: February 3, 2012
Nothing bothers me more than washing my favorite pair of black jeans and having them come out faded. The discoloration was getting so bad that I would go weeks without washing my pants. I could not go around much longer with dirty jeans; I knew something needed to change.
Over winter break I did some research. There are many theories circulating about how to keep your clothing from fading. I realized blacks are not the only problem. Our whites our picking up colors from other shades in the washer, and our brights and colors are bleeding in the rinse cycle. Here are some tricks I learned to keep your clothes lasting longer.
Dark/Blacks – Turn your black jeans or other dark garments inside out and set the washer on the cold cycle. There are some special detergents that prevent blacks from fading, however it can be a little expensive, such as Woolite Extra Dark, which is about $13 in stores. However, my grandmother taught me a trick many years ago. She would use a cap full of vinegar into the cold wash cycle along with regular detergent. The vinegar prevents the colors from fading and help stay vivid.
Whites – It is important to wash whites separately to prevent colors mixing. I am not a fan of bleach, I feel that it is a harsh chemical and I find that it irritates my skin after I wash my clothes with it. I found a better solution. After sorting your clothes, add your whites to the washer on a hot or warm cycle. Along with your regular detergent, add ½ cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle, the lemon juice will lightly bleach the clothing. When cycle is complete, be sure to hang dry the whites on a clothesline.
Brights/Colors – When tackling the brights from your laundry basket, it is important to separate brights from pastels. Wash new brights on their own for the first few cycles, when the dye most likely to bleed. Always turn the clothes inside out. Choose the shortest cycle and use a regular detergent on a warm or cold cycle.
Delicates – I like wash all my delicates separately. Delicates include anything with lace, beading, sequins or any other garment with lots of detail. Always turn the item inside out; this will prevent direct damage to the detail of the clothing. Depending on how dirty the item is, is how I measure the temperature of the wash cycle. If I spilled food or drink on it, then I would choose a warm cycle. If I wore it all day and it just needs to be washed, then I would go with the cold cycle. Never put your delicates in the dryer, it will most likely ruin the item. Your best bet is to hang dry your delicates.
These are just some of my tricks I have learned over the years to help further the life of my clothes. It is important to properly treat and launder your clothes to avoid repeatedly having to buy the basics for your wardrobe. Do you have a great laundry tip that I missed? Tell me and write to email@example.com.