5 Washing Tips to Increase the Longevity of Your Garments
At this point in time, I’m fairly certain that everyone can say they do their own laundry. While most simply sort their garments by lights or darks and toss them in the washer and dryer, you’d be surprised at the negative impact typical washing techniques have on a garment’s lifespan. If you’ve noticed your imprinted shirts are cracking or your dark colored garments are fading, then try utilizing some of the tips below to keep your garments looking their best for as long as they can.
Wash Your Garments Inside-Out
One of the easier ways to increase the lifespan of a garment is to simply wash it inside-out. Washing your garments inside-out will protect the presentation side of the item from rubbing against the other garments in the washer or dryer.
Avoid Your Dryer’s Hot Settings
Let’s face it, everyone enjoys the feeling of warm garments that have just come out of the dryer. However, using the hot settings on your dryer can cause a lot of problems for your garments, especially if they are screen printed. Hot dryers can cause the screen printed image to shrink, altering the shape and can even cause it to crack or flake off. To avoid this, either hang these garments up to dry after washing them or remove the garments from the dryer before they are completely dry and hang them up to finish.
Use Cold Water
Unless you’re in a hospital setting where the sterilization of garments is a must, it’s no longer necessary to use hot water when you are washing your garments. Hot water can actually weaken the fibers of your clothing and cause the colors to fade. Some stains such as coffee and wine actually set deeper into the clothing if you wash them with hot water, making cold water washing more appealing.
Avoid Bleach or Powerful Detergents
Keeping your garments smelling fresh and clean does not always require the near military grade detergent or bleach that is on the market now-a-days. Using these hard chemicals can cause harm to your garments by damages the fibers. Instead, simply use the store bought detergent. Most of these detergents clean very thoroughly without the need for the other strong chemicals.
Group Your Garments by Color & Fabric Type
This next tip may seem tedious to some, but I promise you it’s worth it. One of the first lessons in laundry that people learn is to group clothing by lights and darks, but grouping them by specific colors can ensure there is no discoloration in any of your pieces.
Fabric type should be taken into consideration as well. For instance, throwing some screen printed t-shirts into a load of laundry filled with towels could potentially ruin the image. This is due to the friction the “rougher” towel material creates while these garments rub together as they’re being washed. Too much friction against that nicely printed image can cause it to crack and/or peel during the wash.