Want to keep your favourite outfits going for longer? Not sure how to look after them properly? All sorts of clothes require different washes, and the more attention you pay to the laundry labels, the longer your items will last.
It’s also important to dry, iron and store your clothes properly to get the most use out of them. Read on for some handy tips on how to care for your clothes.
Read the Laundry Labels
Most of us will sort our laundry into whites and colour piles. But, it’s also good practice to read fabric labels and separate items further, so you can keep your clothes in top condition.
Take a look at the handy chart below to understand what each clothes label means:
Many washing machines also have a range of pre-set programmes for specific fabrics and garments. Or, you can use the following information as a guide:
- White items: Only wash with other white colours and use the hottest temperature on the washing machine.
- Coloured items: Turn items inside out and use warm or cold water to prevent any colours from leaking.
- Delicate garments: Use a gentle spin with cold water. You should even consider handwashing some fragile items.
- Towels and Linens: Wash in a warmer temperature with a fast spin.
Remember though: it’s important to clean your clothes only when necessary, as over-washing will wear them down.
Dry Your Laundry Correctly
Natural air and sunlight are the best conditions for drying your laundry, without risk of damage. But, if you’re using a tumble dryer, remember the following:
- Make sure your clothes are dry enough – if laundry is still dripping, leave it in the machine for an extra spin cycle.
- Read the drying labels to check each garment is suitable for tumble drying. Unsuitable items often include underwired or delicate underwear, swimwear, tights, sportswear and embellished clothes.
- Sort your clothes into the piles as stated above, and don’t mix small items like socks with larger items, e.g. duvets.
- Don’t overfill (or underfill) your dryer and clean the lint filter before use.
Iron Clothes Carefully
Ironing your clothes correctly is also key to keeping them looking good as new. You should always check the item’s label before ironing to avoid damage or burning. And, to prevent clothes stretching, iron your fabrics lengthwise.
Some delicate materials, like lace and silk, shouldn’t come into direct contact with the iron. Instead, turn these items inside out, and iron carefully under a damp cloth. Avoid ironing over any zips, buttons or decorations.
We also advise ironing cotton and polyester only when slightly damp. Some irons have a spray button, or you could spritz items with a spray bottle.
Store Your Clothes Properly
Once your clothes are dry, you should hang and fold them straightaway to avoid any wrinkling. Whether you have a wardrobe, chest-of-drawers or another storage option, make sure your clothes can stay cool and dry.
When it comes to putting your clothes away, bear these tips in mind:
- Give clothes space: Overcrowding your wardrobe can cause items to wrinkle, and sensitive fabrics can be worn down.
- Use wooden or padded hangers: Wire hangers can stretch the shoulders of your clothes.
- Fold heavy jumpers: Hanging knitwear can stretch and disfigure the fabric. Bulkier items also take up more hanging space.
- Fasten zips and buttons: This prevents other garments from being caught and torn.
- Use a handheld steamer: An easy way to keep clothes fresh and wrinkle-free if they’ve been stored for a while.
Follow our tips above to give your favourite outfits the attention they deserve. From reading laundry labels to storing clothes properly, you can keep those much-loved items looking their best – for months to come!