There are many great ways to keep your clothing clean and by now you have probably heard so many different tips for washing this material and washing that kind of material. So what should be done to keep track of each kind of material? What is the best temperature of water to use? What kind of cleaning solutions? How often do you need to wash it, or not wash it? Do you wash it at all? Well this article should help you understand a bit more about the kinds of things that you can do to preserve the quality of your winter clothing by providing you with seven good tips on cleaning those kinds of clothing. You can even bookmark this page to make it easier to find these tips at home.
What kind of material to watch out for
Clothes are made from all types of fabric and materials. Some have accessories and pieces that contain metal or plastic even. With each different kind of fabric or material your clothing may be made from, there are different levels of sensitivity, or a degradation factor, involved when cleaning that particular item, especially at home. Some of the fabrics include the following:
· Down (from feathers)
· Polyurethane (sort of like a plastic that looks a bit like leather too)
General practices for each type of material
As mentioned previously, each type of material takes a different approach to cleaning. Cashmere is not to be washed like you were washing regular cotton t-shirts. Even if indicated differently on the tag, it is still best, and recommended, to wash these items by hand with cold water and baby shampoo, not detergent. You can also use Woolite to avoid harsh chemicals that will only serve to destroy the integrity of the fabric. Only wash a couple times per season to avoid over washing. Don’t hang to dry either. Lay flat and gently wipe with a towel. For wool coats, use a suede or lint brush to remove surface soils from the fabric. Use slightly warm water and a mild detergent to hand wash. Squeeze and lay the item out flat to dry. Never use hot water on wool items. Also never use bleach either. To avoid causing damage to down fabric, only use a top-loading washer. A front-loading washing machine will damage the material right away. Only use a small amount of detergent and stop mid-cycle to let soak longer, then when finished run a rinse cycle one more time to get all the soap completely out, as it can prevent the down material from staying soft and fluffy as intended to be. Use low heat on the dryer only. It will take a very long time to dry, but you don’t want feathers coming out of the product or the material to become damaged either. Velvet is a bit more complex than usual garments for winter clothes washing. Always read the tag. Some can be machine washed and others must be dry cleaned only. Never ever iron velvet. It will become destroyed if you do so. Stem is the best thing to clean velvet with. Turn the garments inside out to avoid direct contact with the steam though. Never fold or press the garment either because it creases more easily than typical fabrics do. Use a lint roller to remove dust and other soils from the garments. Generally, polyester and cotton can be machine washed and dried on high heat like normal. Polyurethane can be wiped with a soapy cloth and dried with a towel like a piece of plastic would be. Check tags for leather items. Some must be dry cleaned and others can be wiped clean, but avoid certain harsh chemicals and detergents.
Always read the tag on the garment or fabric you are washing
Always look for the tag on your garments or fabric before you wash and dry them to check if there are special instructions. There usually always are some special instructions for special, more expensive types of fabrics or specially woven or designed garments. Some simply must be brought the professional cleaners for cleaning or they may be dry clean only. Many are hand washable as well.
Asses the chemicals used in detergents and solvents when washing winter clothes
There are many chemicals commonly used in certain cleaning solutions and detergents. Many of these chemicals can be very harsh and detrimental to the clothes you are attempting to wash, depending again on the type of fabric they are made from. If there are a lot of chemicals in the detergent, you can try opting for baby shampoo, which is designed to have less harsh chemicals. Plus, many other types of clothing, particularly winter clothing, can be washed without detergent at all, or dry cleaned. Usually very soft or fluffy material does not wash so well with these harsh chemicals and can be destroyed easily if washed this way. Research the kind of material the fabric is made from before washing.
Be aware of how temperature affects fabric properties
Temperature of the water you use is also very important. Temperature can have the effect of either shrinking a garment or making it bigger, or it can also damage the properties of a material if not the right temperature. Hot water often shrinks clothes after drying, so be mindful of that.
Look out for detachable pieces and other items that could be damaged
Many garments contain plastic or metal pieces that are attached and can be ripped out when washing or drying, which could also damage the fabric of the clothes and the overall design and texture of them. If these pieces can be removed, do so, or just try to wash them separately without lots of other items that could cause them to become entangled.
Be sure to check the pockets
It is always best practice to check your pockets. Ink pens can explode, staining an item for good! You might also lose important information or wash your cash mistakenly.
Check drying methods
Just as with washing methods, drying methods can be found on the tag as well. Again, research your fabric and materials to follow suggested guidelines.