How to properly wash delicates
The purpose for this article is to express and inform the importance of washing clothes properly. I have had whites, delicates, and unique garment’s ruined at the mercy of washing machines and dryers. I have also saved my cashmere sweater which could be ruined at the disfavor of others washing my clothes or my mistake of washing cashmere in hot water or not putting it on the correct setting. And then there is the all-too-familiar bleeding of colors. I am on the constant go and enjoy the convenience of Lava Laundry when I am in the Woodland area.
Adjust the delicate setting depending on the ‘like colors’ (example: beige separate from red’s and black’s). First step: always use delicate setting. It is essential to separate off-white’s and then colors, like blacks and reds. (Remember when washing delicates with a zipper, you always zip. And then washing delicates that are button downs—always leave unbuttoned.)
Newer garments can have a higher risk of bleeding color. To check this, take the ‘bleed test’ on your clothes. ““Dampen a discreet spot, and then blot it with a white cloth to see if the dye bleeds. If so, wash the item on its own until the color stops running,” according to Martha Stewart Living (2).” If colors do bleed, a tip to correct that is suggested by this article: “RIT Dye Fixative is designed to bind to loose dyes and reduce color bleeding. It is designed specifically for this purpose and can be found at most drugstores and department stores along with the other RIT dyes. Check the label carefully as RIT also makes a dye remover that will essentially bleach the entire piece. This is NOT the one that you want. Synthrapol is a similar product that is designed to bond to loose dyes and remove them from the fabric. Since they only bond to loose dyes, they should not affect the other colors in the clothing (6)”.
Colors always go in cold water. Cream and off-white’s can go in warm water. It is important to set the washing machine on gentle, or no spin cycle. It is essential to remember always use cold water with wool or cashmere. Use a gentle detergent in little amounts.
A helpful hint for wool care comes from The Spruce, “Wool fibers will dissolve in chlorine bleach. Even dilute solutions of chlorine bleach will cause permanent yellowing, color loss, stiffening and weakening of wool. Never place any wool garment in an automatic dryer on high heat. You will end up with a shrunken garment that is often–but not always–impossible to restore (3)”. Always lay flat to dry; this reduces the risk of garment’s re-shaping. Heat will shrink these fabrics and, in some cases, make the magical and distasteful change from cashmere to felt.
One last tip to preserve delicates, and/or whites is a mesh bag for the laundromat. This will prevent ripping and snagging from other clothes. Washing garments properly is an easy step to heighten efficiency in lifestyles--you are not going out every week to buy new shirts after one use just to look clean. It is efficient to the environment by preserving garments, and your personal wardrobe.
Following these easy steps will leave you with a fresh look that is sustainable and leaves the environment healthy—just like your look!