Caring for our garments properly can seem like a daunting task but knowing how to look after your clothes is beneficial not only for you, but also the environment.
Why learn how to care for your garments?
Firstly, knowing how to take care of your clothes ensures their longevity, making it a great way to hold onto those items you so lovingly picked for longer. It also means that you'll be kinder to your bank account in the long term too.
Keeping your items in their best condition for as long as possible is also a great way to do your bit for the planet. Learning how to make your clothes last longer reduces waste, making it an easy sustainable switch that you can make in your home to help mother nature out.
Plus, caring for something shows how much you love it. Anything you don't love enough to care for properly, does not deserve prime space in your wardrobe.
Here are my top tips for caring for you garments:
Wash your whites separately - This ensures your whites stay white! We all know what a slippery road it is when we don't care for our whites well.
Use garment bags for more delicate items - Think delicate knitwear, lingerie, softer fabrics .. The garment bags will protect from potential snagging with zips, hooks, and other unsuspecting elements when things are in the wash.
Follow the washing instructions - They are on that handy little tag for a reason!
Hang them well - Ditch those dry cleaning wire hangers once you've transported them home. That is all they are built for, for transportation. They do not provide the support and structure to hold your garments and to retain the shape and structure of your pieces well. Choose hangers such as the wooden or felt ones. Felt ones are great because they are flatter in shape and therefore saves space in your wardrobe, they also stop garments from falling off because of its material. Wooden ones are bulkier so may take up more space, but they do offer more hanging surface, so are good for your heavier items like blazers/jackets. Coat hangers are perfect for your heavy winter coats - they have a wider shoulder hanging surface to take the weight and hold the structure of the coat. For pants and skirts, get the hangers specific for these (with the clips on them) so that they are displayed for easy viewing when getting ready and also avoids creases/folds where folded on a normal hanger.
Store garments away from direct heat and moisture.
Lint and Pilling - Use a lint/pill remover to rejuvenate knitwear that have started pilling and seen better days. Trust me, this little gadget will make your pilled pieces look fresh and new again!
Post Dry Clean - Remove your garments from the plastic garment bags once you get home and air them before putting them back into your wardrobe. Dry cleaning can use lots of harmful chemicals and it is a good idea to air the garments so left over gasses can escape.
Wash less, and only when it is necessary - This may not apply to the t-shirt you just wore the entire day while sweating in summer heat because washing would be necessary in this case! A jumper worn on a winter's day on the other hand, may only require some airing out to freshen up before its next wear. Washing your garments less not only saves water but prolongs your garment's lifespan.
Air dry where you can and minimise dryer use - Dryers can be very harsh on garments. I have had my fair share of clothing come out in mini versions or ill shaped. Air drying saves electricity and prolongs your garment's lifespan.
Keep it cool - Cooler water temperature is gentler on your garment fabrics.
Less washing on your woollen items - Wool is naturally stain resistant, odour resistant and also crease resistant, so actually requires less washing (source - www.woolmark.com). For a low-down on wool care (https://www.woolmark.com/care/can-i-wash-wool-in-the-washing-machine/).