Following my article on how to make your clothes last longer, I decided to write about how I incorporate those tips into my daily life, as the list of bullet points is quite overwhelming at times. While preserving our clothes appearance and quality is important, it certainly isn’t something one would like to spend several hours a week on.
Collecting your dirty laundry
As with anything in life, good preparation is everything. Tidying your home is a lot more unpleasant if one has to spend minutes looking for socks underneath furniture and gathering wet, smelly towels from the bathroom floor.
Let damp clothes air dry in a well ventilated place before putting them into a laundry basket or, if you live in a boarding home, into that one drawer. Moisture is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and will leave your garments smelling terribly – yikes!
The two types of detergents I cannot live without are mild detergent, suitable for wool and silk, and disinfecting detergent.
Wool is very similar to our hair in its structure and none of us would just use any soap on our hair.
This one is for people who don’t follow rule number one and always end up with damp, smelly fabric somehow – I got you! Disinfecting detergent is great for killing off bacteria on garments that cannot be washed at high temperatures.
Washing machine or handwash?
- The two main factors during the washing process are heat and revolutions per minute (rpm), followed by time. Using a high setting of rpm will press the water out of the clothes much faster and quicken the drying process, saving you time and money. Check the tag inside the garment for instructions.
- Bed-sheets, towels and clothes that should be extra clean can be washed at 60°C to kill germs and smells. Do keep in mind that this wears down on the colors.
- Delicate tops with many ornaments, and fine fabrics need to be washed at a lower setting to keep their sheen. High-End washing machines allow you to adjust the parameters for each fabric, but if in doubt, it is always better to handwash, especially with fine wool and silk.
- Turn garments inside out to prevent the color from fading.
- Garments that are carefully molded to your body such as evening gowns, suits or coats should always be dry cleaned. Leave it to the professionals to wash and iron your clothes so they don’t lose their shape and stability.
I like to sort the wet laundry right at the washing machine. Sturdy t-shirts, socks, towels and bed sheets go straight into the tumble dryer, while delicate clothes and sportswear have to be air dried.
Most clothes can be hung on the clothing line, but knits and woolen pieces should be dried lying down. To prevent water from dripping all over the place, roll your clothes in a towel first and gently press out excess water.
Check instructions on the label and set the iron accordingly. Start out by ironing the smaller parts of the garment, such as collar, cuffs and shoulders. Finish by ironing the arms and finally the front and back parts. Pay special attention to the hem and button facing for a flawless look.
- Fold: t-shirts, jeans, underwear (except bras) and leisurewear
- Hang: Shirts, suits, dress pants (fold along pleats), skirts (use a hanger with clips), non knitted dresses and cardigans, as well as outer wear.
- Roll: Silk to avoid the fabric from breaking
Using more drawers and rolling garments instead of folding them has helped me keep my space so much tidier and made getting dressed in the morning so much easier.
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