How do I carefully wash clothes while preserving quality and size?

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Answered by: Jacob, An Expert in the Care for Your Clothes Category
Caring for your clothes is important – it IS your money spent. While usually people that care for their clothing usually mean those who dish out on expensive even brand-name clothing, other people such as myself can take care of our nice budgeted clothing by fixing up a few steps. So what do you get as an answer when you ask the average person about their laundry? “I’ll wear it, throw it in the laundry and wash it, and then I’ll fold or hang it up and wear it again.” But how do you really carefully wash clothes ? Here, we’ll analyze each step a little more carefully for the sake of preserving our clothing. We’ll start off with wearing your clothing. This one is an easy freebie and depends on your preference. When you wear your clothes, you should be careful of putting regrettable stains that won’t come out, stretching or tears from horseplay, even dirt on a white shirt. Why should anyone worry about dirt on a white shirt when it can be washed? There comes the next step. As you wash your clothing, they will slowly start to fade (side-note: which depends on the quality). They will shrink and not be the same size you may desire, they will get older, and they will look older. So why is it important to avoid dirt on your white shirt? Well, the answer is a huge and widely debated topic about whether or not and when you should wash your clothing. I believe personally that you should wash your clothing only when it is actually dirty – but not to the point where you can see or smell it. Many people who own suits follow this because the suit quality is very expensive, but it doesn’t mean you can give top care to your clothing. Maybe give it a few times before you wash it. This will really help preserve your clothing, so don’t get any marks on it! Well, when you finally get to washing it, cold water and the softest cycle will reduce any shrinking or aging. This is a normal everyday washing machine, but dry cleaner’s work better. Hot water will shrink and rougher cycles will cause more age. Bleach, sea salt, baking soda, etc. will whiten whites, and only whites! After you get it out of there you can pass on the dryer – for now. I personally put them outsides to dry with the sun. Do be careful about the weather in case of rain or snow! Another thing to put in mind is that the sun acts as a natural bleacher. So be careful especially with your dark colors. Hanging your clothes to dry can result in faster-than-normal stretching, so some people such lay them on the ground on top of a towel. After that, the clothes will be rather hard but dry. You can throw them in the dryer for this – but wait – be careful to use no heat! There will be options such as air-fluff or no-heat that will work fine and you can throw in some dryer fabric softener sheets. This will soften your clothes off. Now, to the last step, folding. Or is it hanging? Folding against hanging is again another debatable topic. They both have their pros and cons. Folding saves space but causes creases that can be ironed-out. Hanging gives you an easier selection to look at but takes us space and can result in stretching long-term and short-term. Be careful of putting on the hanger because you can stretch out the neck of a t shirt, for example. Be careful of taking it out too. A common solution is to put it through the bottom and up to the top of most clothing. Long-term stretching is caused by it being hung. Some fabrics, such as nylon, polyester, or linen, do not stretch like that and can be hung, such as dress-shirts or windbreakers and even tough material such as denim (jeans). Whatever choice you choose, it will be safe here because how you carefully wash clothes is the most important. Of course, when it gets to more expensive clothing it might be better to dry-clean. But these little measures and steps will greatly help for the top-notch care of your clothing. Stay fresh!

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