On Tuesday, a reader asked:
“What are your tips on washing outfits and making sure they last and still look great. Sometimes when I wash my clothes, they get pills, etc and I think I’m doing something wrong.”
Now, I’m a new housewife so I don’t know everything yet, but my mother did teach me well! So I have a few tips and hints for keeping your clothes looking great for years.
If you have a newer washing machine, chances are it washes clothes a little too good. At least that is what I have found to be true. The regular cycle can be too rough on ladies clothes sometimes. So, I wash ALL of my shirts in the Delicate Cycle right along with my undies and bras.
And things like cashmere, silk, gauze, and other delicate fabrics, I usually wash by hand, even if the tag says it’s machine washable. I don’t like to take chances. This will help avoid the pills and pulls that the washing machine can cause. I know it’s less convenient, but it helps keep your clothing in great shape. Also, line-drying clothes is much better for them then throwing them in the dryer. If you want to help speed up the drying process, throw your wet items in the dryer for 3-5 minutes and then hang them out on the line. This will help get out the majority of the wrinkles, but won’t put wear and tear on your clothes.
You can also buy a little electric hand held clothes shaver that takes off the little pills off sweaters, jersey shirts, and other things. Here is one I found on eBay for $2.99. And here is another one for $3.99.
I highly recommend investing in one of these little guys. They work wonders on clothes! My mom always had 2 or 3 around the house at all times. Most are battery operated and very easy to use. They work best when new. The more you use it, the duller the blades will get. If you use it enough, the blades will get so dull that they may do more damage then good, so be sure to replace them once a year or whenever you notice that it doesn’t work as well. They are cheap, so you can afford to do this!
Try a great liquid laundry detergent like Woolite to help preserve the color and prevent stretching and shrinking. It is available at Wal Mart and most grocery stores.
WOOLITE® is a mild fabric wash created to safely and effectively care for natural and synthetic fine washables. WOOLITE® will not damage washable fabric fibers. It helps preserve the color of your clothes and keeps them looking vibrant. It also helps to keep your clothes fitting the way they were designed to fit, without causing shrinking or stretching. WOOLITE® Fabric Wash does not contain bleach, oils, phosphates, or enzymes. Results conclusively show that if a garment is safe in water, it is safe in WOOLITE® Fabric Wash.
When I wash my sweaters in the washing machine, I wrap them up in a sheet. If they are wool, I never wash them. I’m too afraid to shrink them!! Sometimes I just spritz them with water and tug at them to get them back in shape.
I never dry clean anything, so no help from me there!
The only thing I have found to really help preserve clothes, is don’t wash them unless they really need it. If you only wear it for an hour or two at dinner or something, don’t throw it in the laundry unless is has an odor or a stain. If you want to make it look fresh again, just spritz the item with clean water and slap it. I usually hang shirts on a hanger, spritz the back and front, and then slap wrinkles between my hands and brush my hands over it briskly. This method has always worked wonderful for me. I don’t iron anything and I don’t have to with this quick little method.
Another secret is after you take a shower and the bathroom is still steamy, hang your shirt (or whatever) on a hanger in the bathroom and do the same thing, but leave it in the steamy room until it dries. You can also do this on a covered porch outside during a rain storm in the summer time. It usually takes the wrinkles out of just about anything!
Hope I answered your question adequately! Let me know if you have more questions.