Proper care, washing keep clothes last longer

March 25, 2023 People's Journal 148 views

REPEATED wearing and washing would wear out your clothes. Clothing experts said clothes would ordinarily last for five years before being thrown away. But to some individuals, clothes could only last for a year or two.

Proper caring including washing the right way can have a huge positive impact on clothes – colors remain vibrant and no fabric pilling is formed.

If you want your wardrobe to last as long as possible, looking after your clothes properly can make a difference. One study found that with the correct care, you can double the lifespan of a jumper from seven years, on average, to almost 15.

Clothes come with various care instructions on labels sewn into the garment. These symbols tell you all you need to know about how to wash, dry, bleach and iron your clothes. Understanding them will allow you to clean and care for your clothing correctly.

To preserve the color, shape and brightness of your garments, using the right water temperature and suitable method of washing is important.

It is important to sort your laundry as per the fabric. If you want the best returns on your investment in clothes, always follow the wash care label instructions.

It is very important to unbutton the shirts before washing them. If you fail to do so, you may have to deal with ripped buttonholes in your shirt. Also, fasten the zippers of your jeans and dresses. It may seem basic, but perhaps it is one of the most important pre-washing steps.

Do not wash your garment without first treating the stains. The earlier you treat the stains, the easier it will be to get rid of. Washing and drying your stained garment without treating the stains will result in the stain setting in more firmly in the fabric of your garment.

* Washing care. The washing care label includes symbols that indicate whether you should machine wash, hand wash or dry clean the garment.

The machine wash symbol – a washtub – specifies the recommended maximum wash temperature as a number within the symbol. This is usually 30, 40, 50 or 60℃. If the washtub symbol has a cross through it, don’t put the garment in the washing machine.

A symbol of a hand reaching into the washtub indicates that the garment is delicate and should be hand-washed only. Hand washing is typically gentler than machine washing, so avoids agitating and stretching fragile fibers. But it is still essential to use a mild detergent and cold water when washing by hand, to avoid damaging the garment.

* Light colored clothes and whites that have been heavily stained should be washed in hot water. The heat will lift the stains off the fabric. Dark colored clothes and cotton clothes should be washed in cold water.

* Bleaching care. Triangular symbols tell you whether you can use bleach when cleaning the garment. Bleach is a powerful chemical that can cause discoloration or permanent damage to some fabrics.

An empty triangle means you can use any bleach (including chlorine) to clean the garment. A triangle intersected by two diagonal lines means use only non-chlorine bleach.

A cross over the triangle means that no bleach should be used on the garment. If this is the case and the garment has stains that cannot be removed with regular washing, you could apply a pre-wash stain remover – but check first that this stain remover is safe for the fabric.

* Drying care. Drying your clothes incorrectly can increase the risk of shrinking, stretching or damaging their fabric – shortening the lifetime of your clothes. One study found that fabric breakdown was responsible for 29 percent of physical failure in clothes discarded by their owners. Leave the clothes to dry in a well-ventilated room. You can dry white clothes under direct sunlight on a clothesline. Always dry your colored clothes or partial shade on a clothesline.

* Ironing care. Clothes are ironed to remove creases. Some fabrics require a specific iron temperature or technique, so you should always check the clothing label for any specific ironing instructions.

An iron with one dot means you should iron the garment at a low temperature, and applies to garments made with synthetic acetate and acrylic fabrics. Two dots mean you should iron the garment on a medium heat, and suit garments made from polyester, satin and wool. Three dots indicate that it is safe to iron the garment at a high temperature, and applies to fabrics including linen, cotton and denim.