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How to Take Care of Your Clothes
- Make sure you put your clothes on a hanger when you get undressed at night if they are going to be worn again. Put everything else into the hamper to be washed. Never just put your clothes into a ball, and drop them on the floor. Protect the fabric, and the items will last and always look nice.
- Prevent getting food stains on your shirts or blouses by bringing the spoon ‘to’ your mouth, and gently sip the contents, so as to prevent dripping. When eating a pasta or gravy dish, hold the napkin between your shirt or blouse and the food, again, move your mouth to the fork.
- Dab ice water or seltzer onto food stains immediately , so it does not set. Do not rub.
- Wash your clothes often. Use a gentle wash cycle for delicates. Do not use liquid bleach in the wash. Separate colors from whites. Pure soap with a handful of bicarbonate (baking) soda is a much better, safer and more environmentally friendly bleach than White King. Chemical bleaches are extremely bad for your health, and don’t properly wash out of your clothes.
- Try not to use a dryer at all. Dryers wear out your clothes and fade their colours more quickly than drying in sunlight. Drying in sunlight or in the open air is also a much healthier way of drying your clothes – sunlight is a natural disinfectant. And lastly, clothes-dryers use an enormous amount of electricity, contributing to the greenhouse effect and your electricity bill. Try drying your clothes on clothes-racks if the weather is not good, and ironing them when still slightly damp. Much better for your clothes and for the environment. If you absolutely have to use a dryer, use it on the warm setting and clear the lint filter after every load. If the temperature is too hot, your clothes will come out all wrinkled. If your dryer has a delicate cycle use it. Make sure you do not leave the dryer on, longer than necessary.
- Remove the clothes from the dryer and hang them up immediately. Button the top button on shirts, and hang blouses neatly on the hanger. Slacks should go on a special pants hanger, that clips over the top of the waist. Smooth the fabric with your hand, so as to avoid wrinkles. Iron out any wrinkles that might occur.
- Fold all other garments neatly and place in the dresser drawers.
- Hang your clothes in the closet, and make sure they are not all crowded or crushed together. They need breathing room or they will become all wrinkled and slip off the hangers and land on the floor.
- To avoid fold creases spoiling the line of clothes which are not suitable for hanging, gently roll them instead.
- Most of us launder our clothes too often. Whilst fabrics suffer from perspiration, oils and dust, a good airing may often be appropriate.
- Heavy materials such as denim sometimes develop creases in the wash which don’t iron out properly. Before adding to the ironing pile, grab them by the waistband, raise your arms and flick them really hard. It should make quite a cracking sound. Repeat from ankles if necessary. If you don’t need a crisp look (or the garment is supposed to have an unpressed look) sometimes this trick means you can get by without the ironing.
- Develop the habit of using the seams of your clothing to guide your folding. At first it is slower, but it’s more efficient, keeps garments in better shape and saves oodles of space.
- Gently does it.
- Padded hangers are curiously costly. If you have heavy or delicate items that could get stretched out of shape, pad their hangers yourself with a few layers of tissue paper, old socks, or whatever you have to hand.
- If you accidentally shrink your favourite jumper, you may just be able to save it if it is still damp. Lay it out flat and smooth it into shape. Taking an end in each hand, try a gentle, slow tug along the line of the weave. Proceed cautiously, testing the give in the material, and working as evenly as you can. As the garment narrows you’ll need to do the same across the weave. Be mindful that the seams and any detailing may have shrunk more, or simply be weaker, so these may need to be stretched gently first. Always begin gently. If you are lucky you may be able to build up into a powerful stretch providing you build up gently and cautiously. Warming the fibres with your hands sometimes helps. If the day is warm and you can be at home, you may be able to rescue woollens which have shrunk badly if you wear them whilst wet, gently tugging and smoothing them to your shape. At worst you can still wear it for gardening, but sometimes the most dramatically shrunk items respond incredibly. Or, on occasion you realise you have very charming fitted garment that looks better than the slouchy weekend knit.