We all have our favourite dresses or shirts that we want to wear more but can't. Why? Because they have worn out. Fast fashion is changing our shopping habits. The size of the average wardrobe has increased over the years, but the quality of clothes has degraded. This is terrible news for eco-conscious lovers because their clothes will not last long. This means that the wardrobe is not going to be sustainable.
But there is still light at the end of the tunnel. The clothes can last longer. Most of us do not care about following proper instructions or are unaware of the fundamental practices of washing clothes. Implementing proper washing techniques can have a massive impact on the lifespan of clothes.
Someone washing expensive silk clothing in hot water can expect it won't last long.
To simplify the process, here are three simple methods that you can use that will help your clothes to last longer. But before we jump on them, let's look at the most critical yet negligent step in washing clothes.
It is important to understand that you do not need a sword to cut a piece of paper; a pair of scissors will do the job. Similarly, you do not need elaborate processes to wash all types of clothes. Some clothes are delicate and require special attention.
There are two crucial things that you should keep in mind while selecting clothes – Fabric and colour.
Your wardrobe will be made of clothes manufactured with different types of fabrics. It is important to treat them differently. Some materials like denim can be treated roughly and will need more scrubbing. Delicate fabrics like silk will need a softer touch.
Every garment comes with a stitched washing instruction label. It is best to segregate them as per their temperature requirements. Those clothes that must be dry cleaned should never be put in a washing machine.
Your clothes will have a variety of colours. First, you should segregate light clothes and dark clothes, and never wash them together. A few clothes do bleed colour. If your dark clothes bleed in colour, it will ruin all your light clothes in a single wash.
To check if clothes are bleeding colour, you can quickly run a colour bleeding test. Take damp cotton and then rub it on the inside and outside of the clothing. If the cotton's colour changes to the cloth's colour, it should be washed separately.
Methods of Washing:
Depending on the type of clothes, you can try the three methods.
Method 1: The Quick 'Machine Wash'
This is the most popular method of washing clothes. You can run it in a few simple steps:
1. See the Load Size to Select:
Every washing machine has a specific load size. Do not try to cramp all your clothes at once, which will have a long-term impact on the washing machine. Go for another run if the quantity of clothes is too much.
2. Select Water Temperature:
Depending on the set of clothes, select the optimum water temperature. Some fabrics need hot water, and some need cold. If clothes are stained, then they should be washed in hot water. The hot water can easily lift off stains. However, before washing, try to remove the stains as much as possible.
The stains can sit on the fabric if not removed earlier after washing and drying. To avoid this, use a good stain remover. Stain remover made with natural ingredients, do not harm clothes and helps them last longer.
3. Select the Right Cycle:
Delicate clothes will require a lesser wash cycle. So, clothes made with fabrics such as laces, wool, and nylon should not be washed at high wash cycles. Normal wash cycles can be selected for your regular and white clothes.
4. Select the Detergent:
This is very important. The quality of detergent will directly impact the lifespan of clothing. Any detergent with a high concentration of chemicals will affect the quality of clothing in every wash. Most detergents are non-biodegradable. That means they also cause harm to the enjoyment.
The best is to use detergents made with natural ingredients to avoid all these pitfalls. The detergent made by SOVI® uses natural ingredients like coconut and sugarcane-based surfactants and plant-based extracts. It is highly effective, does not harm clothes and uses no chemicals like chlorine or sulphates.
5. Dry Your Clothes:
The last step is to find a well-lit and dry place to dry your clothes. Machine dryers are also a good option, but some clothes require to be air-dried. Choose the setting of the dryer carefully. For light clothes with fabrics such as wool, it has to be delicate.
Method 2: The Good Old way of “Hand Washing” Clothes
Before machines, hand washing was the only way to wash clothes. This method has been used for centuries. If you have delicate clothing, then hand washing is the preferred method. You can do it in a few simple steps which you might already know of:
1. Separate Light and Dark Clothes
The hand washes are done in a bucket. Ideally, dark and light clothes should be organized in different buckets. This way there will be no problem if the colour bleeds.
2. Treat Stains
Before washing, it is essential to treat stains. For that, you can use SOVI®Stain remover made with natural ingredients, and it will remove stains in no time during the wash. Gently apply the stain remover on the stains.
3. Add detergent and water
The next step is to add the required amount of detergent and soak the clothes in water. Give a good swirl when the water is added so that the detergent mixes easily.
If the clothes are fragile, it becomes essential to use non-chemical detergents so they do not harm them. SOVI®Detergent is made with natural ingredients, and you can give it a try.
4. Soak and Wash
You may need to soak the clothes in the bucket for some time before washing them. This way, clothes will absorb the detergent.
To wash them, you need to rub, knead and twist the clothes. You can also use a brush to clean any hard spot. Repeat this process at least twice so that the clothes are washed thoroughly.
5. Rinse and Dry
Make sure to rinse the clothes thoroughly. The detergent does not go in one rinse. Wring out each item and repeat the process till the clothes are soap free.
Clothes should be ideally dried in a sunlit environment or a well-ventilated room. For colour clothes, avoid the harsh sun. You can always dry them in partial shade so that their fabric lasts longer.
Method 3: Dry Cleaning
Not all clothes are meant to be washed with water. Some fabric materials that are used in popular clothing items like men's suits will be ruined if you wash them with water. This is because the fabric will be damaged with direct contact with water. They will either shrink or get damaged.
The process of dry cleaning involves cleaning clothes with solvents made with petroleum. It can be done at home, but it is better if you leave the dry cleaning in the hands of professionals. Suppose you have fabrics made with materials such as wool, silk, linen and rayon, then ask your local dry cleaner for advice if they should be dry cleaned or not.