Each garment we wear is different from fabric composition, from colour dyes used, the manufacturing process right down to the cut of the cloth, they all vary. In our busy lives we often forget this, every item should be treated with care it requires to insure it lasts. Don’t get me wrong, I too just throw most of my clothes together and make a load, we often mistaking think that if we run a cold wash we can just put everything together.
Now if you are really particular you will follow the guide on the garment tag to the letter. But this would often make washing onerous especially in a family situation. There are some simple way to help get the best out of your clothes. Remember Colour, Temperature and Speed.
Let's talk colour. One of the best things you can do for your clothes is wash like colours together. Okay, this takes a few minutes to sort but your clothes will appreciate it. It might surprise you are to what your house has more of, for us underwear seems to be predominantly dark where our tops are light in colour. It is really important that when washing new items they get washed with like colours or if power and water isn’t an issue even on their own. It is not very often the I have had a colour run but you can guarantee when it happens it will ruin one of your favourite items of clothing.
Let’s talk temperature. Sorting your colours leads onto the temperatures you use to wash each load. Your dark clothes prefer a colder wash. When I personally do my washing I use a 30 degree wash for my darks. I find that my clothes come out cleaner with the slightly warmer temp then the traditional 20 degree cold wash with out any detriment to the garment. Your coloured or white clothes can handle a slightly warmer temperature. For this is find that at 40 degrees the stains seem to come out more easily with out the need to pretreat. Warmer than 40 degrees is considered a hot wash and this is not recommended for your clothes. But is great for towels and bedding in order to wash out dead skin cells, body oil and even our normal skin bacteria.
Let's talk speed. Our washing machines now come with such high spin speeds and it is almost a competition between models as to who goes higher. The spin speed effects how dry your item comes out once finished. It is really important that, like colours, you also sort your washing into what speed it needs. Your delicates and wool items don’t like to be spun, hence the recommendation of a hand wash as often the more they are spun the more they stretch. To make your clothes last longer next time you do a wash look at the speed. Many washing machines will allow you to alter the spin speed for each wash cycle. Your everyday items don’t need to come out bone dry, so why don’t you lessen the speed and be kinder to your clothes. I often only use a spin speed of 800 for my clothing, they come out dry but wet enough that I can reshape them if needed and shake out any wrinkles, this saves on the ironing! Of course it stands to reason that our heavy household items like towels and sheets need to be spun at a higher speed. This will help with their drying time, wether that is in the sun or the dryer. You certainly don’t want to be drawing more power for wetter, heavier items in the dryer.
It is really important that recommended by the manufacturer that your delicates and wool are washed separately. These items in particular need to be handled with care. Spin speed needs to be low for these items, as low as your machine will go so they do not get torn and pulled out of shape. Temperature needs to be at 30 degrees, this is just warm enough to help the detergent get the item clean but not hot enough that it will shrink. What detergent you use will also effect the longevity of your delicate items, using detergent a that is free of enzymes will help reduce those little holes that can often show up in your wool items. Did you know they are often not “moth holes” but caused by the washing liquid or powder you use.
While we talk about damage to your clothing. Did you realise that many big brand clothing washing powders and pretreatment such as sprays and soaks are full of harsh chemicals which make them detrimental to your clothing and can break down the fibres over time. This is why at The Innocent Ant we have taken care to insure we use natural ingredients with no fillers, no toxin and no harsh chemicals. See our Why use a natural laundry powder? blog for more information.
We can also touch base on how often you also need to wash your clothes. Are you someone that has to wash after every wear, or only when it smells or has visible dirt? This one is always a heated debate. With kids in our house, clothes often get thrown into the washing basket after only 5 minutes of wear. These ones certainly don’t need a wash. It stands to reason that clothing items will last longer the less you wash them, but if you are anything like me and the garment is white in colour I will always have to wash it after each wear.
Our modern washing machines have certainly made our lives easy with the preset programming. Your washing machine will allow you to alter both the spin speed and temperature for each wash cycle. Next time you do a load of washing check the temperature, the wash time and the spin speed before you press start. Have a play and see what your clothes come out like if you change a few things. Everyones machine and even water supplying is different so what works for you might not work for everyone else. But if you sort by colour, temperature and speed spin your clothes will thank you for it and your wallet will to.
Posted: Friday 28 April 2023