Well, it’s actually a lot more complicated than that. When it comes to making your clothes last, one of the commonly overlooked, and most important, ways is how you wash them.
All of your clothes will have washing care labels inside of them, explaining how they should be cleaned, but aside from that, there are a few more things to consider when it comes to doing your laundry. So, to make everything a bit more simple, we’ve put everything you should know about cleaning your clothes into this handy little guide to ensure your clothes last as long as you do. You’re welcome.
How dirty is it?
Realistically, most clothing items don’t need to be washed straight away unless it’s stained. If you just want to wash it so that it’s “fresh”, then it might be time to invest in a fabric freshener, rather than wasting all that water and electricity when your clothes don’t need it!
Heavily stained clothing should be washed on a longer, heavy-duty cycle at a higher heat if the fabric allows it. Investing in a good stain remover will also help to reduce the number of times the items need to be washed to remove the stain.
What are you washing?
It’s tempting to throw them all into one wash, but you may actually be damaging your clothes by doing this. Lighter, more delicate fabrics can be damaged and worn down when washed with heavier materials. So don’t go washing your towels and jeans with that silk midi dress!
Items with buttons and zippers should also be washed separately to your delicates, as these can cause snags and tears!
Some items of clothing simply can’t withstand being put through the washing machine over and over again. Delicate garments, bras and fabrics such as silk will last best if you wash them by hand or at the very least put them on a delicate cycle. This prevents them from being thrown around in the washing machine, wearing down your clothes and shortening their lifespan. Making sure to invest in a non-bio, delicate laundry detergent will protect your clothes and still get them all fresh.
Temperature is important, and it’s easy to overlook. Picking the wrong temperature can lead to items shrinking, the colour bleeding or simply not getting clean. To put it simply:
Cold: Delicate garments, fine materials, dark colours and anything that might shrink.
Warm: Synthetic fibres.
Hot: Whites, Cotton, bedding and heavily soiled clothing.
Nowadays, lots of clothes are made from synthetic fibres which contain a lot of, you guessed it, plastic. When washed, these tiny microplastics are shed from the clothing, making their way through the water systems and eventually end up in the ocean. To prevent this from happening, you can either fit your washing machine with a microplastic filter or buy a reusable wash bag to wash your clothes in. Both will catch the microplastics, allowing you to dispose of them safely and preventing them from entering the water system.
Learning how to correctly care for your clothes is such a simple step to ensure they last, taking care of what we already own to avoid excess textile waste and helping the environment. Not to worry if a garment reaches the end of its lifespan and you are looking for a replacement. Try swapping through Bandi to find the perfect fit!