Not all laundry is created equal. It's all pretty special and some of it even needs some special added care. We are 'camp machine wash' over here, dry cleaning and hand washing is just a whole other level of laundry commitment that we don't have time for - we avoid items that require that serious commitment care whenever possible (not always possible).
Unfortunately, laundry is not as easy as tossing your dirty clothes into that corner hamper and in a few days, you have fresh clean clothes back in your drawer. Long gone are the days when your Mom was the magical laundry magician, making those clothes just reappear all fresh and clean. Either laundry care is new territory (it is what it is, we all start somewhere) or you are a trained laundry magician already. Either way, a few extra tips never hurt, especially when it comes to those favourite items you want to last looooong.
As much as we want every item to be made to last forever, part of the work for that comes with how every item is taken care of. Here are our favourite tips that are mostly natural, gentle and don't take too much extra effort (no serious laundry commitments here).
KEEP YOUR FAVE CLOTHES LASTING LONGER
(plus avoid shrinkage and keep their shape)
Clothes last much longer when they are machine washed cold and laid flat (or hung) to dry. The trick is to shake out wrinkles every item like a crazy person and then lay or hang to dry to avoid wrinkles.
The dryer is excellent, but it's best for towels, undergarments and your bedding (think the things that feel the best when fresh out of the dryer). The heat tends to be pretty hard on most fabrics, breaking them down or causing them to curl up and shrink. Also, the dryer has this ability to set in stains, so if you want to have a hope of getting anything out in future washes, just say no to the dryer.
KEEP YOUR WHITES BRIGHT
(always easier said than done)
The best way to keep whites bright is to be proactive about it, that means don't mix them (at all costs) with any colours in your wash. That means no matter how much you want to wear that white tee and you don't want to wait to do a 'white' load. But also, white has this innate ability to attract evvvvvverything, so for that let's look at a few ways you can whiten those white tees and tops without chemicals.
Line Dry In The Sun - the sun is the best whitener of all whiteners. It is the ultimate bleach. For best results: make sure the t-shirt is directly in the sun (the shade isn't as talented as the sun for bleaching). Also if you have a really stubborn stain, you can try spraying a little lemon juice on it before laying it out in the sun - think of it as Sun-In but for your tees.
Borax - add 1 cup to your laundry, it will help to brighten your whites plus its an all natural deodorizer which will act as a boost to your detergent. OR even better add an equal parts borax + hydrogen peroxide mix to your white load.
Lemon - if your whites are looking rather dull. Take a lemon or two and cut it into slices, in a large pot add water and the lemon slices. After the water boils, pour the hot lemon water into a giant tub, adding your not-so-white tops. Stir it up like hot t-shirt soup and let it sit till the water cools. Then wash and hang to dry as usual.
GET A GREASE SPOT OUT
(they happen, especially if you cook without an apron)
There are two great ways to get a small grease spot out, and each depends on how soon you catch it. *This is really something you want to catch before you wash.
1. If you notice right away, try sprinkling some cornstarch on the area. The Cornstarch should soak up the grease enough for it to be clean as a whistle after you wash it.
2. If you notice a little later in the day, take a little dab of dish soap (Dawn works best) and a little bit of water and work it into the area - wash and hang to dry as per ushe.
THOSE PESKY YELLOW PIT STAINS
(aka the ruiner of favourite white t-shirts)
The easiest method (as always) is avoidance, which in this case means stay away from deodorant that has aluminium in it! It's not your sweat that causes the stain; it's the aluminium filled deodorant (which is not great for you for other reasons but we won't go into that). If you just bought the most perfect white shirt, before you wear it to make sure you update that deodorant of yours. Go for all-natural or at least find a brand sans aluminium.
Now, if you already have the pesky stains, the above is sort of a moot point. To get an existing stain out try mixing: 1 part dish soap, two parts hydrogen peroxide and a big sprinkle of baking soda - work it into the stain and let sit for about an hour before washing.
*this is basically like a make at home Oxy-Clean recipe so it can be used for many types of stains.
And if you love something so much, that you wash and wear it weekly it is bound to break down over time. So your best bet for that conundrum is to fall in love with a brand that offers that style season after season - so you can always restock when you need. HINT HINT: wearfranc.com
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