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Take Care of Your Delicates With These Tips
We’re showing you the best way to wash your bras, leggings, sweaters and socks.
For your clothes to last as long as possible, you have to give them some TLC. While it’s always easier to throw everything into the washing machine and dryer without much thought, this can lead to faded fabrics, misshapen undergarments, and shrunken sweaters! Is there a chance you’re washing your clothing all wrong? Read on to find out!
Bras can actually be quite an expense, so you’ll want to make sure you take the best care of them to give them the longest life. To begin with, try not to wear the same bra every day. By rotating the bras you wear, you give the elastic a break to help it maintain its original shape.
The best way to wash your bras is by hand. While it may seem like a pain, it’s worth it! Simply fill up a sink with cold water and soap, leave your bras soaking for about 10 minutes, and then rinse the bras off and hang them on a drying rack. Use a detergent that is bleach and alcohol free like this one by the Laundress.
If you chose to put your bras in the washing machine, use a mesh lingerie bag, hook the bra together so it doesn’t get caught on anything, and run it on a gentle and cold cycle. Resist the urge to toss your bras into the dryer after washing them. The dryer can mess up the shape and structure of your bra.
We like this set because you can use the different sized bags for various types of clothing.
There is also an art to storing your bras correctly, as in, don't pile and smash them into your drawer. Check out this feature from an expert bra fitter on how to put those expensive delicates away, and make sure they last longer! Also, make sure to check out this feature on the 5 bras every woman should own!
We love leggings because they can be worn all day every day! Keep them in top shape by always washing them on the cold, delicate cycle in your laundry machine. Elastane, the material that most leggings are made of, can be damaged in high temperatures. For this reason, avoid washing them in hot water, and skip the dryer. Hang dry leggings and if you must use your dryer, always use tumble-dry low.
Unlike bras, wash your leggings after every wear. If you tend to throw on the same pair of leggings a few times before you wash, you could be unintentionally damaging them. Your body sweat can actually eat away at the fibers.
If you use a detergent with bleach in it, make sure it’s oxygenated and (like this one from Seventh Generation) not chemical. Beyond detergent, you should be using fabric softener for your leggings. This will help avoid pilling.
It’s sweater season! While many wool sweaters are labeled as “dry-clean” we’ve got good news for you: you can wash your sweaters at home. Hand washing is the safest way to go. According to the National Cleaners Association, heat, moisture and mechanical action are the three factors that produce shrinkage. For this reason, use cold or tepid water to wash your wool.
Fill up the sink or bathtub and use a squirt of wool-safe detergent, like Woolite. Let your clothing soak for up to a half hour before rinsing them off and laying your sweaters flat to dry. Resist the urge to ring out the water, because doing so could disturb the shape of the fiber.
If using a machine, that same mesh bag for your lingerie can be used for your sweaters. Use the delicate cycle with cold water. Remove the sweater immediately after the cycle is done and avoid the dryer afterwards. Don’t hang the sweater on a hanger since this can stretch it out. Instead, lay sweaters flat to dry.
One of life’s greatest mysteries is how so many socks go missing! Here’s a tip: place the socks in the washing machine first, before you add the rest of your items. Or, use a garment bag to keep them separated from the rest of your items.
As far as washing socks, even if they’re cotton, treat them as delicates, by which we mean wash them in cold water, to slow down their aging process.
The inside of your socks is where they are in most need of a thorough cleaning, so turn them inside out before tossing them into the washing machine. Like most delicates, avoid chemical bleach in your detergent. For socks, we recommend staying away from fabric softener. Fabric softener will deteriorate the moisture-wicking properties of socks, which could make for a sticky situation!
Hang-drying your socks may seem odd, but if you want to keep them around for a while, this is the way to do it. Pick up one of these hanger drying racks from Amazon.
If you do use a dryer for your socks, put them on low heat.
Follow these tips and your favorite items will be around for you to enjoy for many years to come. Happy washing!
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