With the popularity of “fast fashion”, we buy trendy clothes at low prices, but often their quality is poor. Taking the time to choose fashionable and comfortable clothes, produced fairly and locally, enables us to keep them longer. Let’s encourage “slow fashion”! This also means taking care of our favourite pieces to keep them looking good and in good condition. To do so, Entraide diabétique du Québec explains 7 steps to take care of your clothes well:
- Read and understand the labels on each garment.
Labels sometimes look as if they were written in an unknown language—small hieroglyphics with a rather strange and unclear meaning. To help you demystify it all, consult the Guide to Apparel and Textile Care Symbols, which will help you with Step 2.
- Separate your clothes into different piles.
Then, to prevent colours from bleeding and your white shirt from turning pink (an important step!), separate your clothes by colour, and sort them according to their material and how dirty they are. This way, you will have smaller piles of clothes that can be cleaned with their like. This sorting will also help you see the condition of each garment, which will be useful for Step 3.
- Remove stains from each garment one by one, before washing.
Once all the clothes are sorted, use a good stain remover (safe for the fibres) and tackle the stains. If necessary, soak clothes with very stubborn stains for a few minutes—or even a few hours—before putting them in the machine. When in doubt, you can always get some ideas from Madame Chasse-taches!
- Zip up and turn certain fragile pieces inside out.
Jeans, shirts and t-shirts (especially those with prints) are sensitive to mechanical friction in the machine. Be sure to turn the more delicate garments inside out, to protect the fibres while preserving the colour of the garment. Also, pull up the zippers to prevent the little metal teeth from damaging the other garments.
- Don’t forget to empty the pockets.
Another important step in the laundry chore: empty the pockets! This small and simple step will help you save your clothes from possible stains or holes, or avoid putting electronic or other objects in the machine. Besides, some objects as ordinary as a bobby pin can damage your machine or even break it.
- Choose the right detergent and wash cycle.
The choice of your detergent is very important. It depends on the type of clothes you are cleaning and how sensitive your skin is. It’s also necessary to add the right amount of detergent according to the load capacity of your machine. No need to put more than that; your clothes won’t come out cleaner!
- Remove your clothes quickly and use the best drying method for them.
And lastly, to prevent your clothes from smelling damp, be sure to take them out of the washing machine once it is finished. Then shake out each garment and decide whether to put it in the dryer or let it air dry. Whether on a hanger, a rack or laid flat, this is the best method to preserve the condition of your clothes, although it takes the longest. A little patience is required, but your clothes will continue to look good throughout their useful life.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, these few steps are quite simple when you take the trouble to put them into practice. As a result, your clothes are much more likely to retain their original shape, colour and size and stay in good condition longer. For people who like to change their wardrobe frequently, remember that you can give your favourite pieces a second life. In fact, in its donation bins, Entraide diabétique du Québec accepts all clothing in good condition and organizes home pick-ups to facilitate donations.