Once we've invested in a timeless piece, we want that item to last us through the years. Be it your everyday T-shirt collection or favorite pairs of jeans, these staple pieces deserve to stay in tip-top shape so you can lean on them for a number of occasions and look forward to wearing them every time. The number one way of extending the life of your wardrobe is to properly care for each and every piece. For those that call for being washed in a machine instead of dropped off at the dry cleaner's, particular care and attention are essential. Below we've outlined a precise step-by-step of how to wash clothes so you can keep your brights bright, darks dark, and delicates looking brand new.
This story was originally published on August 15, 2013 and has since been updated by Dacy Knight.
Step One: Start filling the machine water.
Step Two: Once the machine is a third full of water, add detergent and/or bleach.
Step Three: When the detergent and bleach are completely dissolved in the water, add your clothes. The maximum load size is three-quarters full.
1. Regular or “normal” combines fast agitation with a fast spin cycle and is good for heavily stained items, cottons, linen, denim, towels, and bedding.
2. Permanent Press combines fast agitation with a slow spin and is good for synthetic fibers (knits and polyesters) and prevents wrinkling.
3. Delicate cycle combines slow agitation with a slow spin and is good for washable silks and wools, garments with embellishments, lingerie, and sheer fabrics.
1. Regular (high heat) setting is good for whites, jeans, towels, sheets, linens, and items that are pre-shrunk. Do not use this setting with clothing washed in hot water.
2. Permanent Press (medium heat) setting prevents colored garments from fading and ensures your clothes do not wrinkle or lose their shape. Do not use this setting for delicates because they will lose their shape.
3. Delicate (low heat) setting uses a slower speed to gently dry fragile clothing and is good for knits and frail fabrics.
Hang drying is the best method for sturdy items, cottons, polyesters, silks, and fabrics that do not stretch. A good tip is to pin your tops by the hemline to avoid bunching at the shoulders. Knits and wool sweaters should be dried on a flat surface.