Caring for your laundry
Doing the laundry is pretty unavoidable, especially if you have little ones (AND big ones!) in the house. You can not only save money and energy by washing your clothes properly – but it also keeps your clothes in better condition, so they last longer – and you don’t have to replace them as often.
The little symbols on your clothing labels aren’t just there for decoration – they can actually help you figure out exactly what kind of care your garments require and how to get the best out of them. Which is better for you in the long run.
Here’s a handy guide to the commonly found washing instructions
If you can, hang your clothes up to dry outside or in a warm or sunny room, this is better for the environment and your clothes. In winter you can also hang them close to an operating heater – which is a great way to warm your house and dry your clothes. However sometimes you can’t avoid using the dryer, so if you do, be sure to check your garments label before putting them in the dryer – many clothes can’t go in the tumble dryer, as they may shrink or even partially melt! Here’s a guide to the most commonly used drying instructions.
- Don’t overload your washing machine as this wears it out more quickly and clothes need to move freely to be cleaned efficiently (you can find other tips like this in the Ecoman book). Packing your washing machine too full can damage your clothes as well.
- If your clothes say “hand wash” you can gently wash your garment in a bucket, or the sink. Laundry liquid comes in handy for this as it dissolves a little better than laundry powder. Simply add a small amount in to your sink in warm/cool water and then add your garments. You could also try using a laundry bag, and the gentle cycle on your machine.
- If the instructions read dry flat, you can lay your garment out carefully to dry so it doesn’t lose its shape. You can try laying it on a towel on top of your washing machine, or across a clothes rack.
- Always read the label before you buy new clothes, to make sure you are happy with the washing care required – if you don’t have time to handwash or don’t want to dry clean garments, then you can make the choice to steer clear of these!
Got some tips of your own to share? We’d love to hear them!