Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Care of Clothing

Call me crazy, but I love laundry. It is my favorite chore and proves very soothing. I'm obsessed with clean smelling laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Currently, my two loves are for UP and UP Lavender Laundry Detergent (Target Brand) and UP and UP dryer sheets in Clean Linen. I love these two scents so very much because they make my clothes smell heavenly. Is there really anything better than inexpensive items that work the best? Maybe one thing, people complementing me on my new shirt when it is really something I've owned since 9th grade. So, let's get to the point and talk laundry.
I try my very hardest to keep my clothes as pristine as they were the day I bought them. A couple of nights ago, I scored this Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day book at TJ MAXX for $3.99. I LOVE this brand of cleaning products. They smell HEAVENLY, aren't overpriced, and usually have $1.00 off coupons on each bottle. My favorite product is the Lemon Verbena hand soap. It retails $3.99 and has a $1.00 coupon. Back on topic, I have really enjoyed reading this little book so far. It makes several great points on cleaning clothes and some that I have been following before this book ever came on my radar screen. In case you have questions, here is a little list (WHOOHOO FOR LISTS) of my own personal suggestions and favorites from this book.
1.) Know your common clothing fabrics:
(Ok, I'm a fabric snob. I prefer natural ones, but shop as you wish! Just review these to find your favorites.)
a.) Rayon-Rayon is not a natural fabric. It is made of cellulose. Most times, it does care well in cold water and a low heat dryer. It drapes well on a variety of shapes and sizes. However, it can sometimes lose its shape with bad laundering. These days, it seems like everything I see is made from Rayon. Of course it is, because it isn't that expensive to produce. Be wary of 100% Rayon. If I buy it, I try to buy a blend.
b.) Polyester-Ok, I just don't like this fabric. It doesn't breathe whatsoever. I'm already hot-natured and I don't need a fabric that makes me want to faint. Polyester is also another one of those synthetics. If you're cold natured, it is the fabric for you. It may lasts for a thousand years, but I really don't want to go there when it comes to knowing how my uncle's suit from the 70's still looks brand new on my 2011 boyfriend dressed as Sonny for our Halloween get-up. Some things are best left undiscussed. Polyester is sometimes washed, sometimes dry cleaned. Look on your care labels.
c.) Cotton-Ahhh...nothing but sweet fields of white perfection come to mind. I love me some cotton, y'all. I'm a southern girl and I want to be able to fathom where my clothes come from. Cotton is the ultimate comfort, my wardrobe staple, and extremely easy to care. Cold water and cotton go together like two peas in a pod. Want your cotton a little smaller? Try medium dryer heat and warm water. It really is the fabric of my life.
d.) Silk-Silk is the luxury fabric. It comes from tiny worms that spin the silk fibers together. It is really a fascinating process. YouTube videos about it if you are curious. Silk is dry clean only, or instructed to be. You can carefully use mild detergent to HAND wash it, but be careful and think before you go there. Mrs. Meyer's recommends swirling it around a few good times, wrapping it in a towel and then hanging it carefully to dry. Look for it on sale, it will look classic for many years to come!
e.) Wool-I love sheep. They are one of my favorite animals. We used to have some and they were the cutest! Usually, merino wool can be washed in the washer because it is more shaved than 100% wool. For that, dry cleaning is best. You don't want your wool items stretching out, and washing/drying will do it!
f.) Modal-Modal is a cellulose from beech trees. It is extremely soft, but sometimes pills. It is washed in the washer and dried on low.
g.) Corduroy-I love it. Wash it on cold and hang out to dry to prevent wrinkles in the fine lines. Most often, it is another form of cotton that is perfect for the winter.
h.) Linen- I have the same love for linen that I do of corduroy in the fall. It is cotton, so refer back to it if you missed how obsessed I am over it. Never put linen in the dryer. Always iron it with starch, and dry clean it if need be.
2.) The Washer and Dryer and Hang It Up Rack:
I ALWAYS wash clothes in cold water and ALWAYS dry them on low. I hardly ever dry any clothing item. Yes, I did say above that you could dry, but I don't. I'm just picky like that. For example, if you have a pair of jeans that are brand new, you need to turn them inside out when you wash them. You don't need to put them in the dryer except on low because higher heat will shrink those babies in no time. Most cotton jeans have a partial blend of spandex, which will shrink with continued heat exposure. To really keep your clothes looking bright, remember these little slogans I made up for you because you are so fabulous, "Cold water makes you look Hotter," and "No dryer means I'll look flyer." Man, I am just too good.
3.) Pull out that iron, it's time to get busy:
Ironing isn't my favorite thing in the world, but when I get in the mood to get it done, I will iron for days. ALWAYS iron your clothes inside out just in case your iron leaks with tinted water. Also, ironing on the inside of clothes will ensure that no marks come out on the visible part of your garments. (Rowenta is the iron brand that I swear by-it is a little more pricey but SO worth it-sometimes they have them at TJ Maxx/Amazon and I will NEVER buy another iron than this brand-AMAZING!)
4.) Fold your clothing:
Nothing is worse than what I call a hanger horn. Those pesky little bumps that form on your clothes when they've been in the closet too long. I try to fold everything I can. I NEVER hang up sweaters, cotton tees, or cardigans of any sort. If you do put something on the hanger and it starts to form one of these, it is a good idea to take it off and fold it across the hanger. This will help your clothes keep their shape and avoid pulls/holes.
5.) Lavender or cedar, take your pick:
Nobody wants moths eating through their wardrobe staples. Mrs. Meyer's recommends using either one of these scents to keep pests away. I'm already obsessed with lavender, so no problem for me! Combined with my favorite detergent I spoke of, it's a lavender paradise in my closet!
6.) Make dry cleaning worthwhile:
I love the service of dry cleaners, but I don't always like the harsh chemical smell that comes along with them. In the colder months, I try to wear a dry clean only item three to six times before I have it dry clean. That being said, I ALWAYS sanitize it each time before I wear it again. I turn the garment inside out and steam it with my iron. Steam is hot enough to kill bacteria and it is the same thing that is done at the dry cleaners just without harsh chemicals.
7.) NEVER put bras in the dryer:
This one is simply stated. You will ruin bras of all types with dryer heat and movement. Unless they are 100% cotton bandeaus, DO NOT DO IT! You've already spent enough on them anyway!
8.) Sanitize the washer with vinegar.
Mrs Meyer's recommends doing this once a month to prevent mold, mildew, and dirt from forming where your clothes are getting cleaned. Pour a few tablespoons of white vinegar into the washer and run through a hot cycle to clean.
9.) Light colors with light colors and dark colors with dark colors.
No cheating!
10.) Try not to mix towels in laundry baskets with clothes or with clothes in the washer. Towels are often soiled when put into laundry baskets. If they begin to smell before you have time to wash them, so will your clothes. They can bleed onto clothing and of course, ruin them. If you do mix towels together in either way, try to at least have them hanging dry before you put them in the hamper.

Any other concerns or advice? Write me a comment! Happy Wednesday!


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