It’s always annoying when we break something – especially when it’s an absolute favourite. Whether it’s a piece of clothing, a shoe or an accessory, we are particularly attached to individual pieces. Here are some tips on how to take care of your favorite pieces so that they stay beautiful for as long as possible.
As gently as possible: wash clothes properly
It is often not so much the wearing of the clothing that puts excessive strain on it, but rather the washing. Favorite items in particular end up very often in the washing machine, where they are spun and then dried in the sun. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for them to suffer small holes over time, for a seam to come loose, for the colors to fade or for the items of clothing to damage one another, for example through their zippers. But if you are particularly careful when washing, you can minimize these risks and, with a bit of luck, your favorite item will still look like new after many years. The following tips will help:
- Wash clothes as infrequently as possible
Admittedly, we are sometimes tempted to wash our favorite clothes often – way too often. Maybe they need to be fresh for a special occasion, maybe you’re washing that color anyway and there’s still room in the washing machine. But the more often a piece of clothing is washed, the faster it breaks. It therefore makes no sense to throw it in the washing machine without an emergency, and clothes do not have to be washed immediately after each use.
Instead, it’s worth exposing your favorite items to the rigors of the laundry as little as possible. They should therefore only be washed if they are actually dirty or have an unpleasant smell, for example because you have worn them for sports. A quick “checkup” to see if the item still smells good and is clean can prevent unnecessary washing and thus increase the lifespan of your clothes.
- Sort laundry by color and material
There’s another faux pas that we’ve all probably had when washing: One part has discolored the other and suddenly the once-white shirt comes out of the machine pink. Depending on the item of clothing , it can be difficult or even impossible to reverse such discolouration . It is therefore incredibly important to sort laundry by color. Because even at low temperatures, dark or colorful clothes can otherwise leave a “veil” on light-colored clothing, making them look faded or, in the worst case, even unwearable.
It is therefore advisable to at least separate light, dark and colored laundry from each other. In addition, only the same colors should go into the washing machine together, for example only red or yellow items of clothing together. In a household with several people, this is usually not a problem. But what if you don’t fill an entire machine with one color? In such cases, you can wash individual parts by hand or use a special short program for this. You can also leave clothes that you rarely wear anyway for a long time to collect more clothes of the same color.
But the material and the temperature at which you want to wash the clothes also play a role in sorting: Particularly sensitive materials such as wool are best cleaned on a gentle cycle and with a special detergent. You can also protect them with laundry nets. These are also ideal for bras or similar items that could damage other items of clothing with hooks and the like. Delicate clothes are also best washed cold or by hand. Machine washing at 30 to 40 degrees Celsius is sufficient for non-sensitive laundry that is not too heavily soiled.
Whenever hygiene plays an important role, for example with underwear, towels or bed linen, you should wash at 60 degrees Celsius. In the case of particularly stubborn stains or cleaning rags, the hot wash cycle at 90 degrees Celsius removes almost everything – and for the sake of the machine , this program should be selected at least sometimes.
- Take a look at the care instructions
At first it may seem overwhelming what you have to consider when doing laundry. But there is a simple solution, namely a look at the care instructions. These tell you whether the part can even be put in the washing machine and dryer – and at what temperature. If you take these care instructions into account and sort them by color, you really can’t go wrong. However, since there is only limited space on such a care label, the care instructions are designed as small symbols that you need to know in order to understand them. So it’s worth taking a look at them. In the future, you will always know which favorite items you can wash and how, so that you can enjoy them for a long time.
Extra tip: Detergent is not just detergent, some products contain bleach or optical brighteners. These are intended to make white laundry shine again and are therefore ideally suited for them – however, they can fade colored or dark laundry and thus make them look “old”. In most cases, products contain brighteners that are labeled as heavy-duty detergents. If the laundry is not white, it is therefore better to use a mild detergent or a special detergent for the respective materials, such as wool or sports detergent. Color detergent is also well suited for colored laundry, but does not offer 100 percent protection against discolouration. The right choice of detergent is therefore also important in addition to the basic rules for sorting etc. mentioned.