It amazes me how rarely fashion bloggers talk about doing laundry. It may not be a very glamorous task, but after all, it is one of the most important aspects of clothing! And it’s something I consider a lot when shopping for new pieces—How is this garment washed? Does it have to be dry cleaned? If the answer to the latter question is yes, I almost always leave the piece behind, both because of the hassle of dry cleaning and the increased cost per wear. My point is, the laundering process matters, and how you’re washing your clothes can make a big difference in their longevity. That’s why I’m sharing a few tips and tricks I’ve discovered over the years to make your next laundry day a little easier.
1. Read the Labels.
First and foremost, you should always be reading the care labels before washing your clothing to ensure you’re taking care of the fabric properly. It’s helpful to print off a chart and hang it in your laundry room so you can remember what the different symbols mean. While some of the laundering directions are more crucial than others, don’t be surprised or disappointed if an item shrinks after not following the directions. Those instructions are there for a reason!
2. Wash (Almost) Everything on Cold.
I wash everything in my closet on the cold/cold cycle. Not only does this save energy, but it reduces the likelihood of shrinking your clothes (because yes, hot water can shrink your clothes just as much as the hot air in a dryer can). Sometimes, a laundering label will say to wash a garment on warm/cold, in which case you should probably follow the instructions (read tip number one!!!). But if you’re ever in doubt, remember that it’s safest to wash something entirely in cold water than the other way around.
3. Hang Dry More Than Just Your Delicates.
Aside from towels, pajamas, and athletic clothes, I air dry everything in my closet. That includes blouses, fashion shorts, jeans, dresses, etc. Hang drying your clothing reduces energy usage, and it also saves your garments from the harsh cycle of being swirled around in a drying machine. Plus, the heat of a dryer makes it far more likely that your clothing will shrink. You might be surprised by how many garments actually call for hang drying on the label! Of course, air drying is more of a hassle because it takes twice (or more like three times) as long as a machine. It also requires planning ahead to ensure the item you want to wear is dry by the time you want to wear it. But, if you are in a time crunch and need to dry something asap, I recommend putting the drying machine on the tumble cycle with the lowest temperature possible to reduce the likelihood of shrinkage/damage.
4. If You Run Out of Drying Space, Use a Shower Rod.
Obviously, air drying your clothing also requires a lot of space. I use a drying rack like this one, but if you run out of space on a rack or in the laundry room, you can put clothing on hangers and hang them on the shower rod in your bathroom instead. My grandma taught me this trick and it’s genius!
As a side note, I have been using this Gain Original Detergent for years. It works well enough, but I will say that my clothes don’t have a noticeable fresh scent when I’m done washing them. The clothes don’t smell bad, either—there’s just a lack of odor altogether. I also use this Shout Stain Remover spray whenever I spill something on my clothes and would highly recommend it! I haven’t noticed any permanent stains since I’ve started using this product (and as unpleasant as it is, it even gets out stains if you have an ‘accident’ during that time of the month—we’ve all been there).
5. Use the Shower to Steam Your Clothing.
One of my favorite tricks for getting wrinkles out of clothing is to hang the item in my bathroom as I take a shower. The steam of the shower itself works just like a steamer would! Okay, maybe not just like it since a shower is a lot less precise, but this is a great trick if you’re in a rush in the morning and don’t have time to properly steam/iron a garment.
6. Whatever You Do, Do NOT Use Tide Pods.
I am not particularly loyal to one brand of detergent over another, but I absolutely would not recommend using pods to do your laundry. Yes, they seem super convenient and mess-free, especially while in college, but I have had so many clothing items ruined by these! I think it is a combination of the speed of the cycle and the amount of laundry in the load, but these pods will stain your clothing if they don’t dissolve correctly. I find it much easier and safer to use regular detergent and just pour as needed, depending on the size of the load (and always erring on the side of less detergent). Using less detergent is especially important when washing loads that are only half-full, like your whites!
What laundry tips have you acquired over the years?? Share them below! I would love to hear them. I will say that the one downside of air drying your clothes is that they can sometimes end up more static-y than they would have with a dryer sheet in the machine. But whattya gonna do?
Also, I realized that I have been totally slacking with the linkup lately. I completely forgot to share it last week, so I’m sorry to leave ya’ all hanging. Be sure to link up all your most recent posts below this week and I will leave a comment!
I have been really out of my routine when it comes to blogging lately, and to be honest, I feel a little burnt-out. I have felt so uninspired, unmotivated, and disappointed in my content recently that it makes me want to not create anything at all. I’m hoping that once I go home next week and have a change of scenery that things will feel better… But we’ll see. Let me know if you’ve ever struggled with this in the past and what you did to overcome it.
As always, thanks for stopping by!