How To Clean Different Fabrics
If you’ve ever fallen victim to ruining your clothes or soft interiors from throwing everything into a wash and hoping for the best, you’ll want to read this post. We know that understanding how exactly you should wash, clean and care for each fabric isn’t the most exciting topic of conversation, but, it’s worth knowing. Even if you’ve tried and failed, we don’t blame you. We’ve all looked at tags before wondering what exactly is viscose, gore-tex and linen, without even thinking about how to care for them properly.
As always, we’re on hand to help you out with our complete guide to cleaning different fabrics. We’ll take you alphabetically through the most common types of fabric, from cotton to wool so that you can take care of your fabrics correctly.
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that you should also check the label before washing, at the very least they will tell you the temperature you should be washing your fabrics at.
As the world’s favorite natural fiber, it’s likely you’ll come across cotton a lot. From bed sheets to V-neck T-shirts, it’s the standard-bearer of a lot of clothing and household essentials. Thanks to its low cost, ease of manufacturing and durability, it’s no surprise that it’s so common all around the world. Generally speaking, cotton items are machine washable and dryable. To care for your cotton correctly, be sure to match the right water temperature to its color. As a general rule of thumb, you can wash white cotton in hot water and colored cotton in warm or cool water. When it comes to drying, be sure to not to over-dry your items because cotton can be susceptible to shrinking.
You might be surprised to read that denim is commonly made from cotton or a blend of cotton with additional fibre. With denim such as je0ans and denim jackets, there is no need to wash them after every wear. Most denim can be washed on a cold wash in your machine. However, a lot of people don’t like to wash their jeans, some people will even go as long as six months without washing them. If you’re keen on preserving the denim in your favourite pair of vintage jeans, you can freeze them to rid them of any smells and keep their shape.
For best results when washing your Gore-Tex garments, a simple home wash on low heat with a small amount of liquid detergent is recommended. You can either dry it on a warm, gentle cycle or on the line before ironing on a warm setting without steam, ensuring you place a cloth between the garment and your iron. Gore-tex strongly advises against dry cleaning and bleaching for your garments.
If your leather jacket has been washed in years, we’re not judging you. Let’s face it, they aren’t exactly easy to wash, and you certainly don’t want to be throwing leather into a washing machine. To care for leather effectively, it’s important that you give them a good brushing with a soft headed brush from time to time. Leather can be vulnerable to dehydration and dirt, so a gentle brush and a wipe down with warm water as and when is a good way to keep it clean. If you’re in need of a deeper clean for your leather, it’s best to leave it to a professional to avoid any lasting damage.
Linen is a material that is particularly good in the summer thanks to its lightweight nature and breathability. Although some labels on your linen items may insist on only dry cleaning, a lot of linen can be washed at home providing you do so with care. When you’re washing linen, be sure that you don’t overcrowd your machine and use a cold wash. In order to keep your linen crease free, you should turn the garment inside out and use a hot iron on a steam setting for the best results.
Made from one of the most common polymers in the world, nylon is a synthetic plastic-based fabric. If your underwear isn’t cotton, it will more than likely be nylon. As with the majority of synthetic fabrics, taking care of nylon is relatively straight forward. This rugged fabric is machine-washable in either warm or cold water. Once you’ve washed them, simply dry on low heat or hang out on the line to avoid any wrinkling.
Much the same as nylon, polyester is a synthetic fabric, often derived from recycled plastic bottles. Although it might not be as durable as nylon, it’s still strong enough to be washed in your machine. Opting for a warm wash cycle is best. For drying, you should use a low heat setting if possible or hang your garments on the line to dry.
Silk is one of the most luxurious fabrics on offer, and rightly so. There are very few fabrics that are able to match the fibre that is derived from silkworm cocoons, because of this, you need to give silk the due care and attention it deserves. If the label on your silk garment or soft interior item instructs dry cleaning only, you should listen. If your silk item is a dark colour, you might be able to hand wash it at home with a gentle detergent before air drying it. However, with brightly coloured items, your best bet is to leave it to the professionals!
As one of the most sustainable fabrics on offer, wool is a staple around the world. Wool is a wonderful material for sweaters, socks and chunky blankets alike. As with denim, there is no need to wash wool outwear after each wear. When the time does come to take on a wool wash, you should use a delicate or wool cycle on your washing machine if you have one. Be sure to use a gentle detergent whether you are machine or hand washing and ensure that you air out any clothing properly before putting it away.
Be sure to bookmark this page so that you can easily refer back to our no-fuss guide on cleaning your fabrics.