Keeping Your Home Super Clean

Handy Tips for Getting Your Clothes Clean and Looking Their Best

by Jordan Horton

The way you launder your clothes will greatly affect how they look, and how long they last before they need mending or outright replacement. Just tossing all your clothes into the washing machine without worrying about the right way to care for certain materials and garments and without worrying about detergent, water temperature and other such details is a good way to actually ruin your entire wardrobe! Note a few handy tips for getting your clothes clean and for making them look their best, while also protecting them from damage.

White clothes

Never wash white clothes in cold water, as this does very little to remove dirt and other residue that can dull the colour, so your white clothes may then look grey and ashen. Instead, use hot water and add some white vinegar, baking soda, or even lemon juice to the wash, as these substances will help to bleach those white fabrics without causing damage.

Black clothes

Never wash black clothes in warm or hot water, as this will strip out the colour and cause these pieces to fade. Always use cold water and a detergent meant for cold water when cleaning black clothes, as other detergents may not break down properly in cooler water, and your black clothes may come out of the machine with a detergent residue. To restore the black colour of any piece that has faded, add some brewed black coffee or black tea to the machine's rinse cycle. Be sure to wipe down the inside of the tub of the machine before you use it again!

Fluffy clothes

If you have blankets, towels, jackets and other such pieces that should be fluffy but which are now flat and dull, put a tennis ball or two into the dryer with them. The pressure from the tennis balls will cause the material to fluff up, and your blankets and jackets should be soft and full once they're dry.

Dry clean only

Never ignore a label on a garment that says 'dry clean only'. These types of clothes shouldn't even be washed by hand, as standard laundry detergents can cause them to fade, shrink, or otherwise get damaged. Washing these items by hand can also pull and tug on fabrics, so that the garment gets stretched out of shape. Accessories on an outfit, such as buttons, snaps, fringe, lace and other such pieces can also be damaged, even by gentle hand washing. To protect your garments, always take them to a dry cleaning service if that's the instruction on the garment label.