There has been a lot of talk lately about the longevity of clothing. Be it luxury fast fashion or storied luxury brands, there are plenty of examples of garments falling apart well before the owner expected. Not everyone is looking to totally refresh their wardrobe every season, after all.
Some prefer to make savvy investments in clothing that lasts. Others go with style above all but still hope that certain favorites can be worn more than a handful of times. And sustainability is a concern, as well. With all that in mind, here are four tips to help keep your favorite pieces of clothing in great shape!
Follow the correct order for washing synthetics
Polyester is a common material even on the luxury end of fast fashion. There are other common synthetic materials, like nylon, lycra and rayon, which should be handled similarly. Try the following steps, in the given order, to slow the natural deterioration of synthetic fabrics:
- Use a polyester-safe stain remover on unwashed clothing as needed.
- Soak the garment in water and vinegar, no warmer than room temperature.
- Machine wash at a cool temperature.
- Tumble dry at a medium temperature, or air dry — more on that in a moment.
Avoid the dryer whenever possible
Dryers are incredibly convenient, but that convenience comes at a cost. The tumbling mechanism heavily stresses all materials. And even moderate heat exposure can cause clothes to rapidly change in shape.
It’s not just silks and cashmere that should stay out of the dryer, either. All clothes see shorter lifespans from repeated exposure to home dryers. The average household dryer is likely handling a good amount of denim, for example, and coming out seemingly fine.
But denim, resilient as it is overall, takes on immense damage at the fiber level every single cycle. Your favorite jeans will maintain their structural integrity far longer by washing it inside-out, and letting it air dry.
Know which clothing to hand wash
Delicate items, especially those with zippers or clasps (think lingerie), are prone to coming apart after repeated wash cycles. Activewear clothing that needs to keep its shape and maintain moisture wicking performance are also worth washing by hand.
While hand washing can be time consuming compared to opting for a laundry service, it can vastly extend the life of all clothing. Try the following steps:
- Fill a wash basin with room temperature water and your preferred detergent.
- Scrub clothing by hand.
- Allow clothes to soak in the basin for 30 minutes.
- Rinse the soaked garments by hand until they stop producing soapy water.
- Press the water out of the material.
- Use your preferred drying method.
Dry cleaning is far less harsh on clothing
Most people associate dry cleaning with formal wear, due to the sensitive, high-end materials involved. But day-to-day clothing, even activewear, benefits greatly as well. Especially if a modern, eco-friendly silicone-based solvent is used instead of the older petrochemical-based dry cleaning solutions.
The gentleness of dry cleaning allows for thorough cleaning without the stress of traditional hand washing. And it certainly avoids the fabric-pulling heavy damage associated with a home dryer.
A top-tier dry cleaning service will also take drying a step further than home air drying. The mannequin drying method allows freshly dry cleaned clothes to air dry while maintaining their shape. Rather than allowing gravity to pull fibers in unnatural directions, the mannequin essentially “trains” clothing to keep a more functional shape.
Keep your clothing looking great with help from OXXO
Interested in a reliable laundry service to extend the life of your clothing, while saving valuable time from your day? Don’t hesitate to contact us at OXXO Cleaners That Care at your convenience.