You don't always have the opportunity to spend time caring for your clothes. And because you want to give them a longer life while respecting the environment, here are some practical tips that you can apply today to make your life easier every day. The trick is to focus on the three essential steps: proper washing, simplified drying, effective steaming. As far as products are concerned, there is no need to break the bank in environmentally unfriendly and expensive products, all you will need is detergent (organic), white vinegar and baking soda.
Wash your washing machine regularly
... No more laundry smelling of moisture when you take it out of the machine. That’s right, start with the basics, washing your laundry in a clean, disinfected washing machine. To achieve this, pour half a bottle of white vinegar into the laundry tray and the rest of the bottle directly into the drum. Then start a washing cycle at 60 or 80 degrees. (If possible at night to save on energy costs). You can do this once a month. And don't forget to drain your machine every 3 months while cleaning the filter. End with wiping the seal where dust regularly settles.
Bright whites, soft, fresh linen
... Gone are the "grey" whites, faded colors and that cardboard effect.
Start with the assumption that a garment has a given lifespan. However, you can actually prolong it with certain actions easy to implement. With each wash, separate the whites from the rest of the colors. This may seem obvious, but because we often lack time, there is often the temptation not to do it. To bring out the brightness of your whites more effectively, pre-wash your white linen by soaking it the day before in cold water with your detergent and baking soda. (About 180g for a 4-liter bin). The next day, place your soaked laundry directly into your machine and add 1 glass of white vinegar to your laundry compartment, and start the wash.
For the remaining colors, if you have stained clothes, you can use the same pre-washing ritual as for whites. As concerns everyday laundry, you can use your machine at 30°C maximum to avoid pilling and felting. In addition to the detergent, add half a glass of white vinegar for each wash in the detergent compartment. This will prevent color fading and give softness to your laundry. No need for a softener! My little tip is to add 3 drops of essential oil of lavender into the white vinegar to give it a natural fragrance.
Drying your clothes well for the best steaming
The drying stage plays a crucial role in saving time. The idea is to stretch and pull your laundry as soon as it is taken out of the machine. This will enable you to store it directly in your closet, once dry. So all you will have to do then is remove the wrinkles from your clothes before getting dressed. (For delicate sweaters, see the section below).
Step 1: Decrease spin speed.
A bad idea is pushing the speed to 600 or 1000, thinking your clothes will dry faster. In fact, the best way for clothes to be relatively unwrinkled is to keep the spin at a maximum of 500 rpm. The laundry may be wetter coming out, but the fibers will be less damaged, and it will be easier to steam out the wrinkles.
Step 2: Smooth the folds by hand.
When you take your laundry out of the machine, start with the clothes, leave the underwear, socks... that you can place directly on the drying rack. Shake the clothes well when taking them out of the machine. Lay each piece down flat and stretch it by hand, and place them one on top of the other. Once the pile is finished, you can move on to the next step.
Step 3: Keep the original shape of the garment and steam out the wrinkles.
No more ironing, long live steaming for a ready-to-wear result...
The technique is for as many clothes as possible to be placed on hangers, and spacing them on the rack so that they dry more easily by letting the air through. Treat yourself to a clothes rack and a closet with more hanging space.
Hanging laundry dries faster while keeping its original shape. This means avoiding a lot of bending and ironing for hours, not to mention saving space. Once your garment is on a hanger, it is ready to be steamed in minutes using a steamer. Using a garment steamer is how you can quickly remove wrinkles from your clothing while caring for the fabrics. It will sublimate the details in your garments and make them softer, adapting to any type of clothing and fabrics.
My tip is to wait a few minutes before placing your steamed garment in your closet. It will finish taking on its final shape and will have less chance of becoming wrinkled in your closet.
Lastly, to properly place tops on a hanger (T-shirts, top, shirt-dress, tunic...), the technique is to align the garment using the seams at the top, which will enable the garment to dry without deformation. For bottoms, like skirts and trousers... use a hanger with clips.
Don't forget to button all the buttons and close the zippers to maintain the garment’s original shape.
It will be important to pay special attention to all your pretty sweaters, sweater dresses, vests ... that require a different treatment at each stage. Have no fear, it's still very easy. Here are my tips for keeping your wool longer. In my experience, all wools can be washed in cold water. Turn them inside out, use a baby shampoo for detergent, and dry on a wool program and dry them flat (never on a hanger) over a bath towel. You will be able to get a washing result that will be gentle with the material. Last point, you can use the steamer to remove the wrinkles and soften the fibers. Make it a habit to fold them inside out before putting them in your closet, you can use a wash net to protect from rubbing against the rest of your clothes in the closet. But don't forget, wool naturally pills, so that you can keep it longer by limiting the pilling, but you cannot prevent it.
My last tip is to recommend, in general, that you wash your clothes less often. Especially clothes in which we don’t perspire very much, because they are worn over layers or have little contact with the skin ... For instance, we can wear a T-shirt two or three times without it being considered dirty. The benefit, if you have a steamer, is to take advantage of the properties of the hot steam that removes the wrinkles from your garment, refreshes it, disinfects it and restores its luster.
It's great for saving time, caring for your clothes and it’s good for the planet.
Now it’s up to you!