Delicate Clothes are fragile fabrics that need special care and may be easily damaged by normal wear and tear or machine wash. Your embroidered clothes, lingerie, cashmere, hand-knitted, or crocheted fabrics are generally considered delicate fabrics. Delicate clothing is a staple is everyone’s wardrobe but more often than not- we treat them like our usual laundry and putting them in a normal cycle. Today on The Clean Slate, let’s understand how to take care of our delicates.
How often do you need to clean delicate clothes?
Delicate clothes must not be washed after every use. It can be washed after every wearing it for about 3 times. If we need to clean a delicate garment worn close to the skin, such as lingerie, it can be washed after wearing it 1-2 times. Read the labels on your clothes as some fabrics need special care and have instructions written on them to avoid any sort of damage to the fabric caused from hand washing or dry cleaning.
Some Fabric Materials that are considered Delicate
Hand Washing Delicates
Make sure the basin or the bucket used for washing clothes are spotlessly clean and then
fill the basin with cool or mild water as hot water can cause shrinkage. Use a mild detergent and always make sure to add the detergent in water before adding clothes and stir it well in order to make sure that the detergent or Laundry Liquid is properly dissolved in water. Allow the garment to soak for at least 5 minutes and swirl the laundry a few times. Make sure not to twist or scrub the fabric as it could stretch the fabric
Separate the colours
Sort the clothes by color and fabric type before washing in order to avoid the risk of bleeding of the darker color clothes and staining the lighter color clothes. Special attention must be given to white clothes. For delicate clothes and woolen clothes, it is also advisable to use a cloth softener like Koparo’s Fabric Conditioner as it keeps the fibers intact, thus making the fiber soft and smooth.
Removing the stains
Do not oversoak as soaking for an extended period can cause fading of the fabric color. To remove stains on delicate clothes, use a good quality Fabric Stain Remover. Wait for 10 minutes so the stain remover can soak into the fibers and then rub it gently with your finger. Fragile areas of the clothe need extra time and care. Drain the sink and now rinse the fabric in clean water again and again until no suds are seen as soap residue will gradually corrode the fibers. Do not use bleach on delicate clothes especially on white clothes as they can cause yellowing of the fabric over time. If possible, very delicate clothes like silk sarees, suits, blazers that are not worn frequently should be washed or cleaned at the dry cleaners.
Washing delicate clothes in a washing machine
- Select the right water temperature.
- Cold water works well for delicate fabrics and sensitive dark colors that tend to bleed.
- Sort the clothes based on color and fabric and also take extra precautions while washing clothes with zippers and other closures that they are securely fastened.
- Ensure to wash the clothes in small loads to reduce the risk of damage to the fabric or shape and it can easily prevent the garments from getting entangled during the spin cycle.
- Do not use too much detergent as overdosing detergent can create too many suds that will be difficult to remove.
It is better to use Laundry Liquid for washing clothes in the washing machine as it leaves no residue(as powders do) and dissolves completely in water. A fabric conditioner can also be added for softness and smoothness. Clothes that bleed colors must be washed separately to prevent colors from bleeding onto unsuspected fabrics. Select the gentle or delicate wash setting with cold water and make sure to choose your washing machine’s lowest spin cycle to avoid damage. For lingerie, it is preferred to wash them by hand in a sink filled with cool water in order to hold their shape and last longer.
Drying your delicate clothes
Do not dry by direct heat or avoid dryers as they can break down the fibers of the fabric since that can cause the garment to shrink. Lay your delicates flat on a clean, white towel in a shaded place to dry as drying them in direct sunlight can cause fading. Air dry on hangers in a well-ventilated room or in a balcony. Flip the garment over and let it completely air dry. Make sure that the hangers used are not rusted in order to avoid rust stains. For knitted items, reshape the garment before drying. Do not wring them to avoid excess moisture and also try not to hang damp clothing on surfaces that may warp or rust when wet, such as wood or metal.
Storing delicate clothes
Make sure that the clothes are not stuffed. Delicate fabrics need to be stored in dry, dust-free, and ventilated areas. Pins or other sharp objects must be removed prior to storage to avoid rust stains and pinholes. If possible, very delicate clothes like silk sarees, suits, blazers that are not worn frequently should be washed or cleaned at the dry cleaners before storing. Store garments that are clean as any sort of dirt or stains will damage the fiber at some point. While folding, roll or fold them around the white acid-free paper to minimize creases.
Hope this article helps you take care of your precious delicates during your spring cleaning spree! If you’re looking for a fabric softener & laundry range that is 100% natural and made with locally sourced ingredients from India, check out our range below: