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House Cleaning Blog

How to Safely Wash Delicate Fabrics

  Montanna Lussier  |    21 June 2019  |    Laundry Room

Linen, Denim, and Silk: Take Care, Extend Your Wear!

Laundry day: the dreaded chore at the end of the week. You have to spend endless hours sorting your clothing into all these different piles, just to make sure that your white socks don't suddenly turn pink two hours later. However, most people don't think about sorting by fabric type. Denim, spandex, cotton, linen, silk, and sisal are all very different fabrics. Surprisingly, each fabric requires different cleaning processes in order to keep their unique texture and shape. It's hard to keep up with each fiber's specific care requirements, so we've put together a quick guide on how to handle your fabrics safely and efficiently.

Canva - Rolls of natural linen cloth

Denim is a particular fabric when it comes to washing. If you're cleaning your jeans for the first time, an effective method is to turn them inside out before placing them in the washing machine so that they don't fade as quickly. Use cold water, and in order to upkeep the richness of the indigo dye, it's best to use a detergent that's designed for color preservation purposes. If you are dealing with raw or unsanforized denim, it is best to remove them from your washer before they go through the spin cycle. The spin cycle can cause the natural indigo dye to run or create marks on the denim that look like streaks. If you are washing a pair of raw denim jeans for the first time, pull them out before the spin cycle and then hang them up to air dry. We recommend checking out this exhaustive guide that details the steps of taking care of your raw denim, written by Brave Star Selvedge.

Spandex needs to be hand washed in order to retain its flexibility and shape. The water should be cool or lukewarm, paired with a mild detergent to clean the material. The spandex clothing should be handled gently when washing and placed out to air dry when done.

Cotton clothing can be dealt with a little more freely. The one important thing to remember is that heat can shrink cotton easily, so use cold water and dry the clothes on a low-heat setting. However, if you want to be 100% safe, then go ahead and line dry them.

Linen clothes are weak when wet, so they need to be handled with caution. Like any clothing, you can always hand wash them to be on the safe side. If you would prefer not to, then putting them in the washing machine is perfectly fine. Just make sure it's on a gentle cycle with cold water, and you'll be good to go. Do not put linen clothing in your dryer; instead, hang dry to prolong the life of the fibers while simultaneously preventing the inevitable wrinkles that come along with linen. To ensure a longer lifespan, it helps to turn your linens inside out before they get washed. Be mindful of dyed linen clothing when washing it for the first time. Dye tends to wash out of linen easily, so make sure to wash it with like colors as it has a tendency to bleed onto other clothing.

Silk needs to be carefully dealt with. Ideally, the clothing should be placed in a mesh bag and your washing machine should be set to "delicates". It's important not to use a chlorine bleach with silk, since it could damage the fibers. Once they have been gently washed, the clothes need to be hung out to dry and not placed in the dryer, as this could easily stretch or shrink your silk clothes.

Sisal rugs require a dry cleaning process, and should not interact with any wet detergents or soaps. They should be vacuumed regularly to ensure a prolonged lifespan. If you spill a liquid on the rug, use dry paper towels and dab the spot, working inwards from the outside. Use special dry cleaning kits to take care of any stain left over, and let it sit until the affected area is fully dry.

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