Your clothes work hard for you, especially those high rotation favorites. Regular wear and tear, weekly trips through the wash, plus a tumble in the dryer all take their toll on fabrics. Here are 8 surefire ways to save your faves from looking like faves.
1) Always follow the labels, always
You know that itchy care label sewn to the inside of your new favorite sweater? Before removing it, commit this info to memory. These labels provide consumers with the basic information required to care for their clothes. Heed the manufacturer's warnings and you'll get more wears out of your favorite items. Not up on the latest laundry symbols? Click here for a printable PDF.
2) If machine washing, set to the gentlest cycle
Washing machines use water, detergent and agitation (i.e.: friction) to remove dirt, stains and odors from textiles. Friction is a major contributor to pilling; by setting your machine to the gentlest cycle, you'll expose your garments to less friction with every wash. As a result, you can keep pills at bay for even longer.
3) Use a mild detergent
Regular laundry detergents can contain chemicals that harm delicate fibers (not to mention your health). Opt for a green, all natural liquid wash that's safe for all of your laundry.
4) Cold water wash
Washing your garments in cold water, is not only effective at lifting dirt and stains, it's safer for your clothes. It's also safer for the environment, reducing the energy required for each load by up to 90%.
5) Wash your garments separately
This one's a biggie. Not only should you sort your laundry by color, but also by type. For example, wash stretchy knits with other knits; wash towels with other towels. NEVER combine the two or you run the risk of creating a pilly catastrophe. Similarly, wash fleece-lined sweatshirts separately; these garments shed and they can permanently embed themselves into other textiles.
6) Turn garments inside out
Turning garments inside out before washing not only reduces friction (and therefore pilling), it also helps to prevent color fading, especially for darker items.
7) Use a shorter wash time
The less time your clothes spend in the machine, the better. Consider how soiled the load is and select the shortest time setting possible to effectively clean it. This is especially true for knits and permanent press items.
8) Skip the dryer
Dryers are fast and convenient but this high heat and high friction environment is not suitable for all garments. Save dryer use for pajamas, sheets or towels and skip them altogether when it comes to knits. To cut down on dryer time and amplify softness, try our Dryer Dots Wool Dryer Balls, a natural fabric softener. Avoid both dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners; the chemical residues that they leave behind can affect the longevity and performance of your fabrics.