Caring for Different Fabrics

Laundry isn’t exactly everyone’s go-to activity for a good time. And to make matters worse, there’s no universal way to handle the array of clothing fabrics out there. You can’t treat cotton the same way that you treat synthetic fabrics, and synthetic fabrics the same way you launder silk. Having to handle each piece differently definitely makes completing the chore even more of a— well, chore.


But unless you’re only wearing things once before replacing them with a new pieces (meaning you’re either Kim Kardashian or you’re in horrible debt) it’s a chore that has to be done. Fortunately however, with a few of these tips, you can make sure that some of your most common clothing fabrics are laundered property, helping them continue to look, feel, and even smell like new.


Silk and silk blends are commonly used for different pieces of lingerie. According to the Lingerie Guide from adameve, it’s usually best to have silk products dry cleaned, but if the thought of handing over your silky delicates to a stranger make you blush, dry cleaning probably isn’t your ideal scenario.

Instead, you can hand wash the items in a sink or basin with luke-warm water. Using delicate fabric soap, or lingerie soap (usually lingerie soap has a more mild formula) gently massage the pieces to rid them of dirt and oil. Rinse the pieces using cold water until the water runs clear, then hang them to dry. Never put silk in the dryer – it will shrink. For blouses, scarves, ties, and other, more tame attire however, you can always go back to dry cleaning.


When I started doing my own laundry in high school, I gain a new appreciation for cotton. As the laundry guide from Real Simple explains, most cotton pieces can be put into the washer, with normal laundry detergent. Wash them in a cold or warm water cycle and rinse them with cold for the best results.

While relatively easy to wash, cotton and cotton blends can be tricky to dry. It’s better to play it safe, and hang the pieces you don’t want to shrink—even cotton blends can shrink up on you when placed in the dryer. If you do decide to use your clothes dryer, opt for the air dry cycle or tumble dry on low.

Synthetic Blended Pieces

Of course, synthetic fabric blends like polyester and rayon are a whole different ballgame. For these pieces, stick to the instructions listed on the clothing tag. If you’re like most people, and have no idea what most of those symbols mean, you can use the symbols guide provided by Clorox to help you decipher them.

With the knowledge of our tips, and the symbols guide in your arsenal, your clothes will continue to hold their quality—which means you don’t have to buy new pieces to replace them nearly as often!

It doesn’t mean you can’t, of course… it just means you don’t have to….

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