How often you should be washing your jeans, towels and bras
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oftenWhile there will forever be a trove of new-season collectables to lust over (read: tiny handbags), we’ll always have our favourite pieces. Those magical pair of leg-lengthening high-risers, that whimsical lace bralette, those crisp white bed sheets; they’re our sartorial and homeware heroes. But, with regular wear and constant use, our favourite pieces can reach their best-before dates before we’re ready to part ways. Keep your mains in high-rotation with a little TLC, and these when-to-wash tips.
Whether it’s your J Brand faded flares or your Levi 501 Skinnys, washing your jeans can be risky business. Most of us fall into one of two categories: you’re either pro the denim wash (and dryer) time or you’re anti-washing your denim altogether.
It turns out the best wash solution lies somewhere in between. Avoid washing your jeans after every use. Most detergents are loaded with optical brighteners which, overtime, will alter the colour of your denim. Thanks to new stretch technology there’s less reason to ‘re-shape’ your jeans by washing them. Aim for washing your jeans every fourth to fifth wear, storing your denim in aerated spaces—and always wash denim separately to other fabrics and in a cold wash.
According to the law of the laundry, you should be washing your bedding every second week, upping to a weekly wash in summer when sticky sheets call for it. Feeling lazy? Just remember that body oil, dead skin and dust mites form an invisible layer of grit on sheets—joy—so don’t be tempted to leave it much longer.
Don’t be afraid of ruining your designer sheets by washing them regularly. Linen and Egyptian cotton become softer and more luminous the more they’re washed. Temperature-wise, it’s best to use a cold or warm wash, not boiling, or one of your machine’s fabric-specified cycles.
Avoid overloading your washer. While it’s tempting to shove your entire linen set into the one load, sheets are bulky and need room to ensure a thorough clean. It needn’t be a full day process if you have the right machine.
While there’s no shame in re-wearing a bra between washes, there is a limit. Taking into consideration how active you are while wearing the bra (are you brunching or hitting a barre class?), you should be aiming to wash it every two to three wears.
Avoid using hot water when washing your intimates. Heat can deteriorate the stretch component used in lace and minimise the lifespan of your pieces. Instead, use a gentle cold wash with a mild or lingerie-purposed detergent. Always place your bras in a zipped mesh laundry bag to avoid your bra straps, hooks and embellishments being torn by other wash items. To further prevent damage, only wash your delicates with other soft items and avoid bulkier loads with jeans, sweaters or towels.
Knits are a winter wardrobe staple, but they’re also one of the hardest items to care for. The golden rule for knitwear is less is more when it comes to washing.
While many labels will refer you to the dry cleaner, most knits are actually okay to be hand-washed, or machine-washed in newer models with specific wool-care certification. Always use cold water and avoid over-wringing, drying flat to ensure they keep its shape.
PRO TIP: Always store your knits in an airy space to avoid pillage. If you need to hang your sweater, carefully fold your knit and drape, rather than hang, onto a padded coat hanger. Avoid shoving into overcrowded drawers or using metal hangers.
Rule number one: just because your towel is dry, doesn’t mean it’s clean. While it’s easy to reach out for yesterday’s towel when you’re rushing to get out the door, you should be trading towels every third wash. Microbes spread like wildfire on damp towels and are to blame for that ugly odour your towel develops after a week in the bottom of the wash basket–we all know it.
Always wash new towels prior to their first use as towels often have a silicone finish which a primary wash will remove. Separate your whites and colours while you’re at it, and keep three towels per load as a maximum. Use a gentle 40 degree wash and avoid dry cleaning as detergents may be too harsh.
PRO TIP: Skip the fabric softener or use it sparingly—only every third to fourth wash. The detergent’s waxy build-up can ruin your towel’s absorbency overtime. To keep your Missoni bath sheets looking their best, shake them out after removing from the washer, air-dry and avoid ironing.
From: ELLE AU