Fabric Wash Guide: How to Care for Your Clothes

Nothing lasts forever, but most things can last longer if you take care of them. Clothes are no exception. Washing your clothes correctly will increase their lifespan and save you a ton of money when compared to buying new ones. In fact, washing fabrics incorrectly is one of the biggest laundry mistakes people make. At Reno’s Appliance, we are laundry appliance experts and wanted to give you a fabric wash guide for these seven popular fabrics.

Acetate is man-made and is often found blended with other fibers to create beautiful, easy-to-drape clothing. However, acetate is also a weak fiber and can be easily damaged by twisting, wringing, or heat. Hand wash garments containing acetate fibers in cold water or use the gentle cycle of your washing machine. Allow acetate items to air dry and if ironing is needed, turn the garment inside out and use a low-heat setting.

A natural fiber, cotton is prone to shrinking, so wash cotton garments in cold water unless the item has been pre-shrunk. Cotton items that are pre-shrunk may be washed in hot, warm, or cold water, depending the care label recommendations. Cold-water washing will protect the deep color of cotton jeans and preserve brightly colored garments. Dry cotton garments on low heat and remove while still slightly damp to avoid shrinkage.

Linen is a natural fiber, made from the flax plant. Check the care label on your linen garments to determine whether it must be dry-cleaned. If machine-washable, wash according to label instructions. Know that linen absorbs more water during washing than other fibers, so be sure not to put too many linen garments in the wash at one time. Dry linen items on a cool setting and if ironing is needed, turn the garment inside out and use a low-heat setting.

Polyester fibers create colorful, durable, easy-care garments. Most polyester fabrics may be machine-washed using warm water. Tumble dry polyester garments on low heat. Remove them from the dryer while they're still slightly damp to prevent wrinkles and avoid a static buildup. If ironing is required, use a low-heat setting. Polyester is a synthetic fabric and will melt beneath a hot iron.

While silk fiber itself is washable, many weave patterns used for silk fabric will tighten or pucker if washed, and colors may fade. Read the label instructions carefully. Some silk garments are dry clean only. For those that can be washed, your best bet is to hand wash using warm water and a detergent designed for delicate fabrics. Mild baby shampoo is also an effective, but gentle silk cleanser. Never put silk garments in the dryer. Instead, roll the item in a towel to press out moisture, and then hang to dry. Press silk garments with a warm iron.

While spandex is hand- or machine-washable, avoid hot water and chlorine bleach. Both will damage the spandex fibers. The heat of the dryer can cause some spandex blends to pucker or bubble. Hang spandex garments to dry, and avoid machine drying. If ironing is necessary, press the item quickly with a warm iron.

Sheep give us wool, a soft and warm fiber that’s naturally insulating, easy to dye, and extremely versatile. Wool fibers are machine washable, but many wool garments can’t be washed due to the ways they are constructed. Dry-clean wool clothing if instructed on the label. If not dry-clean only, use a gentle detergent and wash by hand or use the gentle-cycle on your machine. Lukewarm water is best as cold water causes wool to shrink.

These fabric wash tips will help make sure your clothes look great and last as long as possible. Another way to make your clothes last longer is to upgrade your washing machine. Come to Reno’s Appliance and speak to any member of our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff. They’ll listen to your needs and recommend a product from our extensive inventory of world-class washing machine brands that are known for dependability and durability like Electrolux, Samsung, Whirlpool, GE, and many others. Reno’s also carries a full line of parts and accessories to keep your appliance running right.

Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our wide selection of appliances