A boring, but kinda necessary post
Because I am a Grandma YouTuber in a world of never-ending Fenty Beauty reviews (I’m not going to lie, I’ve watched about 20 and I think I might need a contour stick), I’m often asked how I care for my clothes. Whilst I appreciate that this isn’t the sexiest of topics, it’s a necessary one and if I’m going to haul a silk shirt for the 76th time, then it’s only right that I share how I don’t end up buying shares in my local dry cleaners. Given that I’m all about the ‘less is more’ thang, I like to take care of my garments so that they last a really long time and don’t end up shrunk after just one wash (been there, done that, attempted and failed to style out the snug sweater look). I’ve split this down into cashmere/wool, silk, denim and other miscellaneous items so this post should be easy to navigate if you want to hone in on just the one category, or if you fancy an education in detergents and washing cycles then ROCK ON…
CASHMERE & WOOL
Before we get onto the main event (THE ANTICIPATION IS KILLING YOU I KNOW), just a couple of general care things to note when it comes to cashmere and wool. You know when everyone says to fold your jumpers instead of hang them? Well they’re right and I now don’t walk around with massive hanger marks jutting out of my shoulders. In the depths of winter wear a t-shirt under your chunky garments if possible, because as gross as it sounds it soaks up your scents, keeping your jumpers fresher for longer and not needing a wash as often. Also invest in a cashmere comb. Cashmere naturally balls up over time and giving it a good brush down will make it look brand new again. Additional plus point: it’s also extremely therapeutic.
I’ve been hesitant to write this post because I feel that I may be held responsible for someone’s shrivelled up cashmere jumper, so please take this advice and mix it in with your own research, label-reading and gut feelings. For cashmere I operate a three-tier risk system. If I’ve been somewhere that’s smokey, have sweated a tonne or the jumper cost a fortune, I take it to the dry cleaners (I’ve found one near me that’s surprisingly cheap which is perhaps my best adulting find). The middle tier is for when the jumper isn’t completely grim, but was still rather pricey, so I do a cold hand wash and follow these instructions from the Whistles Blog. Sometimes I’m feeling lazy and I stick them in the machine – yep I’m a terrible person, but hear me out on this one. I use a cashmere/wool wash, I use the delicate cycle COLD WATER ONLY (that’s very important), dry it out on a line and then give it a once over with the cashmere comb afterwards.
Wool on the whole is a little hardier, so I’m less likely to take it to the dry cleaners and tend to go for risk level three and find it to work pretty well 95% of the time. *does a hesitant looking thumbs up*
If you thought cashmere was fun, then silk is a whole different ball game. I’ve fudged up more silk shirts than you can shake a stick at over the years. Some silks just aren’t made for washing. Have a read of this article to see how you can test for that. So I do have two Equipment shirts that due to their colour (one is a washed black silk and the other a blue), I always dry clean them, but my other pieces get the machine treatment too.
Again I use a fabric specific detergent on a cool and delicate short wash. I ditch the tumble dryer and instead leave them hung up to dry, which depending on the fabric can negate the need for ironing. WHOOP. I actually find ironing silk a real pain in the ass, so I’d suggest picking yourself up a clothing steamer, which makes you feel like you’re an intern in the Teen Vogue closet, L.C style. There are ones much more elaborate than this, however the one I’ve got does the job and is travel friendly too if ever you have to pack it up to do some crease-releasing on the go.
I know some people can put a lot of love into their denim – there are even specific detergents you can use! – however I go for more of an au naturel approach. I lob it in with the rest of my washing (although note that I do split my lights and darks), on a 40℃ quick wash. I always turn them inside out before washing and try not to wash them too often because denim is quick to lose it’s colour and shape. As with all my clothing I don’t tend to tumble dry them, unless they need shrinking down a bit, and instead I hang them out to dry and just give them a quick once over with an iron before I pop ’em back in my wardrobe. Simples (thankfully – can you imagine if denim was a pain to wash?!).
I split my washing into lights and darks, lob it in with a bit of fabric softener (mainly because I like the smell, although I don’t use it on activewear because it fudges up the lycra apparently), non-bio detergent and pray for the best. I’m a big fan of the quick wash function on our machine because it means a cycle takes an hour instead of three (WHOOP!), making it better for the environment, the water bill and your clothes because they aren’t being soaked or thrown around for as long. When it’s done I whip them out on a clothes horse in a very specific way taught to me by my mother (we’re both Virgos), stick a dehumidifier on them if it’s cold because our flat doubles up as a greenhouse and hang everything back into my wardrobe without ironing, because ironing is perhaps the worst task in the world just under unloading the dishwasher. Can I get an AMEN?
Photos by Lauren Shipley
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