We all do it - but are we doing it the right way, and often enough? That’s the chore of clothes washing. It's a topic that's even got designer Stella McCartney talking!
From bras and pyjamas, Queen of Clean Lynsey Crombie is here to tell us the whats and whens of hygienic and waste-free washing, including some of her own clever hacks.
HOW TO WASH UNDERWEAR
Bras: Our Queen of Clean says that, contrary to popular belief, bras do need to be washed on a daily basis.
LYNSEY SAYS: “This is because they have full contact with your skin and have spent the day running around and sweating with you (particularly with the glands under your armpits!) If you are wearing a fancier bra in the evening, to go with your outfit, you can get away with washing it less often - ideally every second or third wear.” This may not seem eco friendly, but Lynsey luckily has some water saving tips to help out.
Pants: Maybe slightly more obvious, but your pants also need to be washed after every wear. This is imperative around the groin area, where lingering harmful bacteria can get into the skin through a bite or cut and this can cause what’s called a Staph Infection. Though it is not environmentally friendly, pants also need to be washed at 60 degrees.
LYNSEY SAYS: “Wash them after every wear - I hope everyone does! You should use a gentle detergent and laundry bags. Lacey knickers need to be washed with the other delicates. Washing at anything less than 60 degrees won’t get rid of the nasty bacteria left in our pants.”
- Choose a delicate cycle and no spin
- Reshape the bra cups and NEVER wring them out
- Always hang to dry and do the clasps up!
- If washing with other items, use laundry bags
- Don’t ever wash with heavy items such as jeans as the rough texture of jeans can cause damage as well as the studs and the zips
- Hang dry your pants, never tumble dry!
HOW TO WASH JEANS
Some say that jeans need very few washes, but this isn’t correct, according to cleaning expert Lynsey.
LYNSEY SAYS: “You should wash every second wear without question. But, if you’re wearing jeans out and about - and sitting in grubby places - you should then wash after every wear. This may seem excessive, but it is necessary to get rid of any hidden nasties.”
Does the jeans freezer trick work? Contrary to some washing experts, Lynsey is not on board with the freezer trick. But, according to the Queen of Clean, there are fatal flaws in this method.
LYNSEY SAYS: “The idea is you fold them and pop them in a bag and freeze them overnight, then allow them to thaw, making them ready to wear again. BUT, research shows that when they have thawed, any bacteria that went dormant will regenerate so it’s much more effective simply to put them in the machine.”
- Wash denim items together, so save up until you have a denim load. This way, you are not wasting water.
- For darker jeans use a product designed to be used on dark colours as it will help preserve the colour and prevent fading
HOW TO WASH SUITS
Suits need washing much less frequently - and the safest way is simply taking them to the dry cleaners.
LYNSEY SAYS: “In between the visit to the dry cleaners, use a hand held garment steamer. This kills most germs and bacteria, which also eliminates odours. And it’s delicate on our expensive clothes! Steaming is also great to use with cashmere and silk items. It removes allergies and dust mites and freshens suits between washes.”
- Wash suits weekly (after seve wears)
- Some suits are allowed to be washed in the washing machine, but choose a delicate cycle and conditioner
- Use starch spray when washing suits (or jeans) which prevents wrinkles, keeps fabrics looking newer and acts as a barrier between the fabric and dirt
- You can make starch spray at home. It's easy to do and is eco friendly!
HOW TO WASH SPORTS CLOTHES
Lynsey says that it is essential for our personal health and hygiene that we wash our sportswear after every use. However, it’s important to wash them in the items the correct way to stop the clothes from being ruined.
LYNSEY SAYS: “People use fabric softener, but it is actually your gym clothes' worst enemy. Instead of making the clothes cleaner, it actually creates a sort of barrier that locks stinky smells in. It also breaks down stretchy materials that workout clothes are often made of. So, not only does it make your clothes smell, it also ruins the way they fit.”
- Pre-soak sweaty sportswear in cold water with a few capfuls of white wine vinegar before washing
- Sun and fresh air is the best natural way to get rid of odours
- After you wash your clothes, hang them to dry outside and let the sun do its work of getting rid of smells
- Make sure you turn the clothes inside out first, so they don't fade
- Hang your sweaty clothes outside first, when you don't have time to wash them
HOW TO WASH PYJAMAS
The Queen of clean says that you can be much more relaxed when it comes to washing your nightwear.
LYNSEY SAYS: “If you have bathed or showed before bed and you regularly clean your bedding, you can get away with changing your PJ’s every 4 to 5 nights. You do NOT need to have a new fresh pair every day as some people think.”