As the weeks go by, the uniforms lose their crispness, jerseys start to make little balls of fluff and shirts lose their perfect colouring, blue shirts fade while white shirts adopt a multitude of interesting stains and marks.
So how do you keep your children looking neat and clean? Here are some tips to maintaining the newness of fabric.
1. Don’t underestimate the importance of reading labels. The clothing manufacturers have an in-depth understanding of what process will be sufficient to clean that particular garment without damaging it. Follow this advice, because some fabrics do not respond well to cold water, while others need to be hand washed.
2. Sort your wash loads! It may seem like an unnecessary tedium, but this can really save you on buying and replacing clothes because they look old and tired. This is especially true if your child has a jersey as part of his/her uniform. Do a load of uniforms separately from your other laundry, also because dark colour often bleed, meaning everything in that load that is lighter than the darkest colour, may come out that shade! Separate delicate items, like lace and silk, from jackets that have zips or sharp motifs. Your clothes are all spinning together in the water, and this is essential in retaining that new look to any clothing items. Also keep in mind that when dry cleaning, it is best to put similar fabrics together to prevent one item becoming starchy from too much heat, while other items are still damp.
3. Wash ’em like you wear ’em. Another great idea is to button everything with buttons, and to zip up all zips, and then you turn them inside out. This will allow the same quality of cleaning without damaging the outer layer that people are most likely to see on you, damage such as pilling (those fluffy little balls) and general wear and tear while also preventing colour fading. Once your laundry is clean and dry, make sure you use the correct hanger. Wire hangers can often result in stretching at the shoulders. Always fold knitwear as hanging them will result in stretching!
4. School socks that disappear? No more! It seems so simple, and yet it is so effective. Invest in a mesh laundry bag, and put all small or delicate items that can either get lost or damaged together. No more missing or odd pairs of socks!
5. More detergent More clean? No… Although logic wants to dictate that this is the case. Actually, too much detergent will settle on the clothes, and then they feel stiff and come out dull. You may try White Wine Vinegar as a fabric softener, unconventional perhaps but apparently you will not smell like a Gherkin. It has also been suggested that you can replace half of your usual detergent with ½ cup of baking soda to give the same cleaning power but less of the stiffness.