We’re excited for fall around these parts, and we’ve finally started digging our sweaters and heavy coats out of storage… which means they might also need a refresh. Here, we take a look at how to properly clean all our fall must-haves, so we can all start the season feeling and smelling as good as we look.
Wool makes for the coziest sweaters, but it’s also one of the trickier materials to clean. It basically hates most things you can do to it, so the best thing you can do to get it clean is dry clean. If you’re in a pinch, hand washing in cold will also work, but make sure to be extra gentle as to not agitate the fibers and never, ever put in the dryer. (You’ll end up with a teeny tiny doll size version of your sweater if you do.) If you happen to forget the golden rules for wool and accidentally throw it in the washer, it’s always possible to stretch it back to normal – putting the sweater in a warm bath with some conditioner can help it get back to its normal state, but if it’s super shrunken and felted, your poor sweater is beyond help and better off being recycled into something your cat can wear.
Denim is another tricky fabric to wash, even though it’s so commonplace. While denim doesn’t need to be washed as often as other clothing fabrics (thin cottons, for example), it never hurts to refresh from time to time. As with wool, denim is not made for the dryer. Air dry, all the time! If you’re washing your denims in a washing machine, make sure to keep your setting on cold – this helps prevent any dyes from fading and also helps ensure that your denim retains its shape. If you really want to keep your denim pristine, stay away from the washing machine altogether and instead throw them in the freezer. While this does nothing for stains, it gets any odors out and will help retain dye if that’s your main concern. If you do have stains, try throwing your jeans in a cold water and vinegar bath (this can be done in the washing machine as well) – this will help remove any stains, but vinegar helps prolong the lifespan of any dye that’s in jeans.
While coats may seem harder to clean, it’s really just a matter of following the instructions on the label. It’s generally best to keep the wash settings on “cold” and if you find that your jacket isn’t fully going under the water, hold it under yourself so it absorbs more and can be properly cleaned. Once it’s been through the wash cycle once, you can either throw it in the dryer on a cool setting for ten minutes to help remove excess water, or if it’s been spun dry well, simply hang in a cool, dry place. Make sure it’s hanging freely so that all sides can dry evenly as it will probably take a few days to fully dry.
Suede, like wool, is pretty impossible to clean properly unless you head to the dry cleaner. If you find yourself feeling brave and wanting to do a refresh on your own, though, you can throw any suede items into your washer and clean them with a couple of towels on the gentle cycle. These can then be thrown into the dryer for a few minutes to help them retain their softness, but don’t let them dry a full cycle. After they’ve been removed from the dryer, let them air dry. It will take a long time for the suede to fully dry, but this helps it retain its proper shape. While the garment is drying, brush it a few times with a soft bristle brush to help the suede maintain its softness. When it’s fully dry, it should be good as new! (And if you don’t believe us, here are a couple of other posts proving the greatness of washing suede.)
Source: UO Blog