How do I wash and maintain my clothes?

Teljoy

Once we've invested in a timeless piece of clothing, we want that item to last us through the years. Be it your everyday t-shirt collection or favorite pairs of jeans, these staple pieces deserve to stay in tip-top shape so you can use them for a number of occasions and look forward to wearing them every time.

The number one way of extending the life of your wardrobe is to properly care for each and every piece. For most of your clothes that need to be washed in a washing machine instead of dropped off at the dry cleaner, particular care and attention is essential.

Here’s an Easyfix guide on how to wash your clothes so you can keep your brights bright, darks dark and delicates looking brand new:

Do: check your clothing labels

The tags on your shirts and pants often contain symbols that provide directions on how you can clean them and what products you can or can’t use. Some symbols indicate if your shirt can be machine washed or dry cleaned only. The label/tag will guide you on whether to use warm water for washing or if you can use bleach on certain clothing.

Do: separate and check

Separate your laundry into four piles: whites, lights, darks, and delicates. (Note: If you want to reduce the number of loads, you can combine whites and lights). Make sure to empty out all pockets, close zips to prevent catching on other items, turn denim and embellished pieces inside out and pre-treat any stains.

Do: stock up on quality detergent and measure it

While we all love a good cheap deal, the cheapest isn’t always worth it. Try out different kinds to see which you like best on your clothes. Using too much detergent isn’t any better than using too little. Consider how big your load is and how dirty your clothes are, then follow the guidelines on the detergent’s packaging.

Do: clean the appliances

Just because your washing machine, tumble dryer or washer/dryer can clean your clothes, it doesn’t mean they can clean themselves! Make sure to wipe down your washing machine and dryer thoroughly every couple of months to keep them clean from bacteria – but also in better condition so that they last longer.

Don’t: overload

Knocking out an entire load in one cycle might sound nice in theory, but your clothes need to be able to circulate in order to get sufficiently cleaned. Consult your washing machine or tumble dryers manual for specifics, or if you’re eyeballing it, filling it up three-quarters of the way is a good measure.

Don’t: use bleach on coloured clothing

Be very careful before using bleach, especially on your coloured clothing as it might fade them quickly. Instead, reserve bleach for your white clothing.

Don’t: leave your clean clothes in the washing machine or tumble dryer

Remove the clothes from the machine or dryer as soon as the cycle is complete. If you leave clothes in the machine for long, colours might transfer to each other. The damp environment can also become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. If left for too long in the dryer, they might end up being too wrinkly

Doing laundry correctly not only takes the hassle out of laundry day but ensures your washing machine, tumble dryer or washer/dryer last longer. The last thing you want is for these essential appliances to let you down. Remember anything can happen, you need to ensure that you are covered for unexpected repair costs in case they break. For only R99pm* you can cover your washing machine, tumble dryer and three other appliances and electronics for repair costs and spares to the value of R50 000 per year up to a specified amount giving you the peace of mind you need.