A Beginner's Guide to Washing Clothes

A clothes rack on wheels: it might look hip and trendy, but... if you listen closely you will hear the gentle sobbing of your favorite garments. So, listen carefully, don't do it! ‘Zin in meer’-expert, Hilde knows as no other how to keep your wardrobe in tip-top condition.

Would you like to get more out of your clothing budget? Well this is possible by extending the life-cycle of your wardrobe and through smart investments. Basics are timeless trendsetters that allows you to combine time after time. Checkout the must-haves of this season here!

Make sure you look after your purchases and keep them in a sound closet. A clothes rack on wheels might be a eye-catcher in your bedroom, rolling it out your door to first the waste container you see is a real useful tip. Not only is sunlight and artificial light harmful for fabrics. Clothes that are out in the open and not covered up are a favorite hangout for moths and flies. The latter leave behind unwanted calling cards in the form of minuscule but difficult to remove black spots on your best stuff (and yes, these little black beast know exactly which clothes to choose!!). Prevention is better than cure, even in your wardrobe. A handful of cloves in a handkerchief - refresh it regularly for optimum effect - helps combat moths. Make sure the clothes you are keeping in the closet are fresh and clean. Moths are not only keen on wool but they also eagerly sink their teeth into synthetic fabrics with sweat and grease stains or food remains. Moreover, because clothes need air, plastic covers are not an option. These are meant to be used when taking a trip; not as protection in a wardrobe.

Another tip to get a longer life from your wardrobe: handle with care!


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  • The basic rule for washing is separate. Dark, light and colors are done separately. Close zips and wash clothes inside out to prevent wear and tear.
  • A product with bleach in it can work wonders with a white wash. You wash bright colors using washing powder that has no bleach in it. If in doubt... Then it is best to select a colder wash rather than a warmer wash. Choose machine wash (this leaves no stripes or concentrated stains) instead of hand wash, if the fabric allows this. Tested and approved: Dreft Active-Care gel.
  • Silk is a luxurious, natural fabric and one that requires an exclusive approach: wash separately, set the wash program to mild wash and use a minimal amount of mild liquid detergent. Dry flat and to get extra flexibility put it in a drying cabinet with the program on the coldest position. Synthetic shiny fabrics are best ironed inside out.
  • Wool on the other hand is best washed by hand in, luke-warm soapy water. Never wring wool, but squeeze it and let it dry flat far away from any source of heat. Never use a fabric softener. This attaches a type of film to the wool that can harm the fibers and nullifies all the beneficial properties of the wool.
  • Sequins also require a gentle touch during washing. Rinse your garment, do not wring or rub it by hand, in luke-warm soapy water or place it in a sealed white pillowcase, and wash in the washing machine at a low temperature. Dry flat and hang it safely away to keep all the glitters neatly in their place.
  • You can better leave leather to a leather specialist. However, use a leather spray to treat the leather before use to make it resistant to dirt and damp. Never let it dry next to a source of heat (it looses its flexibility) and hang it in a properly ventilated, dry place (this prevents molds forming).
  • However, you can wash fake leather. Select a crease-free program if you put it in the washing machine or the drying cabinet. Ironing is unnecessary. Could it be any easier?
  • Patent leather shoes and bags have a impermeable surface and do not have to be treated with a spray. Never polish with a regular shoe polish as that leaves stripes behind on the shiny surface. Use a special product that cleans and gives an extra shine (can be purchased in drug stores). You can also use milk or oil for cleaning. Smear on turpentine oil on dull-appearing patent leather and polish it using a cloth.

However, are you - like me - starting to spontaneously hyperventilate just by reading all of these laundry and toiletry tips? Then you can always go down the desperate housewife escape route for your favorite garments. Call your mother for help!

Learn the different types of fabric care tips here. Learn about the latest fashion trends.

Read about 2015's most wearable fashion.

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