From Linen to Jersey – Keeping Summer Fabrics at Their Best

From Linen to Jersey – Keeping Summer Fabrics at Their Best

A combination of lighter fabrics and increased wear and tear from time spent outside plays havoc with summer clothes. Here’s how to ensure they last the distance.

Summer’s fabrics of choice for clothes – cotton, linen and jersey – require a little more TLC than the sturdy materials that see us through autumn and winter. But don’t be daunted! You can your own and the family’s favorites looking their best by checking out our foolproof tips…


Cotton is a great summer fabric – it’s cool and gentle against skin, and perfect for hot sunny days. But it’s notoriously prone to shrinking, so be careful when you wash cotton garments – some are what’s known as ‘sanforized’ (pre-shrunk, it should tell you on the label), in which case it’s pretty much safe to stick them in a hot wash, should you be faced with some really tough stains. Otherwise, stick to a cooler wash – use Ariel Excel Washing Gel Colour & Style (link to a specific product page), which is formulated to clean as well at 15° as at 40° – stretch while still wet and dry naturally (preferably not in the tumble dryer, to avoid shrinkage). If you’re against the clock and need to tumble dry your clothes for speed, take them out before they’re fully ‘tumbled’ and allow to dry naturally. You can iron cotton safely, which is a good way to stretch out clothes that have shrunk a little – if the clothes are embroidered or embellished, turn inside out and iron the underside to preserve detailing.  


Nothing says summer like linen! Although it has a reputation for being hard to care for, you can, in fact, both machine and handwash it so it stays looking its best.

  • If machine washing: Use a mild detergent on a moderate-to-cool cycle. Linen is prone to creasing because it absorbs so much water, so remove it from the machine as soon as the cycle has finished, stretch it out and reshape before line or air-drying. Tumble drying your linens will cause them to shrink – you have been warned!
  • If hand washing: Knowing how to handwash clothes effectively means you’ll get a good result every time. For your linens, use warm water with an appropriate liquid detergent, swirl around to dissolve in the water before adding the garment and soak for up to an hour to ensure all fibers are thoroughly wet. Agitate gently to dislodge dirt and remove stains, then rinse in clean water three times, squeezing out excess water after each rinse. Reshape while damp, then line or air dry.
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Jersey is lightweight, stretchy and cool – perfect for active kids. As long as it’s not heavily stained, you can wash jersey at cool temperatures. For heavy staining, soak in a solution of Ariel Original Washing Liquid (link to a specific product page) using the pre-treat cap for stubborn stains, before putting in the washing machine. Reshape while damp and air dry – tumble drying risks shrinking your child’s favorite tee, which is one wardrobe malfunction meltdown most moms could do without!


It’s amazing how quickly whites can turn yellow or grey. Here’s how to keep them sparkling:

  • Treat stains as soon as they occur. If the stain is greasy, use warm water. For everything else, cold is better as hot water can actually seal it in. Use a solution of Ariel Original Washing Powder (link to a specific product page) and water, and soak the item for a couple of hours (or overnight if very stubborn). Then treat the stain with Ariel Original Washing Liquid (link to a specific product page) (following dosing instructions on the packaging) and wash in the machine as usual.
  • For normal, everyday soiling, it’s fine to wash whites at warm or hot temperatures. Wash whites on their own for best results, and hang in the sunshine to dry for a natural bleaching effect.

How do you keep your kids’ clothes looking like new? We’d love to hear your tips – please share your comments below.

For more tips and advice on caring for your clothes, visit Ariel (link to Ariel BLP).

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