How to Wash and Care for Cotton Products
Cotton is one of the most widely used textile materials in the world. It’s used to make numerous fabric materials from corduroy to denim to khaki and many more. There’s a good chance that if you’re wearing socks, underwear or a T-shirt right now, you’re wearing cotton. With so much of our clothing and bedding being made from cotton, we thought we’d offer some helpful tips on how to keep your cotton products looking, smelling and fitting great! Here are our top tips:
- Wash your cotton products in cold water below 30°C (86°F) with detergent. This applies whether handwashing or using a washing machine.
- Remember to use a color-safe detergent for colored cotton products. Bleach is fine for plain whites but take care to add the correct amount.
- Use a stain remover stick to directly tackle tough stains. Focus on the armpits and around the neckline to avoid deodorant and sweat stains and prevent bad smells.
- Try to gently stretch your products back to their natural shape before hanging.
- Hang out of direct sunlight as flattened and close to its natural shape as possible. Flattening your products and hanging them neatly will help prevent shrinkage.
- If using a dryer, it’s best to use an air-dry cycle or the lowest possible heat setting as cotton is prone to shrinking. If heat is used, the products should be removed slightly damp to avoid shrinkage.
- Use a high heat setting. Cotton is tougher than many synthetic materials.
- Iron while slightly damp or use the steamer on your iron.
- If there are any stains, cover with a damp cloth so you don’t burn them into the cotton so that they may be removed later on.
- Iron both sides. Start with the inside and then iron out creases from the front. This will ensure a neater job as cotton tends to crease easily.
- Hang out your cotton products instead of folding them if possible. This prevents creases and keeps them looking newer for longer.
- Ensure your cotton products are properly dried.
- Watch out for moths and silverfish! Cotton absorbs sweat and natural oils from the skin which may appeal to these pests. Clean your closets regularly and use mothballs for any cotton in long-term storage.
- Alternatively, if you have any old wool laying around, you could hang them amongst your cotton products as moths tend to prefer wool when available.
- If, however, you don’t have any old wool around or hate the smell of mothballs, storing your cotton in tightly sealed bags may be the best option.
Finally, our last and perhaps most important tip: Read your labels and pay attention to your settings! Sometimes cotton only makes up a percentage of the material. Product tags will usually contain this information as well as specific washing instructions. Most washing machines, dryers and irons will also have appropriate settings. Hopefully, with these tips, your cotton products will look great for years to come!