Wash down jacket and clothes properly
Here's a guide on how to wash clothes of different materials. Read about how to maintain the quality of down jackets, wool sweaters, shirts and more.
Wash different types of garments
Different types of garments require different temperature and wash cycles. Here you can read about some garments that you may not be sure about how best to wash or if you even can.
Wash down jacket
It is possible to wash a dirty down jacket, but before you throw it in the washing machine, first try to freshen it up by airing it and removing stains by hand. The function of the down in the jacket eventually deteriorates when washing, so avoid doing it too often. Before washing, start with the washing instructions and the laundry symbols that you find on the label in the jacket.
Close pockets and details such as zippers and Velcro straps and then turn the jacket inside out. Wash the jacket separately and with 1/3 of the usual amount of detergent. Never use fabric softener when washing a down jacket as the function of the down gradually deteriorates.
When the jacket comes out of the washing machine or washbasin, it doesn't look great in its wet and lumpy state. The best way to get a down jacket dry and the down well distributed is by tumble drying on low heat for a long time. Leave the jacket inside out and put it in the dryer with some tennis balls or dryer balls. The balls help to spread the down in the sewn compartments. Tumble until the jacket is completely dry.
If you don't have a dryer, you can dry it flat on a drying rack, preferably near a radiator. Lift it up at regular intervals and shake to distribute the down. Drying a down jacket by hand can take a couple of days until it's completely dry.
In order for your down jacket to be able to withstand rain after washing, it's good to impregnate it. You do this with special spray that you buy in stores.
Jeans only look better the longer you use them before you wash, especially those that are in raw denim. They shape themselves to the body and you can wait a long time before throwing them into the machine. Instead, air outdoors after each use if you have the opportunity, and preferably inside out. Keep in mind, however, that unwashed jeans and raw denim can stain light materials.
When it's time to wash after all, turn turn them inside out, follow the washing instructions and be sure to empty pockets and snap the fly. Avoid tumble drying jeans if you want to keep the color and length.
Underwear likes to be washed inside out in a laundry bag when you machine wash it. It protects them from getting stuck in each other or in the machine, something that's otherwise easily done with small items of clothing. Sort by color and don't stuff the laundry bag completely full, but use more than one bag if you're going to wash a lot.
You can often wash pure cotton underwear at 60 degrees, which ensures that bacteria disappears. More delicate materials that require lower temperatures, such as silk, can get completely clean even at lower temperatures because they release bacteria better than cotton. Hang or dry underwear flat instead of tumble drying them, especially if they're not made of cotton.
If you choose to hand wash underwear, fill a tub with water and use a liquid detergent that you dose according to the packaging. Squeeze gently until the underwear is clean and rinse until the water is no longer slippery. Squeeze out the last without twisting and hang or dry flat.
As with all clothing, don't wash unnecessarily but air out at the end of the day. If you don't have the opportunity to air out outdoors, it's enough to hang the shirt on a hanger in the bathroom. The steam helps to freshen up the shirt while you shower.
When it's time to wash, read the washing instructions, unbutton the buttons, unfold the collar and turn the shirt inside out. Sort so that you wash light and dark shirts separately. Set a lower speed on the spin cycle when you wash shirts so they hold better and come out of the machine in a slightly smoother condition. Remove from the machine as soon as the wash cycle is finished so you avoid ugly creases that can be difficult to remove.
Don't tumble dry shirts, but hang them on plastic hangers (wood can discolour the wet fabric) and stretch and smooth the fabric with your hands.
Wash active wear
Active wear are among the garments that have to withstand a lot and that easily feel stale even when they're freshly washed.
Don't leave your training clothes damp in a bag after training. If you don't wash immediately, let them air and dry, preferably in the sun, before putting them in the laundry basket. Turn the training clothes inside out when you're going to wash, follow the wash instructions and maybe use a detergent that's adapted for active wear. If you use regular detergent, reduce the amount when washing functional clothing.
An alternative is to occasionally soak the training clothes in a bath with cold water and ½ dl of vinegar for 20 minutes. The vinegar dissolves dirt and skin deposits and any old detergent that hasn't been rinsed out and also removes bad odors. Then wash as usual according to the washing instructions.
Don't use fabric softener as it may impair function. Training clothes in functional materials should also not be tumble dried, but instead hang-dry or dry flat.
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Wash clothes - 6 effective tips
Washing clothes and other textiles can be a bit of a jungle. In order for your clothes to last a long time and not be worn out unnecessarily, you need to take into consideration the material, color, type of garment, washing instruction and your own means for doing laundry at home. Here's a guide on how to wash in the best way so that your clothes stay nice.
Before you throw everything in the washing machine, there are some things that are good to think about so that you get the best results when you wash.
1. Don't wash too often
You can get away with airing many garments instead of washing them. Fresh air does the trick to freshen up clothes. If you have the opportunity, make it a habit to air out sweaters, pants and other garments immediately after you've used them. When you wash clothes, the fabric and the fibers in the fabric are affected, they get wrinkled and torn and eventually they break with holes as a result. Attack individual stains and just remove them instead of washing the whole garment in a machine.
2. Sort laundry
Sort everything before you start with your laundry. Having two laundry baskets is a good start that makes sorting and washing much easier. Designate a laundry basket for white and one for color. Get laundry bags for special garments that need something more than just a regular wash, for example delicates and synthetics. Store them in the laundry baskets and attach them to the top edge with a clip so you can easily put garments in them. Now you have four different ready-made washes to fill the machine or tub with.
3. Use laundry bags
Some garments need a little bit more attention before throwing them in the washing machine. Delicate garments and garments with details that can come loose, such as underwire bras, should be washed in a laundry bag. It's a mesh bag that you can buy in stores. It has a zipper and you put the whole bag with the garments in the machine when washing.
Other garments that should be washed in a special laundry bag are garments that are made of synthetic materials, such as fleece and polyester. When you wash these garments, microplastics are flushed out in the rinsing water and can damage nature and the environment. The special laundry bags prevent this from happening.
4. Prepare the clothes
Before you start the washing machine, get in the habit of reading the washing instructions so you wash correctly, empty pockets, tighten zippers, unbutton buttons and turn jeans and dark garments inside out.
5. Don't over stuff
In order for your laundry to be properly clean, it's important not to overfill your washing machine. If the machine is stuffed too full, the machine may not rinse properly and there may be detergent left on your clothes.
6. Remove the laundry
Empty your machine as soon as the wash cycle is finished. You want to do this for several reasons. The laundry can start to smell bad, you can get streaks and creases on your garments and if you are really unlucky, discoloration can occur between different garments.
Washing instructions for different materials
The laundry symbols and washing instructions that you see in your clothes and on other textiles guide you on how to wash, dry, iron and bleach. The symbols show, for example, at what temperature you can wash and how high heat your iron can be set to. The laundry symbol indicates the highest recommended temperature so you always have the choice to wash at a lower temperature if your garment isn't so dirty.
Sometimes there's also text with special instructions that don't appear in the symbols, for example if you should turn a garment inside out when washing or if it releases dye in the dry state. Here is some general advice for different materials, but always read the washing instructions for your clothes and home textiles
Pure cotton often withstands 60-90 degree. Be observant of details that may not be 100% cotton and therefore can't withstand high temperatures. If what you need to wash isn't so dirty, you can probably get away with 40 degrees. Keep in mind that cotton is a material that shrinks when washed if it isn't prewashed.
Avoid washing wool unless it's absolutely necessary. You usually get away with a good airing out, preferably under cover in humid weather. If a wash is necessary, use a wool detergent in cold water, 30 degrees. Wool shrinks when heated, so don't tumble dry. Place the washed garment on a clean large towel, roll up and squeeze out the water. Remove the towel, shape into the garment and let it dry.
Clothes in silk should preferably not be washed too often. Hang out to air after each use. If you have to wash and the washing instruction states that it is possible to wash by hand or in a machine, use 30-40 degree water with a small amount of liquid detergent. Don't use fabric softener for silk.
Clothes in linen or linen mix can be washed at 30-60 degrees depending on the washing instructions in the garment. Linen garments tend to shrink after washing, but you can often stretch them again by ironing or steaming them. Many linen garments shouldn't be tumble dried due to the risk of shrinkage and because the colour may fade from the heat.
Viscose is a natural material that can be washed at 30-60 degrees. Read the label with the washing instructions for your viscose garment and then wash.
Wash polyester and nylon
Synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon are usually good to wash at 40-60 degrees, depending on how dirty the garment is. Also read the washing instructions as details in the garment can affect the temperature at which it can be washed.
Temperature - choose the right degree
In the first instance, follow the temperature that appeals in the washing symbol for your garment. It's often possible to wash in warmer or colder temperatures, but this is done at your own risk. Cotton can usually be washed at 60 degrees and synthetic material at 40 degrees, but follow the washing instructions to be sure. There may be details on your garment that you don't think about and that can be negatively affected by a warmer or colder temperature than the one specified.
From an environmental point of view, colder temperatures are better and from a hygienic point of view when washing, for example, cotton underwear and with some stain removal, warmer temperatures may be preferable. You have to take a stand on each round of laundry and find a good balance that takes into account both the environment and your needs.
30 degree wash
30 degrees is a washing temperature that's both gentle on your clothes and the environment. You extend the life of your clothes in colder washing water because colours are preserved better than in warmer temperatures. 30 degrees is a suitable temperature for washing clothes in wool and silk. The disadvantage of the low temperature is that it can be more difficult to remove stains.
40 degree wash
Start from the washing instructions and the laundry symbols in your garments and on your home textiles. 40 degree washing is often suitable for garments in cotton where you feel that 30 degrees is not enough to remove stains and discoloration. Many synthetic materials are also suitable for washing at 40 degrees.
60 degree wash
To remove bacteria from, for example, sheets and towels, 60 degrees is a good temperature if the washing instruction allows it. If you or someone else in the family has been ill, it's extra appropriate with 60 degrees so that the disease goes out with the laundry water and isn't left in the bedding or towels.
Tips on means and method
Here are our best tips that make it easier to handle the laundry and the time you need to spend in the laundry room.
For best washing results, use detergent that's adapted for the laundry you are going to put in the machine or for the hand wash that you put in the tub. White detergent for white laundry, color detergent for colored laundry and delicate detergent for wool, silk and other delicate items. Think about the environment and choose eco-labeled.
Don't use too much detergent. If there's a lot of foam in the drum during the wash, you have probably been too generous. Too much detergent can result in it remaining in the clothes, which in turn can cause skin irritation.
Be mindful with purchased fabric softeners. They're not good for many materials and garments such as fleece, microfiber and functional materials in activewear lose their function. Alternatives to purchased fabric softeners are, for example, vinegar and tumble dryer balls. If you get static electricity in the dryer, you can lump together a few balls of aluminum foil, which usually removes it.
Due to their material or construction, some garments can't be machine washed and the washing instruction indicates hand washing. This means cold water and a gentle detergent. Hand-washed garments often also enjoy drying flat instead of being hung up.
Some garments don't withstand water and need to be handed in for dry cleaning. It appears in the washing instruction via a washing symbol in the form of a circle with P, A or W, which indicates what type of dry cleaning is needed. First try to air the garment and to carefully see if minor stains go away without dry cleaning.
If you have the opportunity, there's nothing that beats hanging out laundry to dry. That scent! Otherwise, it's preferable to hang laundry to dry inside instead of using dryers. Tumble drying is energy-intensive, but clothes and other things also wear out unnecessarily.
If you choose to use a dryer to dry your clothes, remove the more delicate garments and hang them if you can. Dryers are better suited for drying interior textiles such as sheets and towels. Don't overfill the dryer as things may become wrinkled when they're not given enough space.
Wash clothes with vinegar
Washing with vinegar is a classic housewife tip. You can wash with vinegar in both machine and by hand. It is the acetic acid that dissolves the dirt but also old residue of detergent. Use 12% vinegar or halve the amount if you want to use 24% vinegar.
The clever thing about washing with vinegar is that it works for both whites and colour washing. When you wash whites with vinegar, the yellow discolorations that often occur in the armpits of garments disappear and grayish clothes and home textiles become whiter and fresher again. When you wash coloured laundry, the garments retain their colour when you wash with vinegar. When washing in a washing machine, in addition to your detergent, add 1.5 dl 12% vinegar alcohol to the detergent compartment.
If you have garments that, despite being clean, smell musty, you can freshen them up by mixing 1 dl 12% vinegar with 5 liters of water and putting the garments in the bath for half an hour. Then wash as usual.
Wash other than clothes
Your washing machine can wash much more than just clothes, but remember not to wash things that can damage the machine by being too big, too heavy or too hard.
Wash sleeping bag
It's often possible to wash a sleeping bag. Read the washing instructions for your sleeping bag to ensure that it works and how you best do it. Most sleeping bags can be washed at 40 degrees with a mild detergent. Don't wash the sleeping bag too often, but let it air out inside out after use and try to remove any stains by hand.
One way to keep your sleeping bag fresh is to use sleeping bag sheets and wash them instead of the whole sleeping bag. Avoid fabric softener and bleach as it may impair functionality. You can hang a synthetic sleeping bag to dry after washing, but a down sleeping bag is best dried in a dryer on low heat and for a long time. Add tumble dryer balls or tennis balls to distribute the down.
Babynest is a small bed that helps the baby to lie on his back on his own mattress and blanket when lying in the parents' bed. It's perfectly fine to wash a babynest in the machine, read the washing instructions to see which temperature is suitable. The included small mattress is removed before machine washing and washed by hand.
Before putting a babynest in your washing machine, untie the strings. Reduce the spin circle speed, use a mild perfume-free detergent to protect the baby's skin and skip the fabric softener. Knead the padded edging around the mattress after washing so it regains its shape. Some babynests can be tumble dried and others not, read the washing instructions for your babynest.
Wash linen tablecloth
Both linen and linen mix can be washed at up to 60 degrees but start out by looking at the washing instructions. It's a good idea to wash separately the first time and keep in mind that unwashed linen can shrink up to 10% in very hot water. Use mild detergent, preferably a delicate cycle on the washing machine and shorter spin cycle. Natural-colored linen retains its original color best when you use detergents without perborate and optical brighteners.
If your tablecloth can be tumble dried, it says so in the washing instructions. Some brands suggest a lighter tumble while others completely advise against it. If tumbling is not recommended, allow the tablecloth to drip dry and stretch the seams. Linen becomes beautiful through mangling so if you have the opportunity, take the chance. Then store your linen tablecloth in the dark in a dry environment.
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