Five things to remember when washing a new item of clothing
Is it time to clean your new expensive dress? Follow these tips to avoid “first-wash anxiety"
You saw it, you fell in love with it, you wore it, you washed it… and then, horror of all horrors, it’s shrunk / the colour’s run / the material’s snagged in the wash.
You’re angry, you’re upset, you’re confused… What went wrong? How could you have avoided this?
Don’t worry. Follow these steps and you won’t have to worry about “first-wash anxiety” again.
1. Follow the care-label instructions
Different materials wash better at different temperatures – some can’t be tumble-dried and others need hand-washing. For example if your new item is silk or wool or has embellishments such as beads or sequins you have to be extra careful, so always make sure you check the label before washing.
To ensure you follow the label accurately, see our article, What do those laundry symbols actually mean?
2. Wash with Ariel 3in1 Pods
We can trust by now that most detergents can clean our clothes sufficiently, but all-too quickly, colours can start to fade and whites look dull.
3. Wash the item inside out
The important bit of your garment is the outside, so turning it inside-out will help protect any embellishments and prevent the colours running or fading. Also do up any zips and buttons to help prevent them snagging on the material or becoming damaged themselves.
4. Use a laundry bag
If you’re particularly worried about a delicate new item getting damaged, play it safe and wash it in a mesh laundry bag. This protects it from friction and getting snagged on other items.
5. Air-dry it
Intensive heat can damage your clothes, so tumble dryers – however much you love putting your face in your warm-from-the-dryer laundry – are not good for your new garments.
When it’s sunny outside, take the opportunity to dry your laundry naturally, or if it’s raining hang your garments out on a clotheshorse and leave in a warm, well-ventilated room.
If your new item is wool, you will need to reshape it when damp and dry it flat.
For more tips on drying your clothes indoors, see our article How to dry clothes on a rainy day.
What are your trusted tips for laundry day? Let us know in the comments section below.