How To Launder Clothes To Make Them Last Longer

You don't need to buy new clothes! The secret is to wash them the proper way.

Photography: Pixabay (left photo) & Erwin T. Lim (right photo)

In the 21st century, we’ve all embraced the “wash-and-go” mentality, but this sort of carefree, I’ll-just-throw-it-into-the-wash technique isn’t always the best for our clothes.

If your clothing always seems to turn out torn, frayed, deformed, or discolored after every wash, this may mean you’re not doing your laundry right. Try these pre-washing techniques to ensure that your clothes don’t (literally) go through the wringer.

Sort and separate properly.

One of the main causes of clothing damage while doing the laundry is the failure to separate items. Now we all know that you should pair white with white, and dark with dark, but there are three steps in sorting laundry, especially if you have a huge load to wash. This will take you ten minutes, max, we promise:

1. Separate by labels. Go through your pile of clothes. Read the labels. Place all the “hand wash” and “wash separately”-labeled items in one pile.

2. Sort by color. In the pile that is not for “hand washing” (the machine-washable pile) sort these by color: whites, lights, and pastels into one pile, darks into another.

3. Segregate by fabric weight. In the third step—per pile—pair all delicates together (cotton, light polyester), all medium-weight items together (twill, polyester, etc.), and heavy items (denims). Wash similar-weight items together.

Spot treat at once.

The key to preserving a stained item is treating the spot at once—the stain settles in further if you wait a day. Use a color-safe stain removal pen (available at True Value), treat, let set, and wash accordingly.

READ: Basic Stain Removal Guide

Get a mesh laundry bag.

If you have no time to wash your delicates separately, toss them into mesh laundry bags, which will protect your undies and tiny items from getting torn apart in the wash (but don’t forget to throw them in with similar-colored items). Would you believe Co Bian Kat—a decades-old hardware store—sells these bags? Check them out here.

Zip up, button up.

It may take a few more minutes pre-wash (yes, be patient), but zipping up and buttoning up your clothes will protect the clothing from getting snagged on other items, and will keep the buttons from popping off. If you don’t have flaps flailing around in the wash, this will also keep your pants from becoming deformed.


Careful with the bleach.

In the past, laundrywomen would go crazy with with good old-fashioned bleach. But adding too much of the chemical has the potential to damage fine clothing, as well as unintentionally bleaching colored clothes. Use color-safe bleach, and sort the clothing (those words, again).

Go gentle on the temperature.

Much-too-hot water during the wash could potentially damage delicate clothing. The Electrolux UltimateCare washing machine has an UltraMix technology that gives you the stain- and dirt-removing power of a hot wash while using a lower temperature. Pour in your detergent and it immediately goes to a special chamber before the beginning of the wash cycle, and the pre-mixing creates more powerful solution that helps clean your items faster.

Vaporize it!

Not in the sci-fi sense, though—the UltimateCare washing machine has an innovative Vapour Action feature that softens and refreshes the fabric without all those harsh chemicals, making the clothing item last longer.

Want to get professional laundry advice? Get tips from industry experts at the FashionCare Council, composed of FashionCare ambassador Rajo Laurel, and council members Amina Aranaz-Alunan and Janice Villanueva. “This is why we initiated the FashionCare Campaign to introduce a whole new way of washing with Electrolux that is suitable for all kinds of garments,” says Andrea Pionilla, country marketing manager of Electrolux. 

Check out the FashionCare site here. The UltimateCare washing machine is available at major appliance stores. 

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