The Laundry Lowdown

Caring for Your Children's Clothes

It's a chore, it's another over-flowing laundry basket demanding attention from it's place in the corner of the room - it is the never-ending job of cleaning children's clothes for the next wear. And let's face it-everything is being washed more often lately.!

Despite all our advantages - clever automated washing machines etc, laundry is still an area where taking a little time and care with children's clothes really does pay off. Especially when you have bought some lovely clothes from and you really want them to stay that way.

It seems so very obvious a piece of advice,  but DO read the wash care label!

Can the garment actually be washed by machine at all?

Yes it can,  if you see something like this :

Number one on the list will be washing temperature.This will be the maximum temperature the garment should be washed at. There will be good reasons why the manufacturer is specifying say 30 degrees instead of the 40, 50, 60 degrees etc that your washing machine is capable of. 

For example the fabric, or one of the fabrics your garment is made of may be degraded by a higher temperature.

Sometimes it is not immediately obvious why a low temperature wash is recommended. Maybe there is a trimming on the garment that could be spoiled by too much heat. Maybe it is a knitted children's garment with acrylic fibres which will soften and spread if washed too hot.- so go easy on the school jumpers!  Lycra could lose it's stretch. Acetate might wrinkle.Cotton will shrink at high temperatures or lose colour.

After temperature, the second important detail to note are those little lines, either one or two that appear under the temperature symbol on the wash care label. These have to do with how much gusto your machine is going to use as it tumbles the washing about and the speed at which it will spin. When you see two lines, a wool wash is best, one line for synthetics.Your wool wash setting will take more care of your knitted pieces or anything else, because it washes more gently.

Another tip for knitted children's clothes and kids sweatshirts etc., is to wash them inside out. This keeps the rest of the wash from abrading the soft surface of knitwear.

It's a good idea to wash anything with a loose, lacy or delicate surface inside a pillow case to keep it separate and safe.

If you are washing a child's coat with a nylon or plastic zip, it is a good idea not to use fabric conditioner as it can diminish the ability of the zipper teeth to fit tightly together. High temperature tumble drying can warp a zip too.

If there is a velcro closure on any part of the garment, close it before popping it into the machine! The rougher velcro tape is notorious for gathering threads from everything else.

These days, we are all trying to do our little bit to be kind to the world.

One of the best things you can do is take care of your clothes . When you spend on good children's clothes brands and firm favourites such as Mayoral, Levis, Hunter etc - make sure you get your money's worth by looking after them in the wash.

Isn't it just lovely to see that little dress or that cute shirt live on, kid after kid?!