Our Very Best Laundry Tips
When it comes to laundry, as clothing care experts, we’ve really seen it all. Wine spills on dresses, food stains on white linen, smudged ink on dress shirts, and grass stains on summer shorts. If you’ve worn it, loved it, and stained it, we’ve cleaned it. Through over 100 years of experience, we’ve come to learn a thing or two about taking care of clothes.
As Canada’s oldest dry cleaning business, it’s not an exaggeration to state that we truly are clothing care experts, but we don’t hoard our knowledge! Not every garment is a delicate wedding gown, not every shirt is a luxurious silk blouse, not every jacket is made of wool. That means that there is a whole lot of clothing care that we know our customers do themselves. Over the years, we’ve shared many of our laundry tips and charts of laundry symbols right here on the Parkers blog, and now we’ve rounded them up here, all in one place for easy reference!
How to read a clothing care label
Standard cycles on home washing machines can be great for socks and sheets, but if you really stop to think about it, would you treat your silk cami the same way you would your gym socks? We didn’t think so.
A great place to get started is with the clothing care tags in each garment. They hold information about the materials used in the item of clothing, but more importantly, they hold the secret key to recommended clothing care. Most people know the wash, dry, iron symbols, but anything beyond really can feel like a mysterious code you need to crack.
Is handwashing really necessary?
Does “hand wash only” literally mean you need to get your hands all sudsy in a sink or tub? Thankfully, no.
Hand wash means wash as delicately and gently as possible, so if you want to, you can wash that item in the sink or if you have a newer machine, there may even be a selection on there for hand washing. It would be the slowest cycle possible, alternating between agitating the clothes and letting them rest every few minutes.
Learn a little more about handwashing and other laundry terminology.
Ummm, wet cleaning?
Don’t be fooled, “wet cleaning” is not the same thing you do at home every week in your laundry room. Wet cleaning is actually a specialized clothing care technique that we happen to know a thing or two about. If your item of clothing is wet clean recommended, the care label will have a letter W in a circle.
Using water and non-toxic biodegradable detergents, it is much gentler than home washing and even gentler than hand-washing. Often those garments that specify “hand wash only” are actually better off being wet cleaned than wrung out in your sink at home!
Pets & laundry
Anyone living with pets knows that our furry friends tend to go wherever they feel like going. Our biggest laundry tip for a pet-friendly home?
If you have pets and you let them on your bed, wash your sheets and duvet covers twice as often as you would without pets. We’re talking at least once a week, if not every 5 days. Fur and dander can affect air quality and you really don’t want to be breathing it in while you’re sleeping.
Quick laundry tips
- Prepare before you wash by sorting items by colour, fabric, and amount of soil, then checking pockets and pre-treating stains.
- Choose your temperature and cycle wisely. (Care labels are your friends here!)
- Carefully measure out your detergent and fabric softener to avoid surprises.
- Overloading the machine does not get things clean. (Rhyme entirely intended — memorize it!)
- We beg you, please don’t let your wet clothes hang out in the machine for too long after the cycle is done.
We go a little more in-depth on these five rules of thumb in this classic clothing care blog post from a few years back. Take a peek and you’ll be all set for at-home laundry success!
If you’re in doubt about a particular item of clothing, or if it has dry clean, wet wash, or even hand wash recommendations on the care label, get in touch with our clothing care specialists at your closest Parkers location. We also offer free pick up and delivery in the GTA to truly make laundry and clothing care the least of your worries.