Here's our quick guide on how to keep your clothes looking as good as new for as long as possible. A basic rule of thumb is to always follow the care instructions that can be found on the product’s inner label.
- Look on the care label to make sure you wash at the right temperature for your garment - generally either a cotton cycle, synthetics cycle, wool cycle or delicates cycle.
- Overload your machine and your clothes may come out dirty or even bleached in areas where the detergent hasn't been diluted properly.
- It's black and white. Keep light colours and dark colours separate in the wash - then colours can stay the way they were made.
- Wash your items inside out to protect fabric surface from the constant friction created during washing (especially important for soft fabrics like moleskin and denim.)
- Choose a wash cycle and detergent to suit the most delicate item in the machine to avoid damaging it.
- Garments face the most amount of wear and tear during washing so the less you wash the item the longer it will stay looking new.
- Use 'colour' detergents on all our hand or machine washable garments, unless otherwise stated on the care label, to prevent colour loss and bleaching.
- Make sure you use the cycle best suited for your garment - Spin dry delicates in a pillowcase after hand washing, if you need to.
- Tumble dry - at a higher temperature, for a faster drying time. Be careful as this can shrink clothes that shouldn't be dried this way.
- Line dry - hang your garments on the line (the safest way to dry your clothes). Hang them carefully to avoid getting any marks or dents in funny places.
- First look at the care label. Don't use the right temperature and you might find half your outfit stuck to the bottom of the iron.
- Choose the heat the care label suggests. Usually one, two or three dots.
- First iron on part of the garment that doesn't normally show, to ensure the temperature is right.
- If in doubt it might be better to take to a professional ironing service or dry-cleaners.
- Treat stains as soon as possible, if only by immersing in cold water.
- Do not just chuck it in a hot wash as this will set the stain forever.
- Identify the type of stain and what has caused it.
- Always start with the simplest method of removal first - i.e. try cold water first, then move onto stain removal products.
- Remember that the stain needs to be taken off the surface of the fabric not driven in, so be gentle.
- Test the method that you're going to use on a part of the garment that doesn't normally show, then it doesn't matter if it makes it worse.
- When treating a stain always work from the edge of the stain in towards the centre or you'll spread the mark even more.
- If it is particularly stubborn treat from below the surface on the underside of the fabric.
- If all else fails take the item to a specialist dry cleaner, and be totally honest about what you already tried.
When strange, unexplained things appear on a number of garments, it's probably down to one of the following.
- Strange white stuff - make sure deodorant is completely dry before dressing or you'll end up with strange white stains on the underarm regions of your favourite top.
- Other stains, or discolouration, are probably caused by a range of chemicals found in everyday products.
- Alcohol - found in a range of things from skin creams to puddings. Best to try to remove it before washing by soaking in cold water then a solution of lukewarm water with detergent.
- Benzoyl Peroxide - found in spot creams and other body products, reacts with warm water and can bleach your clothes in the wash, so keep anything like this away from fabrics at all times.
If it's bleach then it's probably game-over, it's time to send your item to that great clothes place in the sky and get something new. If the dye runs it can probably be treated, immediately, before the run is set, by washing it again.
Colour run products are readily available, although some of these can affect the colours of your clothes.