Friday, 27 July 2012

Gentle washing for posh clothes

Most of my clothes are pretty basic and plain. I wear a lot of dark colours, made of fabrics which don't need ironing. I hate ironing. The washing machine goes on when I have a full load, it's either a dark wash or a light wash. I never change the settings on my washing machine, there are far too many choices I don't need them all. Everything gets washed at the same temperature, 30c for one hour. I don't weigh my load either, I stuff in what I think is the right amount. I only wash things that are visibly dirty or smell a bit whiffy, that keeps my water and power usage down to a minimum. And I only do a wash on a good drying day. Things have been known to hang around in my dirty linen basket for several weeks before I get round to washing them.

Today I went back to the old way of washing clothes, boil a kettle and do a few items in the sink. These can't be put in the washer, they need a more gentle treatment. I don't normally buy clothes made of delicate fabrics.

I remember washing all my clothes like this years ago, it was very time consuming and very boring. These five items are best washed by hand, I don't wear them very often so they don't get washed very often. They are all from charity shops except the dress which I bought new about 25 years ago.

Dry clean only it says on the label of the 100% silk blouse, I don't think so, it will go in the sink with the others. The secret is not to bash the living daylights out of them and screw them up, a gentle swishing around in the soapy water is enough to get them clean. No wringing them out or scrunching them up, gently does it to minimise the creases, and they will last a lot longer.

So, three kettles of hot water and two tablespoons of wash powder and they are all done. Hanging them out sopping wet to dry in the breeze will keep most things crease free.
The silk blouse had a few wrinkles around the seams, so I gave it a waft over with a slightly warm iron. I love this blouse, sometimes I wear it over the top of a vesty type teeshirt, with the buttons open to the waist. I call it my artyfarty look, ha ha.

All clean again, and as I don't wear them very often it will be a few more years before I wash them again. I'm sure if I tried I could make them last forever.

Toodle pip.


  1. I`m with you on the clothe front. I don`t buy stuff that needs ironing, either. And like you I also wash all and sundry at 30 C in my washing machine. I hang stuff on the line in the summer and on dry days. In the winter I use my tumble drier most as you just can`t get towels propperly dry during the damp seasons.
    I don`t change my wardrobe stuff alot. a few charity shop items a year does the job for me, too. It`s amazing how much we can save when we don`t fall into the dreaded consumer traps.

  2. I hate ironing as well; I remember when I was at home my Mum used to iron everything, even knickers and towels!

    I can never get things properly clean when I hand wash though, and often risk putting hand wash things in the machine.

  3. MQ - how do you manage to wear dark clothes without getting covered in cat hair ? I would love to wear black sometimes and darker shades but just can't do it because of feline friends.
    I use those roller thingies to remove it, but it still sticks to everything !
    I even tell visitors not to come in anything dark !

  4. Care labels on clothes are a mere challenge, nothing more. Everything I have goes into the same wash on the same (minimum) programme when it is worn - and everything has survived quite happily. Nothing gets ironed - dry 'em properly and fold 'em properly instead.

    I can't believe no-one has made a washing machine yet with an "adults" programme - for clothes that just need a quick wash, a good rinse and a spin, as opposed to a "kids or roadworkers" programme to get mud/concrete/whatever out of clothes. Forty minutes and ten gallons of water is overkill for normally-worn adult clothing! Surely there's a market there?

  5. Dry Clean Only...Hahahahahaha!
    Jane x

  6. The Boyfriend's mum irons his pants and even jeans! I've already laid down the law on that one: I will NOT be ironing your stuff! If you dry it properly most things don't need ironing anyway, and he won't have shirts for work as he'll be a student again!

    I don't do ironing. I've ironed two things before; both shirts for interviews. I normally have clothes that stay pretty crease-free anyway. I'm not actually any good at ironing (lack of practise!) so I think stuff looks worse after I've done it than before!!

    I only ever do washing when I have a full load too. My housemates and I used to share the washing machine so I'd ask them if they had anything they wanted washing!

    Did you see the Olympic ceremony last night? Any thoughts? I thought it was a bizarre showcase of random parts of British culture. Why the industrial revolution?? It started as a nice idyllic countryside and ended all grey and metallic with huge chimneys spewing smoke!

  7. I hate ironing too!!! So try to avoid buying stuff that needs ironing if at all possible.

  8. As I am no longer allowed to buy clothes, I will just let you know I have my eye on that tiered looking dress in the centre. LOL