When it comes to laundry, a lot of people are uncertain when it comes to delicates. But keeping your delicates in tip-top shape doesn't have to be hard or scary! You just have to know a few things.
Delicates often require special handling and may also require special laundry soap. To better understand how to wash delicates, let's first look at how delicate is defined?
What does delicate mean when it comes to laundry?
You really never have to guess how to wash delicate laundry items. Clothing and other items that go into a washing machine come with tags that tell you how to wash them. If you follow the washing instructions and use a little common sense, you will protect delicates from damage.
How to Check the Laundry Tag for Wash Instructions
Anything you buy that is considered laundry comes with wash instructions. The instructions are usually found on a tag that is sewn into a seam of the garment. For most clothing, you can find the label sewn into the side or back of the item.
How to clean
For bedding, the tag is usually on an inside corner in a seam. The laundry tag will tell you whether to:
- Machine wash
- Hand wash
- Do not wash
- Dry clean only
- Do not dry clean
It will tell you what temperature to wash items and what type of wash cycle to use—like a:
- Normal cycle
- Permanent press cycle
- Gentle cycle / delicate cycle
How to dry
There is also information on how to dry your laundry. Drying options might include:
- Tumble dry
- Do not tumble dry
- Hang to dry
- Dry flat
- Do not wring
The tag tells you which temperature to dry with, and if you use your dryer whether to use a:
- Normal cycle
- Permanent press cycle
- Delicate or gentle cycle
Some laundry items have information about how or whether to add bleach to the wash cycle or how to iron the bedding once it's washed.
Typical Items Considered Delicates
What types of items are considered to be delicates, that need delicate handling? Delicates include items in several categories, including:
- Delicate lace collar: Lace or made from delicate fibers
- Delicate fabrics: Silk, fine knits, chiffon, handknit or crocheted
- Dainty handkerchief: Made from delicate fabrics
Anything that would be damaged, degraded, discolored, or would shrink without careful treatment.
Are Delicate Cycle and Gentle Cycle the Same Thing?
Depending on the model of your washing machine, "hand wash cycle," "gentle cycle," and "delicate cycle" are often the same thing. These cycles designate the duration, spin, and temperature of each wash cycle. To be sure, check the owner's manual that came with your washing machine.
Delicates do better when washed gently, in cooler temperatures, and with safe detergents. For the laundry that has a "hand wash only" label, it's best to use the "hand wash cycle" if you do not plan to actually wash the item by hand.
Wash Delicates with Like Colors and Fabric Textures
When prepping your laundry for washing, you get better results when you sort your laundry into categories, like dark or light colors, similar textures, delicates, and hand wash only. This sorting prevents color seepage and damage from delicate fabric getting caught on textured fabrics, hooks, or buttons.
Use Detergent Formulated for Delicates Like Blissy Wash
When washing delicates, you'll get the best results using a detergent designed for delicate fabrics like silk. Detergents, like Blissy Wash Laundry Detergent, have a lower pH level so they won't damage silk or other delicates. These detergents don't have harsh chemicals or fragrances that can strip delicate fabrics like linen or silk of natural proteins, and can also irritate delicate skin.
Use Mesh Laundry Bags to Protect Delicate Fabrics
You can lengthen the lifespan of your delicate clothing and bedding by using mesh laundry bags. To use mesh bags when washing delicate items:
- Separate your delicate items into like fabrics and colors
- Turn any laundry with zippers or buttons inside out
- Place delicate laundry into a mesh bag big enough for the gentle cycle to clean (don't bunch them up)
- Wash delicates by hand washing or on the washing machine's gentle cycle
Can Delicate Silk Go into the Dryer?
Using the delicate cycle when machine washing silk clothing or pillowcases will keep delicate silk in good condition. However, you should also consider whether to dry them in your dryer.
One issue is that silk can shrink in the dryer. To prevent the chance of shrinkage, put your dryer on the lowest heat (or no heat) setting and limit the time it spends in the dryer to 20 minutes.
To further protect silk's fibers, dry it in a mesh bag. And don't mix different fibers together in the dryer. To learn more about Blissy's silk pillowcases and how they can improve your sleep, visit our website.