Garment Care: How To Take Care Of Your Clothes

It’s finally here. I know I posted a brief intro on this – My Boyfriend Back to Basic ECO 101HERE

Since you have been asking, I knew it was time for me to post this piece. This is particularly for the gents (you asked me more so than the ladies) but ladies as well. So how do you keep your clothing looking new and smelling fresh. Of course, throw them in the wash…but there’s more to it than this. I thought a quick little rundown would be helpful and now that we are approaching fall where sweaters and jackets will be worn, I feel it’s a good time. These items are normally the items most people have a hard time taking care of. Nothing worse than a smelly suit jacket, it’s good to know what to do to prevent smells from lingering since heavier clothing items can hold on to smells. I will also tell you how to get the deodorant smell out of you fitted t-shirts and dresses.



I have often talked about quality over quantity. It’s better to have a few good shirts than a bunch of poor quality ones. If you really think about what you are spending, you end up spending more in the long-run. Believe or not, cheap low-quality items, you know that really awesome t-shirt you found for a really low price and you love it, often require a little more care to maintain longevity. Always read garment care instructions and never assume that you can just throw anything into the wash even if it’s not high quality. We have all been there when that deal turns into a disaster when it shrinks or becomes discoloured in the wash. Sometimes that 20 dollar shirt requires dry cleaning…not such a deal after all now is it?! I love cheap finds just as much as anyone else, I have learned that these items still require just as much attention as higher quality, high-priced items.

Whenever you go shopping, particularly if you have a set budget for clothing. Always think QUALITY over QUANTITY. Short term investment for long-term savings. Invest in a good a pair of jeans. I would say five good pairs of jeans is all anyone needs. You can add to this collection for those who like denim and want to explore different styles or cuts. But know what style and cut works best on your body type and have at least two blue pairs, two black, and one grey or white pair. The same ‘rule’ applies to slacks and trousers. Choose and invest well for long-term savings.



Placing cedars balls in your closet will keep your clothes smelling fresh and the moths away. Have you ever opened your closet and felt like you were in a vintage store? Well, cedar balls will prevent this smell. Also, air out your closet by keeping it open once a week. Let worn jackets and sweaters that you don’t plan to wash right away air out before placing them back in your closet. Food smells will linger and permeate all clothing in your wardrobe. If you have cedar balls you will find that they eliminate smells and odors, best investment!



I love love this brand of gentle care laundry detergents, garment care tools and clothing deodorants. One of the simplest ways to keep your sweaters, jackets and also linens smelling fresh.  The Laundress’ fresh scented antibacterial sprays are a must have for both men and women. While you air out your clothing after a days wear spray them with Laundress to eliminate odors. They also have one dedicated to active wear – The Sports Care Set.


The Laundress
The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Spray – $13.27



When should you wash your denim? Well everyone has a different rule when it comes to denim but what most people will agree on is that you definitely don’t throw your jeans in the wash with each wear. This is why I think you should have at least five pairs of jeans so you can cycle through them. In addition, practicing good hygiene will prevent the need to wash your jeans too often. I would say 8 to 10 wears, use your discretion. Obviously, if they’re noticeably dirty and smell a good wash is required.

  • Wash inside-out in COLD water.
  • Zip or button them up before throwing them in the wash.
  • Try to wash your denim separately, so maybe wash a few pairs at the same time. Wash in dark or similar colours since dyes may bleed. Particularly if it’s unwashed, rinsed or garment dyed
  • Dry on a low setting and remove while damp and allow them to finish drying while hung (invest in a drying rack it’s worth it).
  • Ideally, hang dry/air dry your denim, even denim shirts or jackets
  • Iron inside-out
The Laundress Denim Wash
The Laundress Denim Wash – $25.22



Before you wash anything, look at the garment care tag located on the side seam or collar where the label is located. Make sure you read it and if you don’t understand the symbols look them up. Always separate your clothing. Lights with lights, darks with darks, delicates with delicates and so on.

  • You should wash all your intimates (underwear) in a completely separate wash and in hot water. I am sure you know your underwear will have traces of E.Coli and urine on them…it’s true! Another reason why women should never wear thongs all day, but that’s another post. Hang them to dry to prevent shrinkage or damage. Don’t just throw them in the mix with everything else. To ensure your intimates are actually clean, hand wash them or throw them in the wash with like items…underwear goes together. If they’re a super fancy delicate pair hand wash them right after wear and lay them flat to dry. I hang dry all my underwear once it’s washed. You don’t need fabric softener for intimates, it will leave a residue. If you have to use the dryer use the lowest setting (cool dry). Warm to hot water is best to sanitize intimates; I recommend hot water always.
  • Swap out bleach with OxiClean to get your whites nice and bright. Oxy also helps with deodorant and sweat stains.
  • Read your washer and dryer settings. This also goes back to reading the garment care tag. Should you tumble dry low? Should you wash it on the delicate cycle? Is it silk? This is why it’s important to separate items.
  • Wash smaller loads. Don’t wait until you have a massive mountain of clothing to tackle your laundry. Not only are you more likely to overlook the garment care instructions, you are more likely to damage that nice sweater you spent a lot of money on.
  • Soak items with stains or lingering smells in OxiClean or a detergent of your choice. There are different soaps designated for various fabrics. It’s a good idea to have them on hand as well.
  • Don’t leave wet clothes sitting in your washer over night, this leads to mildew…it’s gross. Not only will your washer smell, your clothes will too! Don’t do it! Only wash what you can. Also, leave your washer open when it’s not in use, it prevents that smell that’s pretty common with the new HE machines, particularly front loader machines.
  • I also don’t think it’s a good idea to dry clothing overnight while you sleep or when you’re not home. It’s not uncommon for fires to start in the laundry room. I know we have busy lives but we mustn’t get complacent or negligent. Don’t forget to remove lint for each cycle as well.
  • Dry towels and linens separately. They leave a lot of lint behind. For example, don’t throw your darks in with your towels.



Make sure your clothing tag says dry clean only. Believe or not, some items can actually get ruined by dry cleaning. Not all dry cleaners are good therefore look for one that has good reviews. Ask a friend or search the web. If you are getting suits, blouses, jackets and high-quality items dry cleaned make sure your cleaner of choice is well versed in garment care. I have had a few good pieces ruined and it’s my fault. There’s a reason why some cleaners do very well. They may cost a little more if they’re in demand, but you know they quality will be good. Sometimes you can get away with handwashing certain dry clean only items but use your discretion (not sweaters obviously).



OxiClean is magic when it comes to removing deodorant stains and smells. Make a paste with water to spot clean. You can also soak items in OxiClean and water overnight for heavy-duty stains, sometimes an hour will do. Bleach is great for making your whites whiter but OxiClean does the job and you don’t have to worry about ruining other clothing due to bleach spillage.

If you are using bleach to whiten whites, use a small amount, approximately a cap which is about a teaspoon. Throw in towels, sheets or like coloured items in after a wash using bleach rather than your darks. Put your darks in the following load.



As in practice good hygiene. This is a basic as it gets. It doesn’t matter how many times you wash your clothing if you don’t practice good hygiene. If you sweat a lot and have to wear suits all day, get a deodorant that really works well for you. It’s hard to get sweat smells out of suit jackets and sweaters no matter how well they are cleaned if you don’t keep this in mind. If you sweat a lot carry baby or natural deodorant wipes, so you can freshen up and reapply deodorant during the day. There is no shame in  keeping it fresh. As I mentioned above never place a suit into your closet before airing it out. If it smells like sweat air it out and take it to the cleaners sooner than later, but don’t wear it until it’s been cleaned.

For deodorant, I have a post on deodorant coming soon. There are a lot of great natural deodorant brands for you to consider. Deodorant wipes are amazing and a must-have for both men and women.



Below you will find a few great tools for getting rid of lint and pills. You will thank me later!


The Laundress Sweater Comb
The Laundress Sweater Comb – $23.89




The Laundress Cashmere Brush
The Laundress Cashmere Brush – $79.63




You have to know when it’s time to let something go. Nothing last forever, particularly clothing. There will come a time when you have to clean out your closet. When you start adulting you will start to realize the importance of tailored clothing and clothing that fits you well. I am sure there are quite a few items in your wardrobe now from your college days…even high school…you know who you are!!


I love appliances. It’s my thing and if it was up to me I would have the latest everything every year, but clearly that’s not feasible. If you are looking for a new washer you might want to consider the LG TWIN Wash featuring the LG SideKick . The LG TWIN Wash gives you the option to wash larger loads on the top and small ones on the bottom (perfect to intimates). I am also in love with the LG Mega Capacity Electric SteamDryer™ with TurboSteam Technology. Who doesn’t love a machine that allows you to skip the ironing and leaves your clothing wrinkle free?! It also has steam technology that removes allergens. This is not an ad, I think both machines are great and something you should consider  if you’re looking for new durable machines for your home. Check out the LG site for more information and a cool video demonstration.





Cover Image: © The Things I Wish I Knew

Libeco Home Kisany Linen Bag Laundry – $170.00

Author Description

Hanifa Sekandi

Founder & Editor-in-Chief Follow Me on Instagram @thethingsiwishiknew

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