A Summer Guide to Washing Your Clothes

Oxwash's ultimate guide to cleaning delicate summer clothing and removing those pesky sweat stains.

A Summer Guide to Washing Your Clothes 2
By
Hannah McBrearty

Business & Insights

Summer laundry always comes with challenges as we have to deal with delicate fabrics, sweat stains and how on earth do we wash swimwear?! We’ll be revealing the Oxwash team's top tips for all of these and summer washing best practices for your at-home laundry. 

Summer washing best practices

At Oxwash we see a lot of different fabrics, with many different care instructions coming into our Lagoons. Summer clothing is often made from delicate fabrics like silk or linen and sometimes they need to be washed differently from what you usually do, try to get in the habit of checking the labels in case there are any special requirements for your delicate summer fabrics. During a standard wash, it's best to always use a detergent suitable for delicate items. Try not to use too much of your detergent and try to avoid using a fabric softener into your cycle. 

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Air drying

Summer has arrived and one of the best parts about the sun being out is that you can retire from using the tumble dryer! Not only do tumble dryers use a lot of energy, but they also cost a lot of money to run. You can therefore save money by air-drying if you have a garden or balcony at home. We have a few top tips for air-drying also, remember to clean your clothing line frequently, it may seem clean but can harvest bacteria and ruin your lovely clean washing. Similarly, if you can keep your clothes pegs indoors this can stop any deterioration and dirt from building up on them. Don't worry if you don't have any outdoor space, your clothes will still dry very quickly during the summer months when air-dried indoors.

Air drying also makes it easier to avoid creasing however it isn't fool-proof. To avoid any creases hang tops from the hem to prevent any stretch on the shoulders or sleeves. You may have heard this before but reducing your load greatly helps to avoid creases and ensures your clothes dry better. As well as this, although it is tempting to put everything into a basket and fold it later, folding clothes when you take them off the line is one to the best ways to prevent wrinkles. 

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Sweat stains 

One of the perils of summer washing is the appearance of sweat stains on your tops, especially shirts and t-shirts. The Oxwash team find that the best way to get rid of sweat stains is to prevent them in the first place! A strong deodorant such as sweat guard can be a lifesaver in hot temperatures. However, avoid using too much deodorant especially if you use stick deodorants, these can stain your clothes further.

Once the damage has been done, it’s best to try and treat your fabric before the sweat dries. You can try applying water mixed with some lemon juice to keep the stain from drying before you can treat the stain. Alternatively, run the garment under some cold water. 

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White vinegar

White vinegar is great for lots of different stains so it’s great to have on hand as a laundry staple. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Let the stained fabric soak the sweat-stained part of your clothing for around 30 minutes to an hour and then scrub with a clean sponge, flannel or brush. Once you have finished, rinse as usual in the washing machine.

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Lemon juice

Lemon juice can be used in place of harsh bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide. Squeeze the juice from a lemon and add an equal amount of water to it. Apply to the stained area and scrub in well with a brush or sponge. Place in a sunny area and allow to dry, the lemon juice and sunlight act as a natural alternative to bleach and will help fade the stain. Follow by washing as normal.

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Summer fabrics

Linen, silk and cotton are all great fabrics to wear during the summer heat as they are light, delicate and naturally breathable. There are some best practices for both materials to keep them perfect for this summer but it can be tricky to know how best to clean them, read on to where we break this down into a guide you can keep coming back to every summer.

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Linen

Linen can absorb moisture and stays feeling light and airy on the skin, perfect for hot summer days. Coloured linen should be washed at no more than 40°C and has a maximum temperature of 60°C for whites but we would recommend washing at a cooler temperature. In both cases, it’s better to use a mild soap or a liquid detergent for delicate items, with a non-intensive washing program.

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Cotton 

Almost all of us will own something made of cotton especially summer clothes because of its breathable qualities. White cotton can withstand washing at temperatures up to 95°c, while the temperature for coloured cotton should be no higher than 60°c but you can still get good results on a cooler setting with a short rinsing period and the minimum possible spin cycle. 

For more delicate garments, such as underwear, it’s recommended to wash them inside out in mesh bags, you can get them in a set of three or as one. It’s also best to use a mild liquid detergent.

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Silk

Silk is a summer evening-wear favourite. As you probably know it is a very delicate fabric, which requires particular attention during washing. Make sure you use a cycle suitable for delicate clothes and never exceed 30°c. Another tip would be to place your silk clothes in a mesh bag to avoid direct contact with your washing basket and washing machine drum.

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Swimwear 

Swimwear also means sea, lake or swimming pool water. To protect your swimwear, every 5-6 hand washes, you can wash them in the washing machine to eliminate chlorine or salt. Set a wash to a maximum of 30°c or opt for a cold wash without using the spin function using a mesh bag or wash them inside a pillowcase.

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