fashion

From puffers to knitwear, here's how to wash your favourite winter essentials.

As winter settles in, our favourite cosy garments become essential for keeping warm and comfortable. However, with frequent use comes the need for proper cleaning and maintenance. 

Many people hesitate to clean these items at home, fearing they might damage delicate materials or compromise the garments' insulating properties. 

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But surprisingly, it's actually easier than you think, and we're going to demystify the cleaning process for some of the most popular winter wear items.

With the cost of living shifting our priorities, most of us don't want to spend money at the dry cleaners. So here's how to easily wash your winter essentials at home.

How to wash puffer jackets.

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Contrary to popular belief, puffer jackets can be safely washed at home using a washing machine. Here's how to do it properly:

  1. Empty all pockets and fasten zippers and velcro closures.
  2. Remove any fur or faux-fur trims, as these should be washed separately.
  3. Spot-treat visible stains with a damp cloth or a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar for tougher marks.
  4. Use a front-loading washing machine without an agitator if possible, as the agitator can damage the jacket.
  5. Set the machine to a gentle cycle with cold water and use a down-specific detergent or a mild laundry detergent.
  6. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach.
  7. After washing, dry the jacket in a dryer on low heat with a few tennis balls to help redistribute the down and maintain fluffiness.

Always remember to check the tag on your garment to check for any warnings before washing or drying. 

For those hesitant about machine washing, hand washing is a good alternative. Soak the jacket in warm water with a gentle detergent for up to an hour, then rinse thoroughly with cold water.

How to wash dressing gowns.

Cleaning dressing gowns depends on the material they're made from:

  1. Cotton or terry cloth: Machine wash using warm water and a gentle detergent. Tumble dry on low heat or hang to air dry.
  2. Silk or satin: Hand wash in cool water with a mild detergent designed for delicates. Avoid wringing or twisting the fabric. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry away from direct sunlight.
  3. Fleece: Machine wash on a gentle cycle with cold water and mild detergent. Avoid fabric softeners and tumble dry on low heat or air dry.

Always check the care label for specific instructions before cleaning. Address stains promptly using a mixture of gentle detergent and cool water to spot clean before washing.

How to wash fleece slippers.

Fleece slippers can usually be machine washed but always check the care label first. Here's how to clean them:

  1. Use a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent.
  2. Place the slippers in a mesh laundry bag to protect them during the wash cycle.
  3. Avoid using fabric softeners, as these can mat the fleece fibres.
  4. After washing, reshape the slippers and air dry them.
  5. Do not put fleece slippers in the dryer, as the heat can damage the material and affect their shape.

For spot cleaning, use a soft brush or cloth with a mixture of mild soap and water to gently scrub away dirt or stains.

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How to wash knitwear.

Washing knitwear requires gentle handling to maintain the fabric's shape and texture:

  1. Always check the care label, as some knits may require dry cleaning.
  2. For hand-washable knits, use lukewarm water and a gentle detergent designed for wool or delicates.
  3. Gently submerge the garment and avoid agitating or wringing, as this can cause stretching or misshaping.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
  5. After washing, gently squeeze out excess water without twisting the fabric.
  6. Lay the garment flat on a clean towel, reshape it to its original form, and allow it to air dry away from direct heat or sunlight.

For machine-washable knits, use a mesh laundry bag and select the delicate or wool cycle with cold water. Use a gentle detergent and avoid fabric softeners. To maintain knitwear between washes, air it out after wearing and use a fabric brush to remove any surface dirt or lint. Store knits folded rather than hung to prevent stretching.

Feature Image: Getty.

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