No matter what jeans style (or tops or dresses) you’re wearing this season, you definitely want to care for them the right way so they last longer and look fresh. But if you have sensitive skin, that can seem like a challenge. Certain ingredients in detergents can make your skin itchy and red. But here’s a hint: You can most definitely get your clothes refreshed and ready to go if you use a detergent made for sensitive skin!
Contrary to what some may think, you don’t need perfumes and dyes in your laundry detergent to look bright and beautiful. How good (or bad) your clothes come out after washing is all in the cleansing formulation and the way you do your laundry. Try these easy tweaks to get your on-trend clothes looking fresh longer.
Treat stains fast
Stains happen, but they don’t have to ruin your clothing. The key is to act fast. As soon as you can, take off the garment and dab a stain pretreater or laundry detergent on it, being sure to first test an inside seam for colorfastness. After treating the stain, get it into the washing machine ASAP. If after the first wash the stain is still there, repeat and rewash. Heat will set the stain, so get it gone before you transfer the garment to the dryer. Be sure to read and follow any directions on products you use (pretreaters, detergent, etc.) for optimal results.
Switch to a gentler detergent
Perfumes and dyes that tint the color of the formula (yes, there’s some psychology happening here!) don’t actually get your clothes clean. But they can send you scratching if you have sensitive skin. Fragrance and dyes are two of the biggest allergens and skin irritants. If you’re sensitive, opt for a hypoallergenic formula that’s clinically tested for sensitive skin such as Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear Liquid Laundry Detergent. It’s not only dermatologist tested; it has a 100 percent rating from Skin Safe, meaning it’s certified by SkinSAFE to exclude 100% of their topmost considered skin allergens. SkinSAFE is a program developed in partnership with The Mayo Clinic to help those with sensitive skin find products that are less likely to make their skin react.
Choose the right setting
Many of us instinctively choose the “normal” setting, but if you’re looking to prevent wear and tear on delicate items, the gentle cycle will inflict the least amount of damage on your clothes. (It’s a must for any delicate fabrics like your silky blouses!) Using the cold-water setting can also be a clothing saver—hot water can fade colors and break down certain fabrics faster.
Turn your clothing inside out
Taking a minute to do this can help prevent wear and tear on your clothing, especially if they’re going through a normal cycle with a high spin. It’s especially important with darks that are prone to fading (like those high-waisted black skinnies). Plus, the parts that actually touch your skin and body get a thorough cleaning, so it’s a must-do move for your activewear.
Use a mesh bag
For super delicate fabrics or clothing with embellishments (like beading and sequins), place them in the washing machine inside a mesh bag. The bag will help keep your clothing intact and prevent it from getting snagged on other garments. It will also help fabrics keep their shape rather than getting all stretched out.
If you have the space—and the time—air dry your delicate clothing. The heat from your dryer can fade, shrink, and break down fibers faster. Hang or fold clothes on a drying rack, laying knits flat to prevent stretching. If you must use your dryer, set it to the lowest heat setting to avoid over-drying, which can shrink clothes or even damage them.
Use steam for wrinkles
Taking clothes out of the dryer while they’re still warm helps keep wrinkles away, but if you’re air drying, your clothes may dry a bit crinkly. Steam works wonders to relax the fibers in your clothes, so wrinkles fall out like magic—no iron necessary.
This article was created by StyleCaster for Arm & Hammer.