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Anuoluwapo Adebayo: @anu_chayil shares the importance of proper garment care



As kids, most of us were taught to keep our clothes off the floor and fold in our drawers, yet most of us ended up like me; constantly leaving clothes on the chair or the side of the bed we don’t often lie on! It took me years to realize my laziness was not just making my space untidy but also destroying my clothes. Just like our health, proper care for our belongings would prolong their ‘life’ and save us money spent constantly replacing them. These are some of the tips/hacks/habits I practice and hope it saves you some stress and money too.

Airing out your clothes before placing in the laundry: Most times our laundry baskets are left behind the door, under a cupboard or in the basement – places that are humid. If you take off a sweat soaked shirt and throw into that space, what do you think would happen? Bad damp smell and sometimes mould would have found a resting place and this is not healthy for fabrics. When you take off your clothes, place on a hanger even for just a few hours then fold into your laundry basket (yes fold not squeeze and throw)

Read garment care instructions on clothes: it amazes me how much people judge me for doing this, even at the point of shopping for clothes I look out for and read the instructions. I do not want to squeeze when all is required of me is to wiggle before drying! The sustenance of a thing is in its source so if the manufacturer deemed it fit to include these instructions then I think it makes sense that I obey. Once, I was feeling lazy and rebellious and decided to handwash a pair of linen pants I had worn just once- well let’s just say I had to hand them over to a girl about 2 or 3 sizes smaller than me- they shrunk so I won’t be doing that again.

Sort out your laundry: I separate my laundry based on colours and fabrics; so I would place denims together and would never put my towel in the same wash with my top. Learn how to care for special fabrics like leather or cashmere and do not assume they can just be randomly cleaned.

Do not leave clothes soaked in soap and water for too long: some of us would soak clothes and leave for a few days; sometimes its laziness or we forget or we believe the longer it stays there, the easier it is to wash (especially items like Towel or Denim), maybe but the color will bleed out alongside the dirt. Do not soak clothes if you are not ready to wash; do not leave wet clothes in your machine and be careful the cycles you use for different types of clothes.

Laundry products: some soap are manufactured in hell and have no business being near your clothes. Do not be ‘pound foolish’ by using substandard products which damage your clothes, eventually leading you to spend more money replacing them.

Hand wash some of your clothes: Not every time machine! If you are a DIY person and do not use a professional laundry service, then please use your hands sometimes especially items like shirts. I know that may be the least fun item to wash but consider necklines and wristbands and armpits- you don’t want a black top with ‘grey’ armpits due to deodorant stains that haven’t been washed off.

Iron inside out: This is a habit I learnt on my own, it’s just a mind-set I have that if I ironed the right side, there would be marks and I absolutely detest that, I have stopped wearing clothes because I felt the iron marks were visible or made my dress ‘shiny’. I also do not apply too much heat as this is not good for any fabric. You can opt for a steamer to remove wrinkles on clothes.

Clean your wardrobe for the obvious reason of being tidy and having your clothes organized for easy access. Insects can get into our storage spaces and these things destroy fabrics. Clean out your cloth storage area; if it is drawers or shelved wardrobe then clean the sheets often; use good plastic hangers, mothballs and scented liners. I also place empty perfume bottles on each shelf just so my clothes have a permanently nice scent.

Care for your clothes: get rid of stains immediately you notice; cut off loose threads with a scissors and not your fingers; replace missing buttons and zippers; use a lint roller or slightly blunt razor to get rid of fabric rolls and give a professional to tack any minor tears or hems if you are not skilled in tailoring. Do not procrastinate once you notice any of these on your clothes as delay may make it harder to deal with.

Dress appropriately for the event and pay attention to the conditions you may encounter. Sometimes we destroy our favourite item of clothing because we wore it at the wrong time or to the wrong place – if it is going to be a few hours of play and fun outdoors then opt for an affordable but nice pair of jeans and a top rather than that designer dress or expensive linen set.

Adapting correct methods of cleaning and storing your clothes will not just save you money but will definitely and positively affect your appearance every time you step out.

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