Here is the definitive guide to washing cotton clothing so that you can avoid making mistakes when doing your laundry.
Cotton items can be easily washed in the washing machine or by hand though you have to keep water temperatures lower to reduce fading in colored items. The washing and drying of clothing frequently at higher temperatures can result in some shrinkage and wrinkling, even though it is necessary to wash it after wearing it a few times.
Continue reading to find out how to properly wash cotton clothing so they stay looking and feeling good for longer.
How to Wash Cotton Clothes?
Despite the fact that 100% cotton is prone to shrinking, washing it won’t harm it. Your 100% cotton clothing is easy to maintain, whether you wash it in a washing machine or by hand. [Does Cotton Stretch?]
Machine Wash Cotton Clothes
Check your cotton pieces for stains before putting them in the washer (more on this later!). Before treating a stain, you shouldn’t wash it because doing so increases the stain’s chance of becoming more deeply embedded.
The best laundry soap for your clothes should then be chosen. Cotton responds well to the majority of laundry detergents. A high-performance detergent is something you should think about if you have particularly soiled items. To help prevent fading and damage, use a delicate wash on delicate items or brightly colored fabrics.
However, the cycle and water temperature are more crucial than the kind of soap. For all other items, use lukewarm or cool tap water. Use cold water for bright colors and delicate fabrics. Only wash utensils like towels and rags in hot water or heavily soiled items.
For most 100% cotton garments, a standard wash cycle is sufficient. A gentle cycle might be necessary for very delicate or thin fabrics. If you’re unsure, check the garment tag for recommendations and err on the side of a gentler cycle.
Hand Wash Cotton Clothes
If you prefer to hand wash your 100% cotton clothing, you will require a sizable sink or basin where you can fully submerge your clothing. Put your choice of laundry soap and lukewarm or cool water in the sink before putting the clothes in.
Because you won’t have to spend as much time rinsing the clothes, using a no-rinse detergent can make handwashing simpler. However, any mild laundry detergent will work if you’re willing to put in more time doing the laundry.
The clothes should be gently stirred and agitated in the basin before being left to soak. You can find out how long they should soak in the water before you drain the water and rinse the clothes by reading the laundry detergent instructions.
When using a no-rinse detergent, squeeze out the extra water before hanging your clothes to dry, reshaping bulkier items as necessary.
Refill the sink with cool water if you’re not using a no-rinse detergent. Until there are no longer any soap bubbles, continue to swirl the clothing. Rinse again if necessary after draining the water. The clothes should then be gently squeezed out and hung to dry.
Treating Stains on Cotton Clothes
To avoid permanent staining, treat cotton clothing stains as soon as you can using the stain removal instructions that apply to all types of fabrics. Follow the stain remover’s directions, and for best results, give it at least 10 minutes to work before washing the item of clothing.
To treat stains that might weaken cotton fabric’s fibers and create holes, stay away from using undiluted chlorine bleach. When removing stains and brightening cellulosic or cotton fibers, you can use a diluted solution without risk.
Always carefully adhere to the instructions on the bleach label. However, if it is used too frequently to whiten clothing, even diluted solutions will weaken cotton fibers, causing them to rip and prematurely wear out.
Use an oxygen-based bleach, which works more slowly than chlorine, to whiten and brighten white and colored cotton fabrics. The best results come from soaking the fabrics for at least an hour. The manufacturer’s instructions should always be followed, and it is always best to read product labels.
How Often Should You Wash 100% Cotton?
Wash only necessary amounts of 100% cotton to conserve time, money, water, and energy. Most casual attire can be worn up to five times before needing to be cleaned.
The fabrics can be harmed and become unwearable much sooner if you wash your clothes too frequently. If they don’t get that dirty, you can wear 100% cotton clothing for a very long time.
- Your bedding should be washed at least once per week, including your towels, pillows, and sheets. To maintain your health and hygiene, it is essential to wash them thoroughly.
- You don’t have to wash your 100% cotton t-shirts, shirts, pants, shorts, chinos, blouses, skirts, dresses, tanks, tops, and accessories every time you wear them if they don’t get that dirty.
- Pajamas can last up to five days before needing to be washed, as can hoodies, sweatshirts, sweatpants, joggers, jumpers, sweaters, cardigans, and turtlenecks.
- The majority of bulky clothing, including winter clothing like coats, jackets, and parkas, only needs to be washed once per season.
- Conversely, workout attire, activewear, dance attire, athletic gear, swimwear, and undergarments are worn next to the skin and can become very perspiring.
- It’s best to wash any close-fitting clothing and undergarments frequently, after each time you wear them.
How to Iron Cotton Fabrics?
100% cotton clothing is prone to wrinkles, particularly if you machine dry it. Fortunately, 100% cotton textiles can be safely ironed.
Iron cotton clothing on a low to medium heat setting, paying special attention to white items. Cotton is easily burned, giving the fabric a yellowish hue. Before ironing, flip the item inside out for the best results.
The fabric can also be shielded from too much heat with a pressing cloth. If the clothing is particularly wrinkled, you can spray it with water to add more steam. Check periodically under the pressing cloth to make sure you aren’t causing any damage to the fabric while ironing in the direction of the fabric’s grain.
How to Store Cotton Fabrics?
Cotton is a very tough material that is suitable for daily use. Cotton shirts should be hung in a closet to avoid wrinkles and cotton pants should be folded and kept in a dresser to maintain the best possible condition.
You won’t need to be concerned if you store 100% cotton items for an extended period of time because moths and moth larvae prefer animal fibers. You should be aware of carpet beetles and the cotton-eating larvae they produce, but you can prevent this by using natural repellents like cedar oil and cedar balls.
Cotton items can be stored in airtight plastic containers for a limited time (and carpet beetles cannot enter plastic), but over the long term, the fabric needs to be able to breathe. To allow this, choose natural storage bins and bags, and store them in cool, dry, and dark locations.
In basements and attics, stay away from storing cotton items because the fluctuating humidity and temperatures there could harm your possessions.
Caring Tips for Your Cotton Fabrics
- Avoid using more bleach than is necessary to remove stains from cotton as this could harm the fibers. Also, avoid bleach entirely when cleaning materials with finishes.
- To further protect the colors, fill the machine with cold water and run a gentle wash cycle.
- Cotton clothing is frequently blended with other fabrics because it shrinks and wrinkles easily. Always read the fabric care label on your garment before washing it because there are many different types of cotton fabric.
- Despite its durability, cotton can shrink when washed and dried, so you should wash your cotton clothes gently.
Conclusion: Wash Cotton
Since the majority of cotton clothing is machine washable and dryable, cotton is simple to clean.
100% cotton can shrink, but washing it is straightforward. Your cotton clothing can withstand just about anything without getting damaged as long as you stay away from high heat. Keep in mind that your clothing will last longer the kinder you are.
Can You Wash Cotton at 40 Degrees?
When washing cotton, the most crucial thing to watch out for is shrinkage. The likelihood of this occurring increases with increasing temperature. We, therefore, advise washing cotton fabrics the first time at a lower temperature (maximum 40 degrees) and not putting them directly in the dryer.
Do You Wash 100% Cotton in Warm Or Cold Water?
Cotton can shrink if it is washed in hot water. Although heat can permanently shrink your cotton items, cotton fabrics typically have a maximum shrinkage capacity. By washing cotton in cold water or alternately using warm and cold water, you can prevent this.
Does 100% Cotton Shrink?
Whether your clothing is crafted from 100% cotton or a premium cotton blend, you should know that any clothing that contains cotton can shrink when subjected to high heat. Use the proper protocols, such as., cold water, delicate wash cycles, and low dryer settings.
How Long Does 100 Cotton Last?
Especially if it’s 100% cotton, cotton is one of the fabrics that decompose the fastest. The material ought to be gone in a week to five months if it is composted properly.