What’s the best way to wash delicate laundry?

washerIf the care tag says “gentle cycle,” use a mild detergent. “Regular-formula liquid detergents have chemical additives that can harm delicate fibers,” says Linda Cobb, known as the Queen of Clean. Use an all-natural detergent for regular loads.  “Green detergents are safe for any type of clothing because they are all natural, meaning they don’t contain chemicals that will harm those gentler items.”

For colorfast delicate items that are stained, Cobb suggests treating them the natural way, using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, which is just as effective as non-chlorine bleach. Pour ½ cup into a full load and your garments will sparkle.

Should I wash new clothing before wearing it for the first time?

basketYes, it’s a good idea. Before showing off that new top, you might want to run it through the washer. Otherwise common additives may put you at risk for contact dermatitis, says Hilary Baldwin, a New York City dermatologist. A prewear wash also prevents excess dye from staining skin or other fabrics, like upholstery. It’s particularly wise to clean intimates, like lingerie and swimsuits, before wearing them. “Although it’s rare, you could catch scabies or crab lice from others who have tried the garments on,” says Carolyn Jacob, a dermatologist in Chicago. Rinse these items in very hot water and hang them to dry (this won’t damage the fabric) before putting them on for their big debut. ―Sarah Smith

How do I get the chlorine smell out of a swimsuit?

While a dip in the pool on a hot summer’s day is refreshing, the chemical smell that’s sometimes left behind isn’t. To get rid of the odor and to help your suit last longer, follow these simple steps, courtesy of swimwear expert and Canyon Beachwear Store Manager, Ilene Sofferman.swimsuit

  • Always hand-wash your suit as soon as you can after swimming. This prevents smelly bacteria and chemicals from making themselves at home in the fibers.
  • Use a lingerie cleaner that is formulated to gently yet thoroughly clean delicate pieces. But when the chlorine smell is overbearing, Sofferman recommends using a swimsuit cleaner like Canyon Beachwear Swimwear Cleanser. These solutions are designed to remove chlorine while restoring the brilliance of a suit’s color.
  • Pour one capful of cleaner into a sink filled with cold water (never warm or hot), then add the swimsuit. Swish it around for about three minutes. Depending on the level of odor, you can leave the suit to soak in the solution for a few minutes more.
  • After cleaning, rinse the suit and roll―don’t wring―the excess water out with a towel.
  • Lay the suit flat to air-dry.

How do I keep my black pants black?

BlackpantsWhen you are ready to do a load of laundry, turn the pants inside out to minimize color loss caused by the friction from rubbing against other clothes, then choose a short, delicate cycle. “The colder the temperature, the better, since warm water tends to break down fibers and fade clothes faster,” says Steve Boorstein, author of The Clothing Doctor’s 99 Secrets to Cleaning and Clothing Care. A specialized detergent for cold-water loads,helps neutralize the color-sucking chlorine that can be found in tap water. Then hang or lay the pants flat to dry; don’t throw them in the dryer. And the next time you’re in the market for black trousers, look for a fabric that retains dark dyes, like a washable wool blend or nylon, as opposed to acetate or linen.