Winter brings snow, sleet, and piles of wet, soggy laundry. A quick walk to the mailbox can yield a heap of wet socks, drenched jeans, and soaking shirts. While some of us might be tempted just to shove all this extra winter laundry under the bed (not that we would…for shame…), winter laundry doesn’t have to bring us to our laundry-carrying knees. Make a plan, execute, and sit back and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa without burying yourself in an avalanche of wet, soggy socks.
Wool, acrylic, cashmere; whatever the fabric, sweaters need love too. Before you toss a pile of sweaters into the wash, take time to check the care tag on each garment. Here’s a short run down on what to do with different common sweater fabrics:
- Acrylic: wash in warm to cold water with like colors on a gentle cycle. Place acrylic items in a mesh washing bag for extra care. Block out the damp sweater on a towel to dry, do not tumble dry.
- Wool: always wash wool in cold water. Heat in any for will shrink wool. Turn the sweater inside out and wash on a cold, gentle cycle with similar light or dark colors. Never put wool in the dryer. Shape and dry on a towel.
- Cashmere: Just…take it to a dry cleaner. Like Red Hanger!
Scarves, Hats, Gloves, Mittens and Other Accessories
Don’t forget the accessories! Scarves are worn next to the skin and accumulate sweat and odors, and hats – well it’s pretty self-explanatory why you need to wash those. Wash gloves, mittens, socks and anything else that comes in pair in a garment bag to avoid losing a mate. There’s nothing worse than a single glove. It’s just sad.
Store winter accessories in a waterproof plastic bin during non-winter months for easy access when the temps drop.
Take Care of the Little Things
Don’t forget your underwear! Thermals and underoos can be washed on a regular cycle with similar colors. A mesh laundry bag is perfect for gathering up all those stinky unmentionables if you don’t have time to throw them in the washing machine right away. Always use a breathable bag to store dirty underwear in, it cuts down on odors and, well, having your underwear strewn all over your room.
Consider investing in a heavy-duty detergent like OxiClean for your under layers. Mix a quarter cup of detergent in a gallon of water and soak your underwear and thermals overnight before loading them into the washing machine.
Lastly, and this is a basic one, get yourself a good rack for hanging your heavy winter duds on before washing. Set it up in an out-of-the-way place in your home and hang things up as soon as you come in the door. The longer things sit in a pile on the ground, the more they will collect odors and start to mildew. Set up a drying station if you’re not able to to throw things in the washing machine as soon as you get home.
Winter shouldn’t be all about laundry. Watch those fabrics, keep gloves together, and skate through to an effortless snowy season.