A garment that is properly cared for may be expected to last considerably longer than one that is not cared for adequately. It will look better all through its wear-life.
Care includes three elements namely cleaning, refreshing and storage. Cleaning is usually a more technical and more involved process than storage or refreshing. Washing and dry cleaning are two major overall cleaning methods. Washing may be either hand or machine. For either process there are variations in the required water temperature, the nature of the detergent used, the use of bleach, the length of soaking and agitation time, the method of moisture removal and the method and amount of pressing required.
Washing is one way of cleaning namely with water and often with some kind of soap / detergent. It is an essential part of good hygiene and health.
Home laundering is an art. It requires patience and practice to learn the right technique. Laundering of clothes consists of two processes - removing dirt from clothes and finishing them to regain the appearance of neatness as a new fabric.
The dirt which soils fabrics may be classified as follows:
Loose dirt resting on the fabric.
Fixed dirt which is held by grease.
Loose dirt is removed by steeping and mechanical means such as brushing and shaking. Fixed dirt is removed by means of absorption or emulsification of washing and dry cleaning. Soap plays an important part in the separation of dirt, but the fact lies how the soapy water is allowed to penetrate the fabric. The essential factor in the process of cleaning therefore is the use of grease solvent or absorbent and an application of hard or delicate pressure to remove the dirt.
Although most of todays fabrics are either machine washable or dry cleanable, hand washing continues to be important not only for small items but also for certain materials like silk, sheer fabrics where fastness of colour is uncertain,must be washed by hand.
Following are some guides for hand laundering.
Launder fabrics before they become too soiled.
Examine the fabrics thoroughly for spots, small tears or holes.
Mend all tears or holes and mark spots with thread so that they may be specially treated before or during washing.
Remove any accessories that are not washable.
For delicate fabric use soap with no strong alkali.
Most washing today is done by washing machines, the great majority of which are the automatic types. In selecting an automatic washing machine, the following are important consideration for the customer.
Capacity of clothes depending on family size
Space available for the machine
At least two speed variations for different fabrics
The water temperatures
Pressure control rather than time control for filling
More than one full level to handle a small load
Moderate use of electricity
Turn off the water supply when the machine is not in use, to prevent the hose from recapturing
Remove the articles from the clothing pockets before washing.
Keep hands out of the washer when it is in operation.
Don't over load the machine. Distribute the loads evenly, if the machine vibrates or bang, turn it off at once.
Before using a washing machine it is important to study the maker's instruction.
Fill the machine to the water level with warm water. Add soap solution or powder.
See that heavily soiled garments have some soap rubbed in before being placed in the machines.
Sort clothes into white, coloured and delicate fabrics.
Load the machine with required quantity of garments
Set the wash cycle, temperature , warm or hot water and timing, switch on for washing.
Remove the garments once the washing is over.
Dry the garments in the sunlight or in the shade.
The purpose of fabric softeners is to make washable fabrics softer, fluffier and less likely to wrinkle, and to make ironing easier. When used on man made fabrics, softeners are said to cut down on static electricity (clinging of the fabric).
While many different fabric softeners are available, most of them are in liquid form. One type of softener is added to the final rinse water, where as another type is to be put in to the water along with the detergent. With the latter type, it is important to follow instructions carefully because the softener and detergent interact, causing an insoluble precipitate that is difficult to remove.
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