Caring for your clothes

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Updated: 4/16/2007 1:43 pm
With the proper care, your clothes will look better and last longer. Always take dress clothes off when you get home and hang them up. Avoid wearing your good things for chores around the house or when taking walks, as friction can wear the fabric and they're more likely to become stained. Also, be gentle when washing. Pre-treat any stains and repair any holes before laundering. Combine only those clothes of like weight and color, using cold water when possible. Hot water fades colors faster and is best reserved for white loads. Heat can also shrink fibers like cotton. Though many silks and sweaters are now hand washable, a few items shouldn't be washed at all and instead require dry cleaning. Check the tag before trying to wash the garment and use your judgement. If it's an expensive item, it's probably not worth the risk of trying to wash it yourself. For washable clothing, you'll also need to check the label for drying instructions. Again, cotton and similar fibers tend to shrink, so use caution. If you just want to remove wrinkles, run the items on the lowest heat setting or on air fluff for a few minutes, then remove and hang while still damp.

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