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How to care for cotton textiles

Washing cotton properly - 10 tips for the care of cotton products.

How can you wash and care for cotton textiles so that they last as long as possible? The popular material is generally very easy to clean and hard-wearing. In addition, at least with Organic cotton the environment is less polluted and animals are also spared. Nevertheless, it is a natural resourcewhich should last as long as possible and certainly not be wasted carelessly. The fact that we can use and admire our carrier bags, shirts, sweaters and pants made from this renewable raw material for ages is something we can influence ourselves.

I have collected the most important tips for you in this article. Find out now how to properly care for your favorite cotton textiles. Let's go!

In advance already a short Overview for you:

  1. Use natural detergent
  2. Do without fabric softener
  3. Correctly adjust the washing machine
  4. Avoid wrinkles in the fabric
  5. Do not iron too hot
  6. Dry damp cotton
  7. Wash a little less often
  8. Protect against moths
  9. Repair yourself
  10. Do not wash jeans at all if possible

How to properly wash and care for cotton?

Colorful cotton carrier bags

Cotton is probably the most important fabric in the fashion industry - each of us probably has a pair of cotton jeans in his closet. But not only clothes are made from the fabric, but also the ever-popular Fairtrade carrier bags or fruit bags made from organic cotton. You can have these printed with your own logo or similar in small quantities, for example. They are also used by companies as promotional gifts and, last but not least, are part of the Zero Waste Basic Equipment.

Whether Bags, pants, shirts or shirts - all need to be cared for equally well so that we can all enjoy them for as long as possible and protect the environment. Use the following tips for really long-lasting cotton textiles!

1. use natural detergent

For the care of cotton you can use your Making your own laundry detergent from natural ingredients. In most cases, however, a Universal or heavy duty detergentto get the fabric clean in the machine. For colored fibers, you should always use a color detergent to prevent the colors from wearing off. There are also special detergents for cotton. However, these are not really worthwhile and are unnecessarily expensive. 

2. do without fabric softener

When doing the laundry, you shouldn't use anything other than detergent. Make a conscious decision not to use fabric softener, as it usually contains chemicals that can have a negative impact on the environment. These include, for example Silicones, chemicals or even Waste from the slaughterhouse. However, if you can't do without fabric softener, you should choose a sustainable product that is free from chemicals and Animal suffering use

3. properly adjust the washing machine

Take a look at the washing instructions before putting the cotton items in your washing machine. It's best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations to be on the safe side. However, if you can no longer read or find the washing instructions, you can follow the instructions below:

  • White cotton: Can be washed frequently at up to 90 degrees. 
  • Colorful cotton: Withstands up to 60 degrees.
  • Dark cotton: It remains colorfast up to a maximum of 40 degrees. 

This will ensure that your cotton items are treated with care and are still clean. However, it is generally advisable not to wash too hot in order to Save electricity and wash laundry sustainably

4. avoid wrinkles in the fabric

At their folds textiles usually begin bleaching or more susceptible to Cracks and holes to become. By setting your washing machine correctly, you can avoid the majority of creases in the fabric. The key to this is in the final spin cycle. It should have a maximum of 1,000 revolutions. This means you won't have to iron as intensively later on.

5. iron at lower temperatures

Proper care and ironing of cotton

If you still need to iron the cotton pieces at all, make sure that they are still not completely dried so that they are particularly crease-resistant. However, do not set the heat of your iron too high. A maximum of 200 degrees should be sufficient for really smooth textiles.

6. Dry damp cotton

Although many items of cotton clothing are suitable for tumble drying, you should refrain from doing so if possible. On the one hand, because the Drying in the air clearly more environmentally friendly is , since the consumption of electricity and materials is avoided. Secondly, because cotton is so simple also dried more gentle on textiles becomes. Your laundry will be dry in no time, especially in the sun. To do this, simply shake them out well after washing and hang them up by the seam. 

7. Wash a little less often

We wash our clothes far too often because we think that they are no longer fresh after wearing them once. However, this idea is not very sustainable and not as justified as many of us might think. In most cases, it is completely sufficient if you air the cotton pieces well at the window or outside. Already your shirt smells much fresher.

Another trick: You can also hang the garment in the shower and let the hot steam freshen it up. 

8. protect against moths

Natural fibers such as cotton are particularly popular with moths. However, to prevent them from eating your clothes, you should store them in airtight clothing boxes store. Put a piece of cedar wood in there. This is a completely natural anti-moth agent that will make your clothes last much longer!

9. do not wash jeans at all if possible

This is about how to wash cotton properly, but I have a tip for caring for your jeans that might surprise you: You should hardly ever wash them. This may sound a little unhygienic and perhaps even crazy at first, but believe me, it has its reasonsthat many people's jeans have never seen the inside of a washing machine. Beginning with the sich slowly washing out paint.

9. textiles repair yourself

Repair and care for cotton textiles yourself

The used look is extremely popular, but before your cotton clothing is then eventually just before the barrel, you can still have it patched by a professional or simply repair it yourself! For this purpose are so-called Repair patches perfectly suitable. Simply iron them on and your shirt is as good as new again.

Tip: In addition to "fixing", there are dozens of other Zero waste options. In the linked article you can find out what else you can do to avoid waste.

Wash and care for cotton properly so that it lasts forever!

If you really want to enjoy your cotton pieces for a long time, you should take good care of them. Cotton is already a very robust fabric in itself. But with the right care, it will last even longer. I hope that I have been able to give you some valuable tips in this article.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or further advice? Then please write a comment below this article.

Stay sustainable,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: Under Slow Fashion you will learn lots of other tips for an environmentally friendly approach to fashion. Have fun!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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