This list is from Hanna Andersson. Why recreate something that says just what I would say? Here's a collection of our best washing tips, contributed over the years by employees and customers.
First, read your care label. Here is the single most important tip: always begin by reading the care labels! One label is sewn into the garment, and there may be more information in the removable hangtag. They will tell you any specific instructions to use for best results.
Wash before wearing.
It's best to wash your [new natural-fiber clothes] before wearing, for comfort and sizing. You can expect most of the shrinkage in the first wash, and additional shrinkage in the following few washes. You'll get best results by separating and washing like colors together. Here's a handy tip: turn your garments inside out before washing, zip all the zippers and fasten hook and loop tape.
A basic tip about loading and unloading your laundry. Any time your laundry comes into direct contact with undiluted detergent, spot bleaching could occur. If you add the detergent before putting clothes in the washer, be sure to agitate the water to distribute the detergent. If you add detergent after the clothes, make sure the laundry is already completely immersed in the water. If your machine has a detergent dispenser, that’s ideal. Important: be sure to take wet clothing out of your washer as soon as possible. This will help protect bright colors and stripes.
Dry, don't bake! Always be sure to use a low heat setting when machine drying natural fibers. High temperatures result in excessive shrinkage and may shorten the life of a garment.
Treat stains right away. . . ...because the longer a stain sits, the more time it has to work into the fibers. Dilute stains with water right away. We have had good results removing stains with Fels-Naptha laundry bar soap. If using a stain remover, please allow to sit no longer than 20 minutes, and then wash as usual. Detergents and stain-removers with stain-fighting enzymes may cause color transfer or fading. Chlorine bleach should not be used at all.
News about detergents! Most detergents now contain optical brighteners; while these keep white laundry brighter, they can change or fade your clothing after washing, or even cause matching hannas to no longer match. We’ve found that our colors stay fresher using optical brightener-free products such as 7th Generation, Kirkland Signature Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergent (Costco), Ecover, Bi-O-Kleen (Vancouver WA), Surf Powder, Cheer Powder, Planet Detergents, Alma Win Organic Cleanut Detergent, Moon-Works, Rockin’-Green Detergent, Charlie’s Soap, and Claudia’s Choices Ultra.
Prewash your patterned tights and socks. We learned this terrific tip from our sock and tight makers: before wearing, wash patterned tights and socks inside out! This "locks" the cotton yarns of the pattern. It’s a good idea to turn them inside out for every wash – and a simple way to maximize their wear.
Caring for zippers. Sometimes the fabric of a garment and its zipper shrink at different rates and the zipper may twist. Here’s what to do: while taking from the washer, gently stretch the fabric along the zipper, then lie flat or line dry. When machine drying, do not dry completely. Repeat the stretching steps, then dry flat or hang to dry. Use this trick with every wash.