General Question

jlm11f's avatar

Do you read and follow the washing instructions for your individual clothes?

Asked by jlm11f (12340 points ) June 8th, 2009

I am catching up with what seems like over two months of folding laundry (was on vacation) and am just noticing that each of my clothes have individual washing instructions, MOST of which require hand washing. Now, I know I don’t have the time or motivation to hand wash all my clothes. But I was wondering if this is a more common practice than I would expect.

So do you pay any attention to those labels on your clothes? Or do they all go in the same washing machine load under the same set of instructions regardless?

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28 Answers

Facade's avatar

I surly do.

AstroChuck's avatar

Naw. That’s the wife’s job. :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

Yes and no. For example, most of your “hand wash only, lay flat to dry” or whatever stuff can be washed on a gentle cycle. In those instances, I wash on gentle. I always wash on cold because my detergent is cold water detergent. Mostly, I pay careful attention to the drying instructions. Because when I was younger and didn’t, I noticed it destroyed my clothing pretty quickly.

xTheDreamer's avatar

Nope not at all.

gooch's avatar

I usually really don’t care. On new stuff though I will wash it seperate a few times so it doesn’t bleed onto something else. I learned my lesson washing a red shirt with my tighty whites…they became pink tighties…not good.

shrubbery's avatar

I always do a cold wash anyway but if it was an expensive item then I look to see if it says iron on reverse side or do not tumble dry or something (though that doesn’t matter anymore either since our dryer broke). I don’t generally hand wash anything unless it really is a good item and delicate, then my granny does it for me :)

Frankie's avatar

If it’s a piece that is extremely delicate, or something I feel very attached to, yes, I’ll hand wash it. It doesn’t take that much effort, just fill up your sink, add some Woolite, leave them there for awhile, maybe swish them around a bit, then rinse.

However, with pieces I’m less attached to that require handwashing or dry cleaning, I just put them in a bag they make specially for delicate clothes (so they don’t get wrapped around the spinny thing in the washing machine) and set it on delicate cycle.

Like @EmpressPixie , I pay really close attention to the drying instructions, because in my experience, not following those is what messes the clothes up more. If it says lay flat/air dry/tumble dry low, I’ll do it.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I always read and “pay attention” to them, but I don’t follow them to the tee. Generally I look at the washing instructions before buying something. I don’t buy anything that says dryclean only. If it says ‘hand wash’ and I think it really needs to be, I don’t buy that either. I buy a lot of stuff that says ‘hand wash’ though, and I just wash it on delicate.

I do wash separate loads for my delicates, whites, blacks, bright colors, heavy fabrics like towels. I wouldn’t think about washing them together! Eek!

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I look at them when I buy them and only purchase the ones that can be washed and dried. If they say handwash, or dry clean, I do not buy.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I absolutely do now after ruining enough clothes.

jrpowell's avatar

No, that is what astrochuck’s wife is for.

jlm11f's avatar

I always wondered why people complain about doing the laundry. It’s a fairly simple process: dump clothes in washer, take out, dump in dryer, take out, fold and tadah! See, it’s easier when you are doing it wrong.

@AstroChuck – May I borrow your wife over weekends?

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I read them but don’t always follow them. Most of my clothes can be washed on the delicate cycle in the washing machine regardless of what the tag says but I put few of them in the dryer in order to avoid shrinking of seams and stuff. If a garment has a lot of detailed pleating, embroidery, or is a suit jacket then it goes to the dry cleaner.

cak's avatar

After ruining clothes and being too broke to buy more, yep…I read all labels. I generally read them before I buy them, so I don’t wind up with a massive headache!

I do what EmpressPixie does, though. I do things on the gentle cycle.

I have my “professional” clothes that I take care of and generally dry clean, or they are gentle wash loads and my everyday clothes. Working out of the house has drastically reduced the headache! Woohoo…pj pants and short, rock!

lillycoyote's avatar

Not always. It depends. A lot of stuff I have that says “Dry Clean Only” I wash by hand, and hang to dry, but you have to know what really, really needs to be dry cleaned and what doesn’t. And as Hungryhungryhortence pointed out, it is not necessarily the washing machine that is the clothes’ enemy but the dryer. And sometimes I just take a Darwinian approach: survival of the fittest. If it can’t take being washed and dried in the machines that that’s the end of you. Of course, I buy a fair number of my clothes at thrift stores so I can afford to be a little cavalier about the whole business. Even then, I do hate ruining something I really liked even if i did only pay 3 dollars for it.

AstroChuck's avatar

@PnL- Sure! Can I watch?!

augustlan's avatar

Like most here, I avoid ‘dry clean only’ like the plague. I don’t hand wash anything, but I’ll wash it in cold on the gentle cycle. Even things that say ‘line dry’ or ‘lay flat to dry’ go into the dryer for a short time on a no heat setting. It just knocks some of the extra moisture off, shortening over all drying time.

LC_Beta's avatar

No, not at all. And I’ve yet to destroy anything in the wash. I pretty much do “darks” and “earth tones.” I really have no whites, so that’s easy. And the occasional red I throw in with the darks.

For drying, I take the stuff I don’t want to shrink and anything that seems fragile and “tumble dry low”. The rest gets put in the heat, which works out because those are the ones I want to shrink :)

LC_Beta's avatar

Raar. I want to edit that and can’t. Make want into want and you get the picture.

Also, for smaller loads I have a “wonderwash,” which is basically a hand-cranked tumbler and I have a spin dryer and clothes line. I only go to the laundry when I fall behind.

ubersiren's avatar

I check at the store. I don’t buy clothing unless I can just throw it in the washer. I’d rather spend my time fluthering.

casheroo's avatar

I tend to read what the care is when I purchase, because I hate getting dry clean only clothes. I get a lot of my clothes from h&m, so dry clean only is pretty common there.
I rarely stick my clothes in the dryer, and if I do it’s on low heat. So, handwash only clothes are safe.

Skippy's avatar

Alot of time I do, if it’s new or special type fabric.
Again to beat a dead horse, it’s the “drying” that matters.

@gooch – I washed, by accident, a newly tie/dyed shirt with the families whites. Hubby and both sons had pink tighties, and no amount of bleach would get them white. I bought a new round of undies for the family. What a laugh the gal at K-mart had when she asked why I was buying so much at one time.

Judi's avatar

read, yes. Follow…...... sometimes I don’t pull them out of the dryer like they say, and sometimes I forget to flat dry. (I want a personal valet!)

mzgator's avatar

I do all of the laundry at for my family. I read the labels and wash accordingly. My daughter would kill me if I ruined a piece of her clothing. She has to buy a lot of the expensive clothes she likes with her allowance.

Clair's avatar

i handwash any silks. avoid all dry clean only, and if i got suckered, then dry clean them myself. gentle wash anything questionable. and don’t dry anything questionable.
but i don’t hardly ever read the label.

ctferrarajr's avatar

awww…hellz no

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I’m the laundry person in the family. Usually, if wifey gets something that needs care other than throw in the washer and throw in the drier, she’ll tell me. Then I check the label.

Otherwise, it all goes into the washer, and gets hung out, unless the weather is too nasty. I love the smell of bed linens after they’ve been dried outsite!

Allie's avatar

I only follow the one for my sweatshirt that says don’t put it in the dryer or it will shrink. I don’t want a baby sweatshirt. … and I just remembered I have clothes sitting in the dryer.

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