Viscose is an easily-dyed, non-static fiber made from wood cellulose. Viscose is often referred to as “faux silk” and goes by the everyday name of rayon. Viscose’s high moisture absorbency (13%, as opposed to 8% for cotton) and shade depth allow it to be dyed with deep and brilliant colors, but also can make it a delicate to wash. See Step 1 below to start learning how!
Always defer to the garment’s care label. Generally, rayon clothes are fairly fragile, but can still be machine-washed with care. However, some rayon clothes are un-washable. To avoid tearing your clothing, bleeding colors, or otherwise ruining your favorite clothes, always follow the instructions on the care label.
Though this section contains instructions on both machine-washing and hand-washing viscose (rayon) clothing, these instructions should be taken as generalities and not as hard and fast rules. In other words, always prioritize your garment’s unique care instructions over the ones provided in this section.
Hand wash in cool water. If your rayon clothing’s care instructions specify that it can be washed, it’s almost always better to hand-wash it than to machine wash it. Rayon clothing is extra-fragile when it’s wet and, thus, is less likely to be damaged by your own careful hands than by the agitation of a washing machine. Place your rayon clothing in cool or temperate water and add hand-washing detergent. Gently work and massage the soap suds into the clothing, taking care not to handle the clothing roughly.
Never squeeze, bunch up, or wring out rayon clothing to remove water, as this can tear the delicate fibers. Instead, gently shake any excess moisture out.
Machine wash with like clothing. If you’re confident that your rayon clothing won’t be damaged by machine washing, try to ensure that only similar types of rayon clothing are in the load. Rougher clothes, like denim jeans, can catch on the rayon during the wash cycle, pulling and tearing it.
Use cool water and a gentle washer setting for added security.
Alternatively, use a net washing bag to protect your clothing. Another way to protect your rayon clothing in the washing machine is to place all of the rayon clothing in your load into a net laundry bag. This ensures it doesn’t mix with the other clothing in your load, eliminating much of the risk of tearing.
Line dry. When your rayon clothing is washed, remove each piece of clothing individually and gently shake it to remove moisture. Smooth out any wrinkles with your hands. Then, hang on a non-metal wire to dry (metal wires can leave rust spots).
Alternatively, you can use a drying rack or simply dry your clothing on a clean, flat surface.
Avoid using an electric dryer. In addition to having the problems associated with washing machines (harsh agitation, etc.), electric dryers are also known to shrink rayon clothing and drastically shorten the life of the garment. If you can avoid using an electric dryer for your clothing, do so. If you can’t, use a low temperature setting and dry only with other pieces of rayon clothing.
Iron rayon clothing inside out. Never apply a hot iron to the outer face of a rayon garment – this can burn and melt the fibers in the fabric, creating an unattractive “shine” that can’t be removed. Always turn rayon clothing inside out before using an iron. To provide additional protection, you may also want to iron the clothing while it is slightly damp.
If you must iron rayon clothing right side out, place a cloth between the hot surface of the iron and the garment to protect the fabric.
3. HOW TO WASH POLYESTER
Polyester is a synthetic fabric that generally resists wrinkles, fading and shrinking when taken care of properly. In addition, polyester is also used to create blends that make cotton and other fabrics more durable. But like other fabrics, it also has its weaknesses. It may pill and easily stain with oil-based spills. It is also susceptible to static cling. As a result, polyester garments need proper care to maintain a good appearance and feel.
Read the care tag on garments before washing them. The best way to properly wash polyester clothes is the follow the directions on the care tag on the item. By following these directions, you’ll maintain the look and feel of your polyester clothes for a much longer time than you would otherwise. Consider:
Items that indicate “Dry Clean Only” should be taken to a professional dry cleaner instead of washed at home.
However, tags that simply say, “Dry Clean” may often be washed safely by hand.
When in doubt, follow the directions on the care tag.
Turn polyester garments inside out before washing. A polyester-knit blend fabric can be snagged easily and may catch on clasps, trim or buttons from other items. To avoid any snags or damage to your garment, turn it inside-out before tossing it into the washing machine.
Soak white polyester fabrics overnight. Soak white garments overnight in a mixture of 1 gallon (3.8 L) of warm water and 1/2 cup of automatic dishwasher detergent. This will help remove dirt and stains from your white fabrics in advance of washing them.
If you have less time, you can soak for 1-2 hours.
The dishwasher detergent helps to brighten the whiteness of the item.
Consider bleach for colors if you have extra-dirty colored polyester fabric.
Avoid using bleach when washing white polyester items.
Choose permanent press cycle for polyester fabrics. Many experts recommend using permanent press for your polyester. With permanent press, your fabrics are cooled before the spin cycle. This lowers the chance that your clothes will emerge from the washer wrinkled
Use warm water when washing polyester garments. Most experts agree that polyester is best cleaned with warm water. Warm water strikes the best balance to clean and protect your polyester clothes. As a result, stick to warm water if you want to prolong the life of your polyester.
Cold water may not effectively remove stains from polyester, especially oil-based stains.
Hot water may cause gradual shrinkage and color bleeding.
Warm water will help to remove stains and retain the garment’s shape and size.
Pick a standard detergent that won’t be too rough on your polyester. Most standard detergents will work well with polyester fabrics. Try to avoid picking a detergent that is “tough on stains” or formulated for deep-stains. This might fade the color of your fabric or otherwise harm the quality of the fabric.
Pour in some fabric softener to reduce the effects of static cling. Polyester is susceptible to static cling without fabric softener. Static cling is when light and small objects cling to larger objects. For example, if you wash polyester shirts with white towels, you’ll notice small pieces of white lint clinging to your polyester shirt.
Hand-wash polyester garments to protect quality. Hand-washing your polyester fabric is the surest way to maintain quality. But if you choose to do this, you need to make sure you’re gentle with the fabric and not in a hurry. When hand-washing:
Soak them in warm water with a light detergent.
Swirl them in warm water.
Rinse with cold clean water.
Fold them and press them against the basin side to squeeze out extra water.
Items that are stained with an oil-based stain or have yellowed with age should be machine washed to restore them to prior condition.
Use a dryer sheet with fabric softener, if you want. Since polyester is susceptible to static cling, you may want to consider using a dryer sheet. A dryer sheet may help to reduce static cling in the dryer. In addition, dryer sheets might help reduce wrinkles on your polyester fabrics. Consider:
If you’ve already used a fabric softener during the wash, you don’t need to use a dryer sheet.
Most dryer sheets are scented, so make sure you pick one you like
Place the fabric in the dryer on low heat. Before drying your polyester fabrics in a conventional dryer, make sure to place the dryer on low heat. This is because polyester can melt or shrink when exposed to high heat levels. Depending on the reliability of your dryer, low heat is safe for most all polyester fabrics.
Run a test with a polyester fabric you don’t care too much about if you have a new or new-used dryer.
If you’re concerned about maintaining the quality of your polyester, use the lowest heat setting possible.
Read your dryer’s manual if you have any questions about the heat level.
Air dry the fabric to protect quality and avoid shrinkage. One of the easiest ways to avoid shrinkage or other damage caused by drying your clothes in a conventional dryer is to air dry your polyester fabrics. Consider the following:
Hang your polyester fabrics on plastic coat hangers or a clothes line.
Make sure they’re hung outside on a dry and sunny day or in a place in your house with excellent air flow.
Take them down when they are dry.
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