Care of school uniform
School uniforms are one investment that has to go the distance. So, to make sure your students look as good on last day of school as they did on the first, follow the garments’ care labels and these easy laundry tips:
- Encourage the kids to change out of their uniform as soon as they get home from school, and then hang it up (ideally!).
- Sort the wash load by whites and colours, and use a detergentdesigned for colours to help prevent the uniform from fading. Pre-treat any mud and grass stains with washing-up liquid, and then wash according to fabric type. Use a non-bio detergent if your kid has sensitive skin and use fabric conditioner to reduce bobbling and static.
- Wash dark colour school wearseparately as stronger colours fade. Always wash like colours school wear with like colours where possible. We recommend that you divide your wash up into three loads as a general rule. (Whites, Colours and Darks).
- Use cold water and a gentle wash cycle to keep jumpers, skirts, and slacks from fading and looking worn. Try to get these garments their cleanest in low water temperatures.
- Tumble dry uniforms on low heatfor the shortest time necessary to prevent over-drying and shrinkage. It’s a good idea to remove them from the dryer while slightly damp to minimize wrinkles and make ironing easier too.
- Wash sweaters (especially those with sewn-on patches) inside out.
- Hang shirts up straight from the washing machine and let them air dry. Depending on the material, you probably won’t need to waste time ironing them.
- Irontrousers and skirts using a damp, clean cloth to help prevent shine. Or iron inside out. If you need to put creases down trouser legs, use a damp cloth over the line. Pleated skirts can be a chore – but pleats are designed to stay in, so wash and hang for best results.
- Don’t leave damp sports gear in sports bag for any longer than necessary, as mildew can develop and odours can be difficult to remove.
- Too late – sports kit already in a bit of a state? Depending on the type of fabric and the colours, soak in a solution of white vinegar and water for an hour, and then wash as per instructions. For whites, use a mild bleach solution. Put trainers in the washing machine in a laundry bag with detergent and a cup of white vinegar. Stuff with newspaper and dry away from direct heat.
- Know your detergents. Again it seems like such a basic requirement but you should always read the back of the detergents and see what their composition is. You will find many of them have bleaching agents in them which render them unsuitable for dark colour washes. “Cheapest price” or what is on special offer is not always best when it comes to choosing a detergent. You must consider the total cost of the clothing you regularly wash. If you have to replace school uniforms because of fading and bleaching you will find that those special offer detergents cost a whole lot more than you bargained for.
- Know what you are washing. Not only do you have to consider the colours you are washing you should also consider the material types, delicate, silks, cotton, wools, synthetic etc. All washing machines nowadays have programmes and cycles to suit most types of clothing. Study the school uniform labels carefully. What material composition are they made up of? Choose cycles that will wash the school wear according to its composition and colour.
- Wash School wear at the recommended temperature.Yet again another basic fact but very much overlooked. It is well known that high temperatures will shrink items, especially natural materials such as wool. If in doubt a 30 degree wash is always a safe bet.
- Beware of the Iron.Again your garment care label will detail the exact program or material type you should iron at. Never iron anything without referring to this information. Fortunately for us iron manufactures have developed new technology that enables the Iorns to detect the material composition it is ironing and then the iron automatically adjusts the temperature to suit. As this is a relatively new feature most of us don’t have this so for now we will have to read ironing care instructions and adjust setting manually.
Collated by Khadijat