Why you shouldn’t Throw That Shirt Into the Washing Machine

Why you shouldn’t Throw That Shirt Into the Washing Machine


Throughout university, I never really thought hard about what to do with my hamper of unclean clothing sitting in my closet. I would split them into whites and colours and throw them in the washing machine. It’s not that I didn’t care to check the labels; I just never realized the importance of having my clothes professionally cleaned… That is, until I started investing in more expensive clothing items such as suits for interviews, internships and all that good stuff that comes along with being a new graduate.

The first thing I did after graduating was go into my closet and get rid of all the clothes that I felt looked worn. I realized that some of my clothing, looked worn even though I had recently purchased them. In fact, they looked like I had worn them for years. Some of the seams were falling apart and even my more expensive blouses didn’t fit right anymore. Some looked okay, don’t get me wrong, but the majority of my “nice” clothes did not. This is when I realized I needed to make a change. You never want to risk ruining your clothes after you’ve invested a lot of money into building up your wardrobe. So, before you throw that new shirt in the washing machine, don’t be like me, follow these tips to see if it really belongs there or if you need to get it professionally cleaned.

Labels Were Put There for a Reason

Labels, labels, labels… I’ll be honest, before my closet was filled with some important pieces; I used to cut these little guys right off my shirts. They were annoying and, at times, even irritated my skin. If you want your clothes to stay in great condition, though, this should be the first place you look. Oftentimes, quality clothing will have explicit care instructions on their labels. Some will say “dry clean only” others will say “hand wash only” and others will have a huge list of steps you need to take in order to make sure your garment does not get ruined in the cleaning process. Most expensive clothing will need to be taken special care of and your best bet to increase the life expectancy of your special care items is to send them to a professional cleaner. You do not want to risk ruining your clothes by attempting to clean them on your own or with the help of washing machine. For these important pieces in your closet, make the effort and send them to a professional cleaner who will know just what to do and the steps to take to make your garment look like new!

Is that Silk, or is it Cotton?

There are so many different materials that are used to make the clothing you love and wear. There’s rayon, silk, cotton, polyester, spandex, nylon, velvet and so many more. Knowing which materials can be thrown into the washing machine and which ones cannot, helps you to decide how you should care for your clothing.

Generally speaking, clothing items made with natural fibers like silk should not be thrown into a washing machine because the heat and agitation will cause shrinking. Cotton clothing items will also shrink very quickly in the wash. Some materials that will hold up well if thrown into the washing machine are polyester, nylon and linen!

Beads, Sequins, Seams and Padding

These types of garments are pretty easy to spot. If you purchase a sequin top and it is made out of polyester, a normally machine-washable material, do not throw it into the washing machine! Doing so will ruin the detailing. Lace shirts or embroidered shirts will face the same fate if thrown in the washing machine. Any delicate fabrics should be taken special care of!

The trimming and padding on your suits is also very sensitive to a washing cycle. For a lot of people, these clothing items come out looking worse than when they were thrown into the machine to be washed. Make sure these items get taken to a professional cleaner and don’t make the mistake of trying to clean them on your own… like I did!

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