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Caring for your winter wardrobe

Caring for your winter wardrobe goes a long way toward you being able to wear or use them for several winter seasons. It's always a good idea to following the manufacturer's instructions. What I'm referring to here are the everyday items you wear during winter such as winter shirts, long tee-shirts, pants, long underwear, sweaters and socks.

Caring for your winter wardrobe will mean both washing and dry-cleaning.

Washing your winter clothes

Whatever you want to wash, check the manufacturer's instructions first. This is really important and do follow what they recommend.

Man-made synthetics

  • Using a gentle wash cycle with mild washing detergent works well in warm water for synthetics.

Woolens and wool blends

  • Check the label as some may need dry cleaning while others could be washed in cold water with mild clothes detergent and laid flat on a towel to dry.

Silks, poly-blends and cottons

  • For long underwear, follow the washing instructions but these items are better left to air dry after you wash them.

Two rules for washing wool

Beware! Wool shrinks.

1. Wool washed in hot water will shrink.

2. Never put woolens or wool blends into a clothes dryer.

Speaking from my own experience, that applies to both hot and warm air cycles for woolen items. I still mourn the loss of a favourite sweater I carelessly put in the dryer several years ago.

Otherwise, if you are using a dryer to dry your other clothes normally, monitor what goes in and for how long just in case Also, air-drying any of your clothing wardrobe during non-peak hours saves a few pennies on your heating bill too.


If dry-clean is recommended then follow it. For coats and jackets, formal winter attire, and the more expensive winter clothing, dry-cleaning is usually the norm. Just keep in mind that caring for this type of winter clothing and accessories can be costly.

Caring for your winter wardrobe over the course of the winter will involve a few trips to the drycleaners as you'll be wearing some items a lot. Because of this extra expense, it may have some bearing on your budget too whether or not you're buy it in the first place.

Drying your winter clothes

Man-made synthetics

  • These items can easily be hung up to dry on a drying rack or go into the dryer on a short warm-air cycle. Just make sure that you do not over-dry them time-wise. Choose the cycle that best suits for what you want to dry.

Woolens and wool blends

  • Air-dry is best. Lay this type of clothing or accessory down flat on a towel to dry over a few days, turning it everyday. Wool tends to loose its shape quite easily if it's hung up to dry.

Silks, poly-blends and cottons

  • Air-dry is best for both silks and cottons. Even though silk is quite strong, over time the silk loses its strengh with repeated washing. Poly-blends can be machine-dried but cotton will shrink a little so air-drying is a much better option.

Caring for your winter accessories

Caring for your winter accessories follows some of the recommendations I've suggested above. However there are some other things you need to be aware of when you clean your hats, gloves and scarves.

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