Use Cool Temperatures if Possible
Unless your kids’ uniforms are very heavily soiled try to use cooler temperatures when running water into the washing tub, or when using your washing machine. Cooler temperatures of 30 degrees celsius or less will reduce the amount of colour that bleeds from the fabric, helping to keep the uniforms looking bright and vibrant for longer. If your kids wear a coloured sweater that is very heavily dyed, you could try soaking the garment in white vinegar before its first wash as vinegar is said to help set the colours. If you absolutely must use a higher temperature, such as if you need to sanitise your kids’ clothing for example, be sure to wash with similar colours to avoid discolouring your whites.
Dry Naturally if Time Allows
Kids grow all the time, and sometimes it seems like you put them to bed as a baby and they wake up looking like a teenager. As kids are constantly growing, the last thing you want is for their school uniform to shrink. Drying using a machine can increase the risk of shrinking, as the high heats break down the fibres in the material causing it to shrivel up. If you’ve got the time to do so, always allow your kids’ uniforms to dry naturally, either on a clothes horse inside, or on a washing line outside (but take care not to leave in direct sunlight as this could have a bleaching effect and fade the colours). If you must dry uniforms using the machine, set the temperature to the lowest possible, and don’t leave in the machine for longer than necessary.
Take Extra Care with Embroidery / Patches
If you’ve had to embroider your children’s names into their school uniform, or if they wear a patch on their sweater that has been sewed on, take a little extra care if you’re washing using a washing machine. Sometimes, embroidery and stitches can snag on the internal workings of the machine, causing them to unravel. It’s a good idea to turn the sweater inside out before washing, which helps to safeguard the embroidery, and you can also use a washing bag, too, for a little extra protection. A washing bag is made from netting, or mesh, and allows water and detergent to penetrate the clothing, but acts as a barrier between the drum and the delicate stitching.
Next year, you can buy your childrens’ new school uniforms with confidence, knowing that whatever they throw at you, whether it be dried hummus and kofta grease from lunch, brightly coloured paints from art class, or grass stains from playing outside after school, you can handle it without hassle.