Monday, February 27, 2017

Downy #FabricConditioner Keeps Your Winter Knits at Their Best (review)

I was fairly young when I took on the family laundry as my big household chore. 10 maybe? I could ask my mom, but her memory's worse than mine. Regardless, I was younger than Boo is now, I'm sure, so I'm trying to get him on board to take this off my plate.

So far we've been working on proper sorting technique to avoid laundry disaster. I remember this being a critical lesson for me, how to sort the darks from the lights, whites, and bright colours. Sorting by texture is important as well. In practice, in our home that mostly means washing towels on their own. If you regularly mix towels with your tshirts, you will rapidly begin to see holes in those tees as they get roughed up by the heavier items.

Some things have changed quite a bit since I was first on laundry duty. For instance, there aren't many things you can't put in the dryer these days. No more shrunken tshirts and tops! And there have been great developments in knit fabrics, creating new versions of wool and cashmere that can now go in the washing machine. Those previously hand-wash only items are now often (but not always - read the label!) machine-washable. All of these developments mean I am more comfortable passing along laundry day chores to my son.

At this time of year especially, sweaters, toques and scarves form a big part of our wardrobes. And as much as I am a summer girl at heart, part of me gets so excited for the coming of colder weather when I can pull out my cozy knits. I only have one or two sweaters that require dry-cleaning, and all the others go into my HE machine. They are designed for this, but they are still prone to some potential issues, like stretching or pilling.  And many people are wary of washing their knits for just that reason, especially if you've had the experience in the past of your favourite sweater coming out of the wash completely out of shape. That's where extra care and the proper tools come in.

To keep your knits looking their best, and extend their life beyond one season, turn to Downy.

Downy Fabric Conditioner helps keep my favourite knits in great shape. It deserves a hug!

Downy Fabric Conditioner is more than a fabric softener. It works to condition and protect your clothing at the fibre level, lubricating fibres to guard against loss of shape or pilling. Those annoying little "pills" that we find and need to shave off our knits are a result of friction on the garment fibres both during the washing process and everyday wearing. They rub and break and form little knobs. Downy's lubricating conditioner smoothes the fabric fibres, so they encounter less friction and breakage, resulting in fewer pills.

Think of fabric conditioner in the same way you think of hair conditioner. You condition your hair to make it manageable, strong, and smooth. Fabric conditioner does the same for your clothes.

I suspect it's safe to say my readers all wear and need to wash sweaters and other knitwear at some point during the year. Do any of you also knit or crochet? Yarn crafts seem to be enjoying a real resurgence, which I think is great. I've been knitting since I was a child - sweaters, socks, toques. These days I've mostly switched crocheting blankets and throws, as it diesn't bother my arthritis as much. Both knitting and crochet are a big commitment of time and energy, so it's important to take good care of our handmade creations. I want this granny square afgan I'm making to be around for a lot of years! 

Top knitwear brand We Are Knitters recommends Downy Fabric Conditioner to condition the fibres of the cashmere and knitwear pieces in their collection. We Are Knitters designs and creates a variety of knitting and crochet kits that are modern, stylish, and come in a range of skill levels and materials. Even beginners will find projects suited to them. Everything you need is included in each kit, from their own 100% beechwood needles to their 100% natural wool and cotton (and of course instructions). They recently posted this video on YouTube, outlining proper care for their Merino wool products, highlighting Downy as a key ingredient in protecting and extending garment life.


Downy Tips To Best Care for Your Knits, Wool, and Cashmere Items

Downy offers these tips to care for your knit garments. Follow the steps, and you can expect to wear that beautiful sweater dress for seasons to come. 

1. Always check the care label before laundering, as some items can only be dry cleaned.
2. Zip up the zipper and button all buttons (if applicable) to keep them from rubbing against fabrics and causing damage; then turn garment inside out to further protect the outside of the garment. Separate colors into lights, brights, and darks to avoid dye transfer.

3. For machine washable items:
  • Set your washing machine to gentle cycle on cold water wash temperature. Cold-water washing will help prevent fading and dye transfer, and help preserve the fit.
  • For particularly delicate items, put into a mesh bag to minimize rubbing against other fabrics.
  • Use a high quality detergent like Tide PODS, a convenient 3-in-1 laundry product that cleans, fights stains and brightens your garment. NOTE: As with all single use packets, add the Tide POD to the washing machine drum before adding the clothes.
  • Add Downy Fabric Conditioner to the rinse cycle to help prevent stretching, fading and fuzzing. When used with Tide detergent, Downy Fabric Conditioner can help keep clothes looking newer for longer – allowing you to get a whole extra season out of your garments!
4. For hand wash only items:
  • Fill a clean sink with cool water and add a small amount of delicates-friendly liquid detergent, like Tide Free & Gentle Liquid; then mix. Add your garment. Let soak for 15 minutes; then lightly agitate for three to five minutes. Rinse until suds are removed. Do not wring or twist.
  • Remove garment from sink. Fill sink with cool water and add a small amount of Downy Fabric Conditioner; then mix well. Add your garment to the sink and agitate lightly for three to five minutes. Rinse once. Just like a hair conditioner helps to protect hair and prevent frizzing, Downy Fabric Conditioner will condition your garment to help prevent stretching, fading and fuzzing.
  • Remove excess water from the garment by placing it flat on a clean towel and rolling the towel with the garment inside. Repeat as needed until garment is only slightly damp.
5. Check care label for drying instructions:
  • For tumble dry garments: Use the lowest heat setting available with Bounce dryer sheets to help prevent wrinkling and static.
  • For air dry only garments: Reshape garment; then lay flat to dry on a drying rack or on a towel away from heat and sunlight. Turn over as needed until dry.
  • When in doubt, lay flat to dry as heat from the dryer can damage some fabrics over time.

I'll be reviewing these tips with Boo as he gains more independence in the laundry room. I don't think I'll let him at my hand-wash only items yet though. I don't think he has the patience needed to treat them properly!

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Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Downy. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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