Here at Gogna, we’re all about providing quality uniform at affordable prices. We appreciate that school uniform still represents a significant investment for you, and if you have more than one child, costs can add up quickly.
What’s also important is that your child probably has to wear their uniform every day – so it’s crucial that their uniform is clean and comfortable and ready for the challenges of the school day. Not to mention if your child likes to play rugby or football – we know how difficult those grass and mud stains can be to remove!
With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide on how to care for your school uniform properly. Not only will this make your uniform last longer, but it’ll also keep your child looking smart and presentable for their classes.
Wash your clothes inside out
This is really important for knitwear, jumpers, cardigans and other items made of wool or that are woven. When you wash inside out, you make it much less likely your uniform will pill/bobble. Pilling or bobbling is that awful sensation you get when you wash your knitwear too much – the fibres break and they form knots and bobbles on the surface of your jumper, which looks unsightly.
It’s also important to wash clothes inside out that may be prone to fading – for example, school trousers, or items of clothing with patterns or logos that may start to fade or crack. If you wash them inside out, the visible parts of your clothes don’t rub up against other clothes in the wash, making it much less likely that they’ll be damaged.
Wash your uniform cool – not too hot
While you need to wash your clothes at a certain temperature to remove germs, there’s no need to be washing everything at 60 degrees. Cold water is actually fine for most clothes and other items of uniform. If you wash at around 30 degrees, you make it much less likely for clothes to shrink or fade. Heat actually does more damage to clothes than washing – so do your uniform a favour and turn the dial down to 30 next time you do your laundry.
Cold water washing can also help to reduce creases and wrinkles – which can save on your energy bills, as you won’t need to be ironing your uniform quite as much. In fact, some stains even wash out better with cold water – for example sweat stains can actually embed themselves into the fabric with too hot a wash.
Don’t tumble dry
Coming back to our previous point about heat – tumble drying, while convenient, is something that unfortunately will ruin your school uniform and wear it out prematurely. Firstly, dryers can shrink clothing – the agitation and forced air against the fabric causes tumble drying to shrink clothes as much as twice as much as washing and air drying.
Also, have you ever cleaned out the lint tray in your dryer? Do you actually know what collects there? Yes – it’s tiny little bits of fabric that have come off all of your clothes. It’s so small that you won’t notice it in your everyday wear, but all those bits of fabric represent microscopic wear and tear to your clothes, reducing their longevity and meaning that you’ll have to replace them sooner.
As much as it might be less convenient and take up more space – you’re far better off air-drying your school uniform.
Don’t use too much detergent
More is not better when it comes to detergent! Many people put far too much detergent into their washing machines, and then they get annoyed because their clothes don’t come out clean. Excess detergent and soap can hold dirt pulled from your clothes and get caught up in areas of your clothes that don’t rinse clean – like your collar or your cuffs. This can even lead to clothes starting to smell musty or mouldy, as bacteria builds up where these areas can’t rinse through.
Also, too much soap prevents clothes from rubbing up against one another in the washing machine – and it’s this rubbing that gets them clean. You’ll find that if your clothes are coming out with streaks and smears and they’re not rinsing through, you’re probably using too much detergent – shortening the life of your clothes.
Don’t iron if you don’t need to!
Finally, we’ll go back to the idea that heat is the enemy of your clothes. If you’re washing and tumble drying your uniform, you’re introducing creases that you need to remove with your iron. Some fabrics, however, can’t be ironed – things like ties, blazers, etc. So if you introduce creases to these clothes, you have to let them hang up and naturally de-crease, which can take time.
Repeated ironing of clothes like trousers can actually introduce wear and tear – for example, you may see that if you constantly try to iron back in the crease in your trousers, the surface can go shiny – which looks unsightly. Make sure you’re only ironing clothes that absolutely need it – hanging up clothes to air-dry that have been washed cold should get rid of the larger creases.
Finally, if you need any more advice, or you need to buy any more uniform, check out some of our latest school packages where you can save money and buy everything you need in one go.