Laundry, “articles of clothing, linens, etc., that have been or are to be washed.” (http://www.definitions.net). The Super Bowl is arriving just around the corner. My lucky t-shirt has been good to me the last couple of years – it’s only crazy if it doesn’t work, right – and now, my team is going to this year’s Super Bowl. Even if your team is not headed to the Super Bowl, you too, probably have a lucky shirt. Washing your lucky t-shirt in the best temperature, using a certain type of detergent, and knowing specific drying techniques can extend the life of your lucky t-shirt for game day.
I have been washing clothes for over thirty years. Wow, I guess that almost says it all. As they say, practice makes perfect, and I have had a lot of practice. In my experience, I have learned a couple tricks of the trade. I wash my lucky t-shirt inside out so that the decal keeps from splitting and breaking down. I always check the tag on a new t-shirt to see what the manufacturer recommends for washing. Though, even if the manufacturer recommends washing in hot water, I’ll choose cold water just about every time. “Switching from hot water to cold water will extend the life of the clothing, as well as save money on your next electric bill.” (Laura Leiva). “Sure, hot water cleans and sanitizes clothes, but if you think cold water isn’t effective for washing, think again. Cold water can be just as effective at cleaning clothes, and some fabrics fare better without the heat.” (Elton Dunn). You’re probably thinking, well, cold water won’t get my lucky t-shirt clean after game day. Try pre-soaking any of those icky stains right away; because, if you let your stained up t-shirt (from nachos, pizza, beer or whatever you might have spilled on it) sit there all wadded up in the corner for a week or two, it could cause those unwanted stains to set in even longer. That is why I use cold water to wash the material, as hot water breaks down material and causes your lucky t-shirt to expire before the football season is even over.
Washing your lucky t-shirt in cold water is great for extending the life of the material; but washing on a long cycle is not needed, as it tends to bat around your clothes more, breaking down the material quite fast. I use a gentle cycle on my lucky t-shirt to keep it from destroying the material and decal before its time. It does take more than a cold water wash and a gentle cycle from ruining your lucky t-shirt. It is just as important to use the right type of detergent in cold water so that your clothes get clean. “The best option to choose from is detergent made specially [sic] for cold water.” (Laura Leiva). My lucky t-shirt is washed in cold water with Tide detergent. “Your colors are more than just colors, they’re symbols of your past, present, and future. And when colors mean this much, you can only trust them to Tide the official detergent of all 32 NFL teams.” (Tide). Now I use Tide Sports Febreeze which makes my wash smell really great, even if I don’t wear it right away and it hangs in my closet for a week. Now, you don’t have to use Tide. There are many different brands of detergent on the market made for cold-water washes that are inexpensive and work great to keep that red t-shirt still looking red. Sometimes using a cheaper brand of cold-water detergent does not quite get your clothes clean.
Here are some helpful tips to use with a cold-water detergent: try adding salt to your wash – It will help keep your colors from fading, you can also try adding half a cup of baking soda to the wash cycle to boost the cleaning power of your detergent, or if your lucky t-shirt is white, half a cup of peroxide added to your laundry detergent will help brighten those whites. “Now detergents are all made to perform in cold water. This shouldn’t be an issue for you. As matter-of-fact, you can even purchase the less expensive brands of detergent & get just as good results as with the more expensive brands. My husband who is an environmental engineer showed me the ingredients in one less expensive brand & a much more expensive brand & they were identical! So go ahead & save $ but I would only use a liquid as powder will NOT desolve [sic] well in cold water.” (Joie). For those that purchase powdered detergent, try dissolving the detergent in some hot water and then adding it to your cold water wash. It will keep the powder from sticking to all your clothes and coming out in clumps. Finally, now that we’ve washed our lucky t-shirt in cold water on a gentle cycle with a cold-water detergent, it is time to dry it. Drying is just as important – if not the most important part of the laundry process.
If you’re on a budget and need to use the highest dryer setting to avoid using another quarter in the dryer, try drying on low and then hang-dry your lucky t-shirt the rest of the way. This will keep the fabric of your lucky t-shirt from breaking down and eventually falling apart. I prefer to pull my lucky t-shirt out of the wash and just hang dry it. Hang drying keeps the material from fading and falling apart, where drying on a high temperature or over drying fabric can cause the fabric to break down quickly. Please always remember and don’t ever forget – if you want to be able to wear your lucky t-shirt next season, wash it in cold water on a gentle cycle, use a cold-water detergent, and dry lightly or hang dry to avoid the fabric from frittering away. Now, game day is here and your lucky t-shirt is bright and clean. Go put on your lucky t-shirt and root your team on, go 49rs.
Elton Dunn, eHow Contributor. www.ehow.com. n.d. article. 23 January 2012. http://www.definitions.net. n.d. website. 24 January 2012.
Joie. Yahoo Answers. n.d. blog. 29 January 2013.
Laura Leiva, eHow Contributor. www.ehow.com/how_2364968_do_laundry-cold-water.html. n.d. document. 22 January 2012. www.tide.com. n.d. advertisement. 23 January 2012.