Fashion & Style Apparel

How To Launder Thermal Apparel Correctly


Your thermal socks, underwear and tops keep your warm and toasty during the coldest winter days. However, after time and improper care, your thermal clothing can begin to look dull, dingy and worn out. Depending on your time constraints and the label’s decorations, it’s recommended to either hand wash or machine wash your thermal wear. Learn how to launder thermal apparel correctly to ensure your clothing remains viable and keeps you warm for several more winters to come.

Step 1

Hand washing is often recommended to clean your thermal tops, bottoms and socks effectively. The hand washing is gentler and won’t stretch or warp the shape of the clothing. Before washing the thermal apparel, pretreat any stains with a commercial product or liquid laundry soap. Work the pretreater or soap into any stains with an unwanted toothbrush and allow the product to remain for at least 15 minutes.

Step 2

Fill a basin or clean sink with warm water. Add one-quarter cup mild liquid laundry soap to the water. Submerge the thermal apparel into the warm water and work the soapy mixture into the clothing with your hands. Fill a separate basin or sink with plain water and use it to rinse out the soapy mixture. Hold the thermals over a sink and allow the excess water to drain before laying the garment flat on top of a towel.

Step 3

Roll the towel and gently squeeze to remove the excess water instead of wring the thermal apparel, as the wringing action can warp and damage the cotton fabric. Hang the thermal apparel outside to dry and use a warm iron when necessary.

Step 4

Some thermal apparel is okay for a machine washing. If this is the case, follow the label directions or launder the thermal apparel in cool water on a delicate setting. Check your washing machine’s water temperature settings to ensure you don’t launder the thermal apparel in water hotter than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Once again, pretreat the stains with a commercial pretreater or liquid laundry detergent. To achieve the best results, use a mild or phosphate-free detergent to prevent unwanted build-up on the thermal apparel. After the thermal apparel is  done in the washing machine, place them in the dryer on a low setting if desired. Otherwise, allow the thermal apparel to air dry completely before wearing. Be wary of using the dryer, especially if the thermals are constructed from cotton or a cotton/wool blend. The heat will shrink the thermals and should be used on when necessary. You can also use a fabric softener sheet if the thermals are becoming rough in the dryer.

Step 5

Use caution if the thermals, especially socks, are constructed from 100% wool. If this is the case, wash the thermals by hand in warm water with a delicate laundry soap formulated for use with wool. Once again, rinse the wool thermal well with warm water and avoid wringing the socks or top. Instead, remove the water gently inside a clean towel and hang the wool thermal socks or tops to dry. Avoid drying the wool thermal near a heat source to prevent shrinking or damaging the fabric.

By Jamie Zwyzinski, published at 02/10/2012
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