5 Simple Steps to Wash Your Hoodie So It Stays Soft and Fluffy
Follow these steps to keep your hoodie looking new and prevent it from shrinking, fading, or losing its softness.
A great hoodie is a versatile article of clothing, keeping you warm and comfortable wear after wear. But seeing your favorite hooded sweatshirt shrink or fade in the wash can be a major downer. Don’t let your beloved hoodie suffer this fate.
Hoodies can be tricky to wash because they often have prints that fade over time or lose their shape in the wash. And let’s not forget how annoying it is when the string from the hood falls out after washing.
Increasing your hoodie's lifespan requires proper care. In order to prevent it from shrinking, fading, or losing its softness, there are a few things you can do to keep it looking new for a lot longer.
How to Wash and Care for Your Hoodie
1.Don’t Wash Your Hoodie After Every Wear
For clothing in general, the more you wash and throw it into the dryer, the quicker it fades. Frequent washing can also cause fabrics to pill (when the threads break and tangle up into little fuzzy balls) or lose their shape and color.
For some laundry, such as dirty workout clothes, washing after every wear is a must. But this is not the case with a hoodie. It’s perfectly fine to wash it only after you wear it five or six times. In fact, that's part of the attraction of using a hoodie like a jacket.
If you’re concerned about the way it smells, consider using anti-odor fabric spray to neutralize odors between washes.
2.Turn the Hoodie Inside Out
Before you throw your hoodie into the washer, turn it inside out to protect the outside layer. This helps prevent the color from bleeding and keeps the outer layer from rubbing against other garments in the wash.
Also, zip it up to help protect it against snagging on other items you have in the machine. If your hoodie comes with a drawstring, tie up the string to prevent it from slipping out during the wash.
Try to keep similar types of fabrics and clothing together when you wash them. For example, separate colors (dark vs. light) and clothing types (underwear vs. outerwear).
3.Use Cold Water
Cold water is less likely to shrink or fade and ruin clothes, especially anything made of cotton. Cold water can also reduce wrinkles, which saves both time and the energy costs associated with ironing. Your best bet with hoodies, cardigans or pullovers is washing with cold water on a gentle cycle.
When you use hot water, about 90 percent of your washing machine’s energy goes towards heating the water. Using cold water to wash your clothes eliminates this energy, which reduces your monthly bills and decreases your carbon footprint.
If you have the time, an even more sustainable method is to hand wash your hoodie. Just soak it for 20 minutes with a little bit of detergent and cold water, then rinse in small tub. When in doubt, read the care label.
4.Choose Detergent Wisely
While it’s fine to use regular detergent, you may want to consider using a mild detergent to extend the life of your hoodie’s fabric. Mild detergents are made specifically for delicate items such as silk, wool and cotton. If you’re more concerned about keeping the color of your hoodie bright and fade-free, try a color-preserving detergent.
You may have heard that vinegar is a staple household item that helps you do everything from unclogging drains to cleaning your hair. It works with clothing, too!
Just add a little bit of vinegar with your gentle detergent. This helps keep darker colors from bleeding into each other and acts as a natural fabric softener.
5.Avoid These 3 Washing MistakesTry to avoid the following washing mistakes in order to lengthen the life of your hoodie and other items of clothing.
- Using fabric softener: It may help remove wrinkles and keep your clothes smelling fresh, but over time, fabric softeners build up a waxy substance on clothing. This waxy coating causes fabrics to be less absorbent, which can pose a problem if you’re washing moisture-wicking workout clothes (such as Nike Dri-FIT). Consider air drying or using wool dryer balls.
- Overstuffing the washing machine: Don't be tempted to add more clothing. This causes excess friction, which may damage your clothing over time. Ensure your hoodie has plenty of space for movement in the laundry cycle.
- Relying on the dryer: Always air dry because it’s a gentler way to keep fabrics soft and shrink-free. Avoid direct sunlight because it can cause colors to fade. Instead, dry it flat on a clean towel or hang it in a cool, dry room.
Bonus Tip: Use a Garment Bag
Consider using a garment bag to further protect your hoodie from rubbing against other garments in the washing machine.
A garment bag is a lightweight drawstring bag usually made from mesh. It's designed to let detergent pass through the netting to wash the clothing while keeping it separate from other items in the wash.
Make Your Hoodie Last
Always check the care instructions on the label, which will generally tell you if you should avoid the washing machine altogether or if it requires dry cleaning, for example.
By being mindful of using cold water, using a mild detergent, and air drying, your hoodie will stay soft, fade-free, and last you for a long time.