Although making a decision on how to wash fleece may seem as intuitive as cleaning some other fabrics, the results might not be as friendly. Fabrics like this one are designed in a way that requires a more careful handling approach, to avoid damage.
What is Fleece?
Fleece is soft and fuzzy fabric made of polyester synthetic fibers. Readily available products in the market come in form of jackets, blankets, hats, scarfs, kids clothing and gloves. The popularity of the fabric is linked to its warmth and lightweight properties.
How to Wash Fleece
Fleece blankets and other items can be washed at home by machine or through handwashing. Both of these approaches provide great results when done correctly. However, it is important to read the washing instructions provided in the clothing tag before deciding the method to undertake.
It is by far my favorite method because has the least potential to cause damage to the fabric. It is also more favorable when cleaning large items such as fleece blankets.
Step 1: Sort the Clothing.
Do not make the mistake of throwing everything in the wash basin or tub. Sort clothes depending on texture and color. All fleece is not the same. There are some luxurious materials such as plush that should be washed first. Mixing different colors can ruin the clothing unless you are sure that none produces color. Identify pilling fleece and clothes that have lint. Use a fabric shaver or lint roller to clear the balls of fuzz and every other thing.
Step 2: Check for Stains.
The last thing that you want is to begin washing before identifying badly stained areas. It only makes the job harder. Find stains and use mild detergent and a soft sponge to blot them. Avoid rubbing because it only spreads or pushes them further. Consider chlorine-free bleach for highly resistant stains.
Step 3: Soak the clothes
Combine lukewarm or cold water and mild powder or liquid detergent in a wash basin. Stir or cycle the water to lather the detergent. Soak your fleece and wait for at least 15 minutes. Turn the clothes after every few minutes to ensure that water is absorbed evenly.
Step 3: Wash gently
Use your hands to wring and squeeze each cloth gently until all the dirt is removed. Once all the clothes are clean, drain the basin and add cold water for rinsing. Rinse once or twice to ensure that all the detergent is removed.
Step 5: Hanging
Turn fleece clothes inside out before hanging on a clothesline.
If you choose to machine wash your fleece, ensure that you avoid a machine that has an agitator at the center of the wash basket. Its back and forth movement can ruin the quality of fleece by accelerating pilling. Just like with handwashing, begin by taking important preparation measures such as sorting, removing lint and fuzz, and pretreating stains before moving to the steps below.
Step 1: The basics
Add a mild detergent and select the cold or lukewarm setting before adding water in the washer drum. Avoid hot water because it damages fleece.
Step 2: Load Clothes into the Washing Machine.
Turn the clothes inside out and check all the pockets for coins, notes and other things that might be stuffed inside. Add the clothes into the washer tub while distributing them evenly. Remember that it is best if the fleece is not washed together with clothes made of other fabrics.
Step 3: Choose the Cycle
Set the machine to a delicate or gentle cycle because the intention is to clean fleece while preserving its quality. You can also choose to pre-soak the clothes too soiled to wash instantly. Rinse the garment thoroughly once the cycle is complete.
Step 4: Move to the Dryer
Generally, drying fleece with a machine is not recommended. The best approach is to hang the clothes outside for sun-drying or in a warm place for air-drying. All the same, it is not uncommon to find clothing tags with instructions that allow the use of dryer. In this case, dry with the lowest heat setting.
Tips for Maintain Fleece
- Avoid harsh detergents, hot water, fabric softeners and bleach.
- Do not iron fleece. Prevent wrinkling by folding the clothes or hanging them in the closet immediately after they have dried completely.
- Wash fleece occasionally instead of regularly to prevent shedding and pilling.
- Use natural products such as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to make mild detergent if all your cleaning products are harsh.
- Do not mix fleece with clothes made of other fabrics during wash time. Fleece can easily collect lint from other materials.