Have you recently been gifted, or treated yourself to, a luxurious set of bamboo socks, underwear, singlets, bamboo leggings, or scarves? Are you pleased with your soft and aesthetically-pleasing new items, but aren’t sure how to go about keeping them clean? Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep your bamboo clothing in optimal condition – hopefully for years to come!
First of All – There’s Such a Thing as Bamboo Clothing?
Yes! But if you’re imagining outfits and underthings made of solid wood, don’t worry –clothing made from bamboo fibres is a soft, breathable, comfortable, and environmentally-friendly alternative to other materials. And you’d be surprised how affordable it can be!
So How Do I Care for Them?
First of all, you should always read the label on your specific item, as optimal care will vary from product to product. These are general guidelines, but be sure to apply common sense and do some further research if you find yourself unsure what the best method will be.
If your bamboo clothing has a heavy stain, you can pre-treat it using a small amount of your usual detergent. However, don’t use chlorine bleach, as it can be damaging to bamboo fibres. Instead, opt for an oxygen-based bleach soak if your product needs whitening; if it needs to be disinfected, choose a pine-oil or phenolic disinfectant. After working a small amount of detergent directly into the stained area, leave it for fifteen minutes (to let the power or liquid do the heavy-lifting, so your machine doesn’t have to!). Then move onto the main wash.
An ideal detergent for a heavily-soiled main wash will be strong enough to break down enzymes and break particles of soil apart. You should always use a gentle cycle for bamboo clothing, and if your load is only lightly-soiled, a cold wash is recommended. For heavily-soiled or larger items (such as towels, bedsheets, pillowcases and blankets) you can use a warm wash, but be sure to pre-soak the items with detergent in water for fifteen minutes beforehand.
DO NOT USE HOT WATER during the wash – this can cause bamboo products to shrink.
Before loading the drum, turn the items inside out and close all buttons and zippers.
The best drying option for bamboo clothing is to air dry the items on a rack or line. If you use a dryer, use a low heat cycle for a short period of time, to prevent shrinkage, and remove the items while they’re still slightly damp (if you don’t have a drying rack or line, the items can finish drying on the backs of chairs or other furniture).
If you wish to iron your bamboo clothing, use a dry iron (meaning, a setting without steam) on a low heat.
It’s best to let bamboo fabric breathe. Hang items where possible, and if you store them in drawers, fold them gently, and don’t pack them too tightly together, in order to reduce the risk of damaging the fibres. It’s not recommended to store bamboo clothing in cardboard boxes, as the acids in cardboard can wear your items down.
If you invest time and care in your bamboo items, they’ll stay in good condition, and remain soft and breathable for a long time to come.