It goes without saying that clothes look their best when the colors are crisp and new. It is everyone’s wish to maintain their color. After a few tossing and drying of your brightly colored clothes, they tend to fade. While this is almost inevitable, you can surely prolong the youthful look of your garment. Especially if clothes grow on you and have favorites like me, which I will still wear even with the faded bright hue. But with time you painfully know you have to let them go unwillingly. That literally hurts, unless of course, you are going for that comfortably stained and faded look.
Then there are stains. If not well treated after they appear on your cloth, stains can be such a turn off on a brightly colored cloth. Wait till it sets and become permanent, then your fancy dinner dress becomes utterly useless. If possible you can recycle and use it as a nightgown (for those who can’t just let it go). If you thought you are the only one struggling with maintaining your whites white, then you are wrong. You have found your people. It has been a struggle for several of us until we learned of a few tips. Try them and see the transformation.
Keeping Whites White
The first step in maintaining your white clothes while washing is by sorting the dirty laundry. Put the whites together and start with that load. As you are loading the washer, do not overload it. This is to prevent the dirt from redepositing itself in another cloth. There should be enough space between clothes for whiter clothes. With white clothes, select a detergent that has optical brighteners. These brighteners fool the eye into seeing the cloth is whiter than it actually is. This is achieved by bending the UV light waves to showcase blue light and minimize the amount of yellow light our eyes perceive making the cloth look whiter.
I should have probably started by mentioning that you should adequately deal with stains. Before you load the washer, ensure that stains are taken care of. Otherwise, due to the pressure applied to the fabric while washing, they might set and be impossible to remove. After you have properly washed the garment, add one cup of distilled white vinegar to the rinse cycle. This is to ensure that all dulling detergent residue is removed. If ready for drying, line-dry them outside if possible. The ultraviolet rays from the sun will naturally whiten the fabric. If there’s hard water in your area, then you’d want to invest in water softeners and add to each load of laundry. If not, the minerals in the water will deposit in your cloth making it look yellow regardless of how well you’ve washed it.
Soak Brightly Colored Clothes in Salty Water
Soaking brightly colored clothes in salty water is actually a habit I learned from my mother. There are commercial products that you can use, yet salt is not only cheap and environmentally friendly but also gets the job well done. Your clothes will be brighter and prevent running to a degree too. Before soaking any cloth with another, ensure it is not colorfast to prevent stains. Fill the washer or basin with cold water, add half a cup of salt then add your cloth. In the morning, add detergent and other clothes if you wish then run the washer as you normally would.
Do Not Over Dry
While over-drying in the sun is good for your white colors, it goes bad with brightly colored ones. Whether you are line drying or using a dryer, don’t let it dry for long. The heat is harsh on dyes and cloth fibers. Makes the color fade quite fast. Or if you are cloth lining, do it under a shade.
Turn Inside Out
It is not rocket science that the more friction is applied on the surface of the fabric, the more faded it will be. Therefore, turning the cloth inside out, will help in keeping the damage on the inside where it is not seen. The same applies to when you are line drying, you need to turn the clothes.
Wash Only When Necessary
Sometimes we wash clothes more often than we should. For the sake of preserving your clothes’ fabric and color, washing when necessary is the easiest way. If you are careful not to get stains on your cloth, you can get several wears before you wash. Use a dry sponge to remove any deodorant streaks and dust collected throughout the day. Some clothes like jeans don’t need to be washed unless they start to show dirt. That can be four to five years.
Don’t Stuff The Washer
Just like when washing whites, do not stuff the washer. This is to prevent removed dirt from redepositing itself on another fabric.
White vinegar is heavenly sent. It can not only maintain the bright hue of your clothes but also restore luster to your clothes. After a proper wash, add half a cup of vinegar to every rinse cycle to rinse away detergent residue from the fabric that may cause yellowing. You can also soak new items in a solution of vinegar to prevent them from running. Additionally, one cup of household ammonia added to the rinsing water will help brighten clothes. But do not use ammonia if bleach has been in use.
Amount of Laundry Detergent
Use as little laundry detergent as possible. That which you only need, overdosing on the laundry detergent is not a guarantee for a cleaner cloth, in fact, it has the opposite effect. When the residue of the detergent stays on the fabric, it makes it turn yellow. If line drying, the suds tend to attract dirt.
Launder brightly colored clothes after every wear even if they look clean. This is because body oil and perspiration can easily stain then fabric. It is also essential for you to clean your washing machine regularly to prevent staining.
For a person who hates ironing, jeans are God sent to me. I’m always on the quest to find the best pair, and no wonder it’s a never-ending job for me. I can’t seem to get enough of them –I’m what they call a total jeans addict. It’s probably because I not only love how relaxing they are but also the fact that you can manipulate them to match the occasion at hand. You know how you feel when you are in the right flattering pair of jeans, perfect, right? Most importantly, they come in different style, color, and design. Whichever your taste might be, you will be well taken care of. Jeans lovers can back me when I say, for a long time I’ve struggled maintaining my jeans.
They just seem to fade quicker than they should and I couldn’t place what I was doing wrong. Trust me, I’m a believer of buying quality, therefore cheap was out of reason (though to some people, this might be the reason. You get what you pay for. Nevertheless, you can still maintain them). Regardless, after I invested so much on a designer pair, only for it to fade so fast before I could even say ‘goodness’. I felt so betrayed (I don’t know by whom exactly…. I think the jeans) and I knew I had to do something before heartbreak. Unless you are down for the faded and stretched look, you will thank me for sharing what I’ve learned since then.
Keep them clean
It goes without saying; the cleaner the garment the better and newer it looks. Although when it comes to jeans, you don’t need to wash as frequently as other clothing. Spot washing will also help lengthen the period before the next wash. But personally, I think it’s harder for ladies to adhere to this tradition than guys. Remember the dreaded sag at the knee or bum after wearing your jeans without washing? Ladies know what I’m talking about. Washing your jeans helps them get their shape back as well as keep them looking fresh. I can’t seem to bring myself to wear my jeans more than twice if you are like me, you should take more care in the cleaning process. With just a little extra care, they will always look good even after that frequent wash. Here are some tips while washing.
Turn the jeans inside out prior to washing
Turn the jeans inside out to help reduce the detergent from wearing out its dye. Additionally, a lot of friction is involved while tossing and it will be much easier on the appearance of the jeans when washed inside out. This should become a standard habit because jeans washed inside out will maintain more of their color.
Use vinegar while washing
If you see that your jeans have started to fade with each wash, start dying. It will brighten or darken your jeans more. You can also opt to use vinegar, which will not add color to your cloth but will preserve the remaining one. You might also consider using vinegar as your detergent. While detergents are harsh in order to eliminate stains and may not be able to differentiate between a stain and dye, vinegar is milder while getting the same results.
Hugely avoid bleaching
While bleaching does very well with white clothes, it severely damages other colors. If you are using bleach on your white clothes, be good to change the water. Simple thing to do but hugely saves your jeans. You should not use any bleaching agent when washing your colored jeans. The worst thing about bleach stained clothes, Is the fact that they can’t be easily reversed. In fact, most victims I know just wholly count them as a loss.
This doesn’t mean you wholly give up on using any detergent. There are literally dozens of laundry detergents that are color-safe for your jeans. It might be overwhelming settling on one since each of them claims to be the best. Therefore, the best way to shop for the detergent you need is to understand what you need for your cloth. Choose the one that will preserve the color of your jeans or that which has an additive that prevents or reduces bleeding.
Wash with similar color
It sounds like a no-brainer but it is still worth mentioning. You should always clean jeans of similar color together. I learned this lesson the hard way. Since I had only a handful of clothes to wash, I thought why not throw them all in the washer, mark you, none was bleeding as far as I was concerned. You can imagine the shock I got when I saw the big navy blue patch on my peach silk blouse. I actually think it’s more painful to lose a cloth on a discoloring stain than on a tear. It’s because it feels so careless plus there’s nothing you can do about it and chances are, you’ll never get to wear the cloth again. Therefore, save yourself a headache by sorting out your laundry first.
Don’t use the dryer
While there are great benefits of using the dryer than line drying especially during winter, it is not so friendly to your jeans. Since you want your jeans looking new and fresh after every wash, it is best if you consider line drying them. The heat and tumbling from the dryer only weakens and reshapes your cloth gradually. Besides, line drying also has an added advantage of making clothes smell so fresh that a dryer can’t achieve in the absence of a detergent. You also need to know that the ultra-violet rays of the sun don’t go smoothly on dark colored clothes when exposed to it for long. Either hang them under a shade or remove them as soon as they are dry. If you lack a line dryer because they are literally banned in some neighborhood, either use low heat in a dryer. Or a shower curtain rod can suffice as your line dryer.
When you use these tips on your good set of jeans, you will wear them longer than before. It is also essential when it comes to jeans; you adopt the mantra of quality over quantity.
Having to pick from a wide range of colors that best suits your interior can be tiresome and confusing. You cannot use all the colors of the rainbow and their shades since they are quite a handful. However, you can use the shortest and simplest way to getting the right paint color for your interior without much hustle. Here are some tips to guide you through as you make this decision. Here are some tips to guide you through as you make this decision.
1. Go For Your Favorite Colors First
List all your favorite colors first as a headstart in your decision making. You may find that if you blend them together, you will come up with various color options that you would love for your home interior. Always start with your favorite colors first and not the colors that are currently trending, this is your home after all and there is no greater inspiration than seeing your favorite color every day first thing when you wake up.
2. Get A Color Chart For Assistance
In as much as you would want your interior looking colorful, you may not have any idea of the colors that match. Getting a color chart will guide you on the different shades that will make it easy for you to match the colors or even get an idea of how to get light colors to work with darker colors. The color chart also comes in handy for those that are color blind.
3. Identify The Texture Of Your Walls
The texture of your walls is also an influence on what colors you choose. If you want to paint the room, you have to pick a color texture that best goes with your wall to avoid getting it wrong. You can also change the whole appearance of your interior, not by painting only, but by putting up wallpaper that has the same texture as your interior.
4. Work With The Stuff in Your Room
Consider the color of your furniture, curtains, doors, and flooring, before choosing your wall colors. This will save you the trouble of having to go through magazines to figure out other colors out there that might not necessarily match your room’s surroundings. This also acts as a guide as to what colors to avoid.
5. Don’t Be So Uptight
You don’t have to match the same color schemes just because they fit together. Explore different themes and bring them together. You can choose a vintage look and tailor it to a brighter or different color just to see how it will turn out. You never know, it may turn out to be a good color surprise. Compliment it with some great-looking wall hangings.
6. Try The Monochromatic Color Scheme
Having one shade of color in the entire house may be a bit boring. If you don’t want to explore other colors, try different shades of the same color and paint on different walls around the house. You may get a lighter blue and match it with a darker shade and the effect in that room will be breathtaking. Check online for home interiors with monochromatic color schemes and choose the shades of color that you think will work best with your interior.
7. Match The Theme In The Room With Your Color Choice
The colors you choose should complement the room’s theme. It is not sensible to paint dark colors in a baby-themed room. The mood in that room should be bright to catch the attention of the baby. Brighter colors bring some sort of joy and satisfaction and a sense of calm to the baby. Try painting dark walls in such a room and your baby might even get cranky and cry all the time due to the mood portrayed. It is important that the wall hangings remain as bright and vibrant as the wall color.
8. Have a Practical Room
Seclude a room where you can test your ideas before putting the actual paint on your walls. This will prevent you from damaging your walls each time you paint and have a second thought about those colors. It is also cost-effective since you don’t have to use up all your paint just to realize it is not the color scheme you wanted. Get samples of colors first and after you have made your decision then you can buy the paint that you have decided on.
9. Consult a Color Specialist for a Second Opinion
Even though your colors seem to fit perfectly, do not shy off from seeking an expert’s opinion. This may help in guiding you on how to get the lighting of the room to go well with the colors that you have picked or even add some more colors just to make your home interior look more lively and welcoming. You may even decide to go to those home expos just to see things practically before you finally complete your look.
10. Create More Space With Colors
If you have limited space, try and get colors that will make your space look bigger. Having darker colors will make the room seem smaller. Try getting very light colors and play around with their shades to achieve the impression of a wider space. Match the colors on the walls with those of the curtain windows and create a sequence out of it just to break the monotony of single colors.
11. Minimize on Your Wall Hangings
Getting lots of wall hangings may make your walls seem too busy and the color beneath might not achieve the intended effect. Try having as little of the wall hangings as possible if you want to maximize the wall color. For instance, you can get one different colored wall hanging on each wall or just two for every room to ease the congestion in one room. Multiple wall hangings tend to hide the colors on your wall and create that multi-colored cluttered wall look.
The Bottom Line
These tips will help a great deal for both big and small spaces. Don’t shy away from being adventurous and at the same time don’t be too exaggerative on your color choice.
Deciding to move out and get your own home is one of the major decisions we have to make at some point in life. All those responsibilities and tasks that come with it are inevitable. However, you need to make your home as welcoming as possible to achieve that heavenly feeling that will calm you once you get away from the traffic, hooting of the cars and the busy office schedules and that night of extreme partying. Here are some ideas to help add that sophisticated and grownup ‘touch’ as a first-time homeowner.
List the most basic yet important items you need.
After you have gotten the space you need to make a home, it is advisable that you jot down the essential items needed in the house. For example, you will need a couch, some kitchen appliances, a good bed and such. All these items should be your number one priority. This step will help you to avoid impulse buying so that you don’t end up having unnecessary items that might take up a lot of space. Buy things that a few years from now, you will look at them and feel proud and not cringe. Buying a poster of your celebrity crush is an example of something that you will want to take down a few months or years down the line.
Research on different designs and colors.
Many homes have different themes according to the purpose of the room as seen in home magazines or home exhibitions. This means that for instance, you might choose a color such as sky blue with a touch of red for the bathroom or even a much lighter color like cream white or pink for the bedroom and so on. Remember you are a grown up now and want your parents to feel proud when they come visiting. Look for a home design that reflects that, forget that pink girly Hannah Montana-themed bedroom or the BenTen-themed roomed back at home, look for colors and decorative pieces that say two words, “Maturity” and “Tastefulness”.
Get An Experienced Friend For Assistance.
Once you make a decision on how you want your home to look like, you might as well need a second opinion and help on the finer details of your home’s appearance. Since you are now starting out on your own you might not afford an expert interior designer unless you are one of the under 25 millionaires of the world. An experienced person’s opinion also comes in handy when it comes to buying the stuff you need. Your experienced friend is likely to know their way around the market; where to find great bargains, the best stuff and you will learn a lot from them as a first-time homeowner.
Play with your walls to improve the look of the room.
Setting up a large mirror on your walls will make the room appear bigger. You may decide to frame your mirror with a cultural look or even get the color of the frame to match the one in the room. An artistic wall hanging too will make your home look more mature and grown up. You can find paintings or even decide to do your own DIY wall hanging using origami pieces that you made for example.
Bring safety to your home.
It is important to get a fire extinguisher for the kitchen in case of any emergencies. A first aid kit will also come in handy to get you prepared for any small injuries that happen around the house like getting a cut as you are chopping onions or falling on the bathroom floor. When your parents come visiting and see that medicine cabinet with emergency first aid kit and that other cabinet with all the house cleaning agents in one place and finally knives and other cutlery placed in their place at your tiny kitchen, then they will finally understand that their little child is now a responsible grown-up.
Adopt A Minimalistic Approach
Sometimes less is the best and letting your home stay spacious might be a great idea. Consider the minimalistic approach when choosing your home design. The minimalist design is a very grownup and mature design because you tend to go easy on the furniture, the colors and the decorations. This way you will less likely make a mistake in the design and that is the most grown-up thing that you can do.
Set up a space for your tools.
During your free time or days off, you may decide to do some handy work or fix something broken. Getting a space where you can store your tools in the right manner will pay off. One of those common DIY repairs might come up and those tools will come in handy. You never know when you might need them, so keeping them in your one location within your home is another one of the best grown-up decisions that you should make.
A Good Rug For Your Floor.
Adding a rug that has the colors that best suit your home will compliment your floors pretty well. You can get good wood designs and polish if you are not a rug person. If you decide to get a rug, get a good size that fits the coffee table if you want it in that area or a larger one that fits the whole living room.
Select a suitable room to act as your study or office.
Sometimes you may need a little time on your own to work on your projects or even finish up with the backlog at the office in the comfort of your home. Setting up a room or a corner in your home to act as an office is the best thing. It is therefore advisable that you get the most secluded part of thehouse for this purpose. Get a good bookshelf to go with your home office furniture and also add some vintage wall hangings or sculptures for that room.
There are endless ideas on how to make your home look more welcoming for families or even visiting parents. These are just but a few of them, but you can explore more options or even come up with ideas from your visits to friend’s houses. The above ideas should kick start living your life as a first-time homeowner.