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Fall Cleaning Checklist: Refresh Your Wardrobe and Home for Cooler Temperatures

Now’s a great time to get a jump on preparing your wardrobe and home for cooler weather. Heritage Park Laundry Essentials offers a few tips to get you ready.

If you’re like us, you’re absolutely reveling in these first few cool, crisp days of autumn. And really, what’s better than snuggling into your favorite sweater and heading out for some leaf peeping? But as you’re basking in the beautiful weather, definitely take time to prep your home, wardrobe, and gear before truly cold temperatures set in.

This easy-to-follow checklist from Heritage Park Laundry Essentials will keep you organized and on task as you move into the cooler seasons.

Spruce Up Sweaters and Sweatshirts 

If you’re pulling sweaters and sweatshirts out of storage -- even from the back of your closet -- they could probably use a quick wash before you wear them. Sweatshirts made of cotton or blends can be washed in cool or warm water on a gentle cycle with Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent with natural cleaning enzymes. Shake after the wash cycle and lay flat or dry on low heat.

For washable wool or washable cashmere sweaters, you’ll want to use our gentle, enzyme-free detergent for Silk & Wool. While enzymes are super effective at dissolving protein-based stains, natural fibers like wool, alpaca, cashmere, and even silk are protein based; repeated washing of these items with an enzyme detergent can degrade the quality of the fabric over time. Learn more about how enzymes work in detergent here.

For washable wool and cashmere sweaters, follow these steps:

  1. Check the label to make sure your sweater is washable (here’s a guide to laundry symbols for reference). If your sweater is dry clean only, DO NOT attempt to wash. You can hang outside out of direct sun on a clear day to refresh it if you want to hold off on dry cleaning.
  1. Choose a wool or delicate/gentle cycle on your machine.
  1. Add 1 to 3 caps full of Heritage Park Silk and Wool Detergent (for a single item, 1 cap should be sufficient. For a larger load of wool, 2 caps in a front loader or 3 in a top loader is more than enough)
  1. Turn items inside out and in fine mesh laundry bags to protect your items from any snags or burrs inside the washer tub. Learn more about mesh laundry bags here.
  1. Do not wring out sweaters; lay flat on a towel or drying rack to dry. Learn more about how to wash wool and cashmere sweaters here.
Women folding sweaters after washing

Prep Vests, Jackets and Snow Gear 

If your winter uniform consists of a vest or jacket, you’re not alone. In fact, our go-to cozy vest gets worn nearly every day during fall and winter, only to gather dust bunnies in our closet during the spring and summer months. Not to mention the kids’ coats that get shucked on the first warm spring day and never thought about again until they turn up in the school lost and found. It’s definitely time to show some love to your outerwear.

Fortunately, most down and alternative fill jackets, vests, gloves, and snow pants are completely washable right in your machine. With that said, if your machine is on the small side, or has a sizable agitator, you may want to visit the laundromat and use a front loader. We recommend putting items in mesh laundry bags to protect them from burrs and snags inside your machine (authentic though it may be, duct tape on your down jacket hasn’t been a look since 1996). 

The rules for washing coats and outerwear items are simple:

  1. If they can go inside out, turn them inside out.
  2. Zip into a mesh laundry bag if possible
  3. Don’t overload the machine and wash on a gentle cycle.
  4. Use a minimal amount of Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent
  5. If you’re drying, low and slow is the way to go. Adding wool dryer balls will speed drying time.

Shoes, Boots, and Sports Equipment

With school back in session, flip flop season is most definitely over. And that means smelly sneakers, cleats, and turf shoes are back in the rotation, and probably all over your mudroom floor. It’s one thing to have to walk around these items without tripping. But having to run past them covering your nose tests the limits of even the most devoted sports parent.

Use a mesh laundry bag to wash sneakers and shoes

You can stay on top of stinky, sweaty shoes, knee pads, and shin guards with regular washing with our enzyme-based All-Purpose Detergent. Made with a proprietary blend of enzymes, this detergent breaks down and removes protein-based stains like sweat, blood, dirt, grass, and mud. A few tips:

  1. If possible, invest a second set of shin guards, knee pads, or padded vests and trade off, washing regularly in warm water.
  1. Socks, briefs, athletic cup holders, and any base layer garments should be washed AS SOON as they come off the body. Don’t let them sit any longer than necessary, which can allow bacteria to grow.
  1. For the love of all you hold dear, NEVER let wet gear, pads, or clothing sit in a duffel or tote bag. Similarly, do not leave said bag of wet, smelly gear in the back of your car. Trust us on this one.
  1. If you wash quickly enough, you don’t need to use scalding hot water. Avoid using bleach; much as you may be tempted to “disinfect”, it is not good for athletic fabrics.

Lastly, footwear. No getting around it, feet are sweaty. Especially when playing sports or wrapped up in warm shoes or boots. Bust odors in sneakers and boots with a commercial deodorizing spray or powder and a good airing outdoors (best in sunlight). You can also make a DIY deodorizing powder with equal parts cornstarch and baking soda with a few drops of essential oils. Mix and sprinkle generously into shoes or boots, leaving overnight to absorb odor. Shake or vacuum powder out before wearing.

Bed, Bath, and Home 

Spring cleaning gets a lot more attention, but Fall home spruce up deserves its due. This is the time when we trade in our cooler sheets and cozy up our beds with layers of flannel sheets, heavier duvets, blankets, and throws (click here to learn all about how to build a perfect bed, layer by layer). Anything that has been in storage should get a thorough washing before it goes on the bed. While you’re at it, consider doing a deep wash of all your bedding, from the mattress pad right up to washable throw blankets. Again, follow manufacturer’s instructions and use Heritage Park All-Purpose Detergent in Fragrance Free, Lavender Mist, or Shore Breeze scents. One of our favorite tips is to add a few drops of essential oil to our wool dryer balls, which gives bedding a light scent as it dries soft and fluffy. 

If you’re swapping out your seashell guest towels for something with a seasonal or holiday vibe, wash those summer linens before putting them away. And while most of us don’t have seasonal sets of bath towels, Fall is a great time to rotate your towel stock to make sure everything gets equal wear. (You can also take note of what might need replacing during the January white sales!)

Finally, launder any washable rugs, door mats, and throw blankets that need it to give them a “reset” before indoor season.

Shop Laundry Detergents

Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

At Heritage Park, we found many commercially available "gentle detergents" either damaged fabrics or didn't get the job done, leaving stains behind. We knew we could do better. So we developed a formula with the perfect balance of powerful -- yet safe -- ingredients designed to remove tough, set-in stains while remaining gentle on luxury linens and your skin. We are a family-run business producing small-batch luxury laundry detergent made with thoughtfully sourced, plant-based hardworking ingredients. Our products are clean, effective, and safe for people, pets, and the planet. Please connect with us at (800) 977-1841 or visit our store or email us with any product feedback or cleaning questions.

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