Placing delicate items like washable silk, wool, or lace inside a mesh laundry bag can protect them from damage during the machine wash cycle. This article explains when and how to use mesh laundry bags and offers simple instructions for washing delicate items.
Protect Delicate Items With a Mesh Laundry Bag
Being able to machine wash silk bedding and clothing is a huge convenience that can save lots of time and money. The same goes for other delicate fabric such as table linen; bras, hosiery, and lingerie; washable wool; and lace, embellished, or embroidered articles. Thanks to the delicate or ‘hand wash' settings on your washing machine, these items -- which otherwise might require dry cleaning or hand washing -- can often be safely laundered at home.
But there's a reason these items are called "fine washables." They are delicate and require a bit of special care. At Heritage Park Laundry Essentials, we recommend using a gentle detergent formulated for fine fabrics and choosing the proper cycle (delicate or hand wash) according to manufacturers' instructions. We also suggest one additional precaution that provides maximum protection: washing your clothing or linen in a mesh laundry bag.
Your Washing Machine Can Damage Delicate Fabrics
Today's washing machines have come a long way in terms of cleaning delicate items. Whether they're electronic front loaders or a traditional top loader with a dial control, these machines offer multiple delicate and even hand-wash settings. However, load washers typically feature an agitator or impeller mechanism, which can be rough on fine washables. Along with being energy efficient and using less water, front loaders are more gentle than top loaders because there is no agitator; these machines clean by the forceful tumbling motion of the wash drum. Still, any washing machine can damage delicate fabric due to a number of factors:
- Bedding, particularly a silk pillowcase or silk sheets, or lingerie like hosiery or a bra, can twist itself around the agitator, causing pulls or tears.
- Items can snag against a “burr” or rough metal edge inside the washer drum.
- Anything with a zipper, a snap, or other rough embellishments or edges can rub against a delicate garment or linen, causing holes or snags. (note: this is why it's important to sort your dirty laundry and wash delicate items together; you should even separate your soft cotton towels from delicates, as they are a much heavier weight).
Laundry Tips for Safely Washing Silk Pillowcases, Lingerie, and Other Delicate Items
A mesh wash bag, sometimes called a lingerie bag, is the best way to ensure that your delicate items stay safe in the wash. Heritage Park Mesh Laundry Bags come in four sizes to accommodate all your delicate fabrics (see sidebar for more info).
- 100% premium 70-gram fine woven polyester micro mesh
- High-quality zipper closure with elastic cover keeps secure and quiet
- Gusseted bottom expands to let items move freely inside for better cleaning
- Sewn-in hanging loop for convenient storage
Definitely Use a Mesh Wash Bag for These Delicate Items:
Pro cleaning tip: We recommend buying multiple bags in different sizes. And NEVER over stuff your bag!
How to wash silk bedding:
Silk sheets and pillowcases are the ultimate in luxury, and come with big benefits for beauty, wellness, and quality of sleep. Fortunately, most silk bedding is machine washable following these simple directions:
- Wash silk in a separate, silk-only, load.
- Turn silk pillowcases inside out before laundering.
- Place all silk items in fine mesh laundry bags to help keep the silk from tearing. This is particularly important if your machine has an agitator mechanism.
- Wash silk in cool water on a delicate wash cycle.
- Use a laundry detergent formulated for silk like Heritage Park Luxury Silk, Wool, and Cashmere Detergent.
- Don't use bleach or fabric softener.
- Hang dry out of direct sunlight.
- Iron sparingly if at all following these guidelines for ironing silk.
- Always follow manufacturer's directions.
How to wash luxury table linens:
Heirloom-quality table linens are a wonderful investment. With proper care, your washable table linens will stay beautiful and last for years to come:
- Wash matching table linens together (whether used or soiled) to allow the table linens fabric to wear at the same rate.
- Treat table linen stains when fresh to avoid the stain setting.
- Place table linens in a mesh laundry bag prior to putting them in the machine.
- Use a detergent made for fine linens such as Heritage Park Luxury All-Purpose Detergent.
- Wash your luxury table linen on a gentle cycle; use warm water for whites, cold water for colors.
- Avoid bleach, which can weaken natural fibers and cause yellowing, and fabric softeners/dryer sheets, which leave residue on fabric.
- Never twist or wring out table linens before drying. Line dry white linens; tumble dry color linens on low.
- Always follow manufacturer's directions, and learn more here.
How to wash bras and lingerie:
In the past, bras -- especially those with underwires -- were an absolute no-no for your washing machine. No more! Using a mesh laundry bag and “hand wash” cycle makes it much less burdensome to care for these items.
- Fasten all hooks and closures on bras.
- Place each item in its own mesh laundry bag. (Note: you can place several pairs of underwear in a single bag as long as you are not stuffing the bag).
- Use a detergent made for lingerie or fine washables.
- Wash according to the manufacturer's directions, on a delicate cycle at warm temperature.
- NEVER put bras in the dryer. Dry flat if possible or hang dry.
Recommended Products for Washing Delicates
Along with a set of mesh wash bags, it's important to select the proper detergent for delicate fabric. At Heritage Park Laundry Essentials, we offer two separate formulas, our original Luxury All-Purpose Detergent (available in original Fragrance Free and Shore Breeze scent) and our Luxury Silk, Wool, and Cashmere Detergent (available in original Fragrance Free and Lavender Mist scent).
Both of our detergent varieties are pH balanced to be gentle on fabric yet effective on stains; free from any harsh dyes and chemicals; and Leaping Bunny Approved to be cruelty-free. The difference between the formulations comes down to enzymes. Our original Luxury All-Purpose Detergent contains a proprietary blend of enzymes (read more about laundry enzymes here) that make it very effective at tackling tough stains, especially those that are protein-based such as blood, body fluids, and dairy products.
However, when it comes to washing protein-based fabrics such as silk or wool, those same enzymes can be harsh and even damaging. That's why protein-based fabrics should be washed in our Luxury Silk, Wool, and Cashmere Detergent, which is completely free of enzymes and gentle on the fibers.
Welcome to the World of Heritage Park Laundry Essentials
Here at Heritage Park, caring for fine fabric is our passion. As lifelong collectors of luxury sheets, towels and table linens, we found that while many of the commercially available “gentle detergents” could still harm fabrics, or they didn't get the job done, leaving tough stains such as lipstick, coffee, gravy, and salad oil stains. We believed we could do better and decided to fill that need so we created Heritage Park Laundry Essentials.
Thank you for visiting us here at Heritage Park! We are delighted to have you as a client and welcome your feedback, questions, and comments. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 800-977-1841. We're here and ready to chat with you about all things linen and laundry-related!