How to Take Care of Your Clothes (FREE Laundry Guide Cheatsheet!)

How to Take Care of Your Clothes (FREE Laundry Guide Cheatsheet!)

I bet you’ve looked at your clothing care tags more than once, wondering what they mean… well, not anymore! I want to show you what every symbol means so you can keep your clothes as long as possible! This post also includes 6 hacks to get more wear out of your clothes and keep them fresh.

I even put together a laundry guide cheatsheet for you to download, print and keep in your laundry corner. Keep reading to find it! 


Be careful when washing natural fibers, it’s recommended that you hand wash them, but most washing machines now offer a hand wash program.

Programs warmer than 40ºC should only be used for bed sheets or white garments that need a deep clean.

Make sure to clean the filter of your washing machine regularly!

justine leconte blog washing clothing care symbols laundry guide


Tumble drying is not recommended since it can damage the state of the fibers, and never tumble dry wool: it will felt.

justine leconte blog drying clothing care symbols laundry guide


Sometimes ironing is not needed – just try to hang it very straight and you will see that no weird folds are created!

For sensitive garments, it’s better to steam them.

justine leconte blog dry ironing clothing care symbols laundry guide

Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is done with chemicals, use with caution.

Remove the plastic bag after picking up your clothes from the dry cleaner, so the clothes can breathe again.

Make sure your dry cleaner reads the care label and that they use the right products.


Bleaching is not recommended – it is very toxic for the environment and you.

Make sure that your regular detergent does not contain bleach!

Detergents containing bleach can be used for whites – but not for colors / blacks.

justine leconte blog dry cleaning bleaching clothing care symbols laundry guide

Laundry hacks


Keeping white garments fresh & white
Airdry them in the sun! The sun has “bleaching” properties and it will help to keep that fresh, white look. If they have any stain, apply a mix of vinegar and water directly on the stain & rinse off.


Natural fibers autoclean!
You don’t need to wash linens, wools or silks too often – their fibers clean themselves. Just shake them to get rid of any bad smell & hang them outside or place them on a lavender pillow.


Washing wool
You don’t need to wash wool unless you have sweat or stains on it. Wash it with cold water & airdry it laying flat. Remember: heat + water + spinning = felted, toddler-sized garments!


Smelly shoes?
If you have shoes or jeans that don’t smell so good, place them in a completely sealed bag inside the freezer. They will get cold (not wet) and after a few days the smell will be reduced. Then wash normally.


Washing jeans
Or any piece with hardware. Zip them & turn the pieces inside out so the hardware doesn’t damage other clothes. If you’re washing them with lighter fibers, put the lighter ones in a fabric bag so they don’t get damaged!


Switching seasons
When you’re switching your wardrobe for the season, wash the clothes that you’re about to store thoroughly & store them in a fabric bag (not a plastic one) with a lavender sachet. That will let the pieces breathe. 


Justine Leconte free laundry guide to download

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Here is the YouTube video on clothing care:

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  • Jennifer Kopf-

    A friend just pointed me to your excellent site—it’s really good! Are you still doing it? I see your forecast for winter 19-20. I hope you have gotten through the past year well.

    I wanted to ask for more advice on swimsuits, beyond the video. I’m from the US, where beach looks are very stolid & covered up. In Berlin, where I live now, I see women of all ages, sizes, and body types in bikinis. They look fantastic! Instead of putting fabric over a pot belly or whatever, they uncover strategically. It just feels like they understand their figures and clothing better.

    Your video gave me some ideas—I think a bandeau would be good to widen my top—but I still have questions—what effects do different attachment points for the optional strap have? Also, I’m in my 50s, but want to play in the waves and toss a football with my son. Any tips on figuring out before I order whether a suit is likely to stay put when I move?

    Can you help me with these and/or with where to go to learn more?

    Thanks so much!

  • Celine d’Cruz

    Justine fan! Mumbai girl lives in Beijing.

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