How do you wash your tights? A lot of people may think it’s silly to be asking that question as washing is typically a no-brainer task. But if you have spent a significant amount of your money to buy a pair of decent tights, it’s anything but mindless. To make certain you get to use them for nth amount of times before a ladder runs down your pair, it is important to wash them the proper way.
Keep your hosiery in optimal condition for as long as you possibly could with the following do’s and don’ts when washing tights.
DO: Check the Packaging and Label
Every style has unique guidelines for washing. Before throwing the packaging away, make sure to note any crucial information regarding the correct way of washing them. Some tights may require warm temperature, others may need cold or lukewarm.
The tights’ label, on the other hand, will indicate how you will be washing them. Can you use bleach? Can you wash them in the machine? Is it all right to tumble dry? These instructions usually come in symbols, so you have to be familiar with the basics:
Machine wash symbol - this indicates the temperature you will have to use to wash the tights. One dot means you wash in cold; two dots mean you wash in warm; and three dots mean you wash in hot.
Bleach symbol - indicates whether you can use chlorine bleach or not. A plain triangle would mean you can. But if you see a big red ‘X’ mark on the triangle, you better steer clear of it.
Tumble dry symbol - the square and circle symbol indicates the drying method. No dot means you can use any preferred method; one dot, low temperature; two dots, normal; and three dots, high.
Dry clean symbol - a big circle indicates that it’s for dry cleaning. If you see an ‘X’ mark, washing it in the machine would do.
If the packaging or the label does not indicate any washing instructions, just use the most delicate setting in warm temperature to protect the tights’ colour and material.
DO: Turn the Tights Inside Out
Specifics aside, the general rule in washing tights, and any type of hosiery, include turning them inside out. Doing so will prevent lint from building up while they are in the wash. Lint is a natural build up of skin cells and fibres that occurs in all clothing pieces. You want to avoid lint in your hosiery as it creates bumps.
DO: Keep Fingernails Trimmed
As with rings and bracelets, long fingernails or rough nail edges can catch on the tights and snag the fabric, so be very careful. If you have hangnails, trim them first. Unless you are thinking of washing them in the machine, you do not want to risk washing your tights with untrimmed fingernails.
DO: Separate Them from the Bunch
Your tights, whether they are opaque or sheer, fishnet or lace, nude or colored, must be separated from the rest of the laundry and must have its own pile along with your undergarments, stockings, and other delicates.
DO: Hand Wash Them
Always opt to wash your hosiery by hand to be sure that it will not accumulate runs or tears. If you are going to wash them in the machine, set it on gentle cycle.
DO: Use Mild Detergent
Any detergent will do so long as it is rated safe for use with hosiery. Check the detergent packaging to see if it is OK to use for delicate clothing.
DO: Air Dry Your Tights
Never use the drying cycle on your washer or put your hosiery in the dryer. The strong heat produced by these machines, plus the constant spinning, wear the fibres of the tights down. In result, the process thins your tights, making them more prone to runs and holes.
DON’T: Wear Jewelry
When dealing with delicate clothing such as tights and stockings, you better not have any jewelry on. These things can inadvertently ruin them and cause runs.
DON’T: Wash Tights in Hot Water
Hot water can reduce the elasticity of the tights, which then leads to a saggy crotch and an ill-fitting pair of tights. Washing them in hot water also increases the likelihood of runs. So, always opt for warm, lukewarm, or cool water temperature.
DON’T: Machine Wash Without a Hosiery Mesh Bag
If you are going to machine wash your tights, make sure it is placed in a hosiery washer bag. This will keep them from getting stretched, torn, tangled, and caught while the machine is spinning. Don’t have a mesh bag? Use a pillow case as an alternative and simply knot the opening so your hosiery won’t spill in the washing process.
DON’T: Wash Them Too Often
You do not want to wash your tights after every single wear as they will be more susceptible to runs and holes (users descretion is advised). Instead, wash the sheer ones every two wears, and the thick pairs every three wears.
DON’T: Hang Your Tights to Dry
Do not hang your tights as it may stretch the fabric and the pegs will likely damage them. Instead, lay the tights out in a clean, dry towel, roll them up to remove excess water, and unroll the towel. Let the tights dry flat.
It is a glum situation when that pair of black tights you love so much calls it quits. With a bit of care and precaution when washing your ‘leg sweaters’, you will be able to retain its quality and shape long after winter thaw, and you will help extend its life. But as well as correctly washing your hosiery, you must ensure that your tights are stored away properly, too, to prevent tears, runs, holes and other damages.