Do Laundry Mesh Bags Protect Your Clothes?
Just because you can throw your socks, shirts, undergarments, athletic wear, and jeans all into the washing machine together doesn’t mean you should. If you want to protect the investment that is your clothing, you should be separating delicates from rougher materials. What is that? You don’t have time for multiple loads? Don’t worry. There is a nifty little tool that you can use to do a single load of laundry while keeping everything safe. It is called a laundry wash bag or mesh laundry bag.
What is a mesh bag, you ask? Keep reading to find out.
What are Mesh Laundry Bags Used For?
Imagine the last catastrophe you had when doing laundry. Did your stocking rip and end up weaving a spider web of threads through all your clothing? Did your machine wash result in misshapen shirts or pilling or snags or holes? These things happen, but they are entirely preventable if you use a mesh bag.
As the name suggests, a mesh bag is a zip-top net that is made of a flexible and durable meshing. The mesh is heat-resistant and allows for water to permeate the bag freely, so your clothes will be just as clean as they would without the bag—but without the clothing murder scene. Delicate fabrics are preserved and embellishments last longer. Mesh laundry bags are a definite win-win.
Looking for a laundry protector bag? Here are some tips to help you find the right one:
- Avoid purchasing a mesh bag with drawstrings. Strings can get wrapped or snag, causing the very problem you are trying to avoid. Always select bags with zippers.
- Get a big enough bag. Over-stuffing your garment bag keeps your clothes from getting clean.
- Purchase a few different sized bags, since you do not want to throw small items in an extra-large bag and vice versa.
- The mesh should be durable enough to withstand washing. Look for micro-mesh made from nylon or polyester.
What Garments are Washed in Mesh Bags?
Here are some items that are best washed in a mesh laundry bag:
- Delicates: Whether you are Team Lacy Underthings or have a horde of cottony bralettes, mesh bags are perfect for keeping the shape of your delicates and preventing sagging, pulling, and twisting.
- Hosiery: Mesh bags protect your stockings, tights, and thinner leggings from getting tangled and torn.
- Embellishments: Decorative elements on your clothing are prone to ripping off when left to float freely in the washing machine. The mesh bag keeps that from happening.
- Athletic Wear and Bathing Suits: Stretchy materials like those used for athletic wear are bound to lose shape over time. A mesh bag keeps bathing suits and athletic wear in better condition for longer.
- Wool, Silk, Velvet, and Cashmere: These softer materials are usually dry cleaned or hand washed because the machine is too abrasive. With a mesh bag and the delicate setting, you never have to hand wash your cashmere sweaters and silk blouses ever again.
- Socks: Tired of the classic Mystery of the Missing Sock? Grab a mesh laundry and never have to worry about pulling lonely socks from the dryer ever again.
- Jeans: You can put denim in mesh bags to protect buttons, zippers, and any detailing or distressing.
- Coats: As long as your wool coat doesn’t have viscose lining, you can put it in a mesh bag to wash. Simply turn it inside out to protect the wool fibers.
How Do You Use a Mesh Bag for Laundry?
Using a mesh net for laundry is easy. There are many things you can wash in the washing machine with a laundry protector bag. Here are some steps to streamline washing clothing with a mesh laundry bag:
- Check the materials. There are some items that are far more susceptible to damage than others. You will want to separate the most delicate from rougher materials. For example, only wash cashmere with cashmere, silk with silk, lace with lace, and so on.
- Avoid combining delicate materials with items that have embellishments. Do not put knitwear with something that has a zipper, for instance. To minimize any damages, keep all zippers, buttons, clasps, and clips fastened.
- Pre-treat any stains. This makes washing more effective and reduces the amount of stress on your clothing. Keep in mind that stains made from beverages, oils, or grass can be pre-treated with dish soap. If the stain is from blood or body-fluid, use cold water and a little rubbing as pre-treatment. Follow with hand sanitizer to disinfect.
- Sort your delicates into small piles separated by type and color. Do not lump them together. In one standard-sized washer, you can use up to three laundry bags. If the load is a little on the light side, add some free items, like t-shirts.
- Do not forget to turn garments inside out.
- Then complete the wash cycle from there. If you are washing delicates alongside normal clothing, use the most gentle cycle. Heavier stains can be dealt with by using a pre-soak.
Easy, right? The washing process is more or less the same, except you are adding bags to the wash basin instead of a heap of clothing.
Can You Wash Delicates Without a Mesh Bag?
Are mesh bags necessary? No, they are not. You can wash delicates without a laundry protector bag, but that does not mean it is always the best idea. While most modern washing machines have either a Hand Wash or Delicate setting (or both), there is still a chance that the clasps on your bra or the metal embellishments on your sweater get hooked on something and make a mess.
Washing delicates without a mesh net is a little bit like roulette. Do you want to take the chance of your clothing getting ruined? Instead, save time and effort by washing your delicates in a laundry bag.
What Can I Use Instead of a Laundry Bag?
Perhaps you are not a fan of using a nylon or polyester mesh bag to do your laundry. That’s fine. There are some alternatives to mesh laundry bags that have been around for ages. Back before mesh bags were popular, women a few decades ago would put their delicates inside pillowcases.
You can use a few safety pins to seal the pillowcase shut and toss it into the laundry. It will work just like a mesh bag does for your clothing. Optionally, you can get creative if you have a sewing machine and make your own laundry bag out of an older pillowcase.
Afterwards, you may want to keep your clothes in a vacuum storage bag. Learn more about whether vacuum bags destroy clothes or not on our blog.
Can You Put Mesh Bags in the Dryer?
Once you have washed your clothing, it is time to toss it into the dryer. Does that mean you have to remove everything from the laundry bags? Not at all. Remove your mesh bags from the washing machine and put them in the dryer. There is no need to put a heap of clothes in the dryer after protecting them through the whole washing sequence, only to have something to snag while it is getting dried.
Put your clothes on for half the time you usually use to dry them then remove the clothes from the laundry bag and finish with air drying. This will preserve the condition of your delicates, shirts, and pants, so your clothing lasts longer.
The reason lingerie and lacy or embellished items are considered delicate is because they can lose their quality in the washing machine. Keep your delicates from getting destroyed by using a laundry bag. You will never have to worry about your garments getting ripped, torn, or damaged by other items in the washing machine. With a variety of laundry bag brands to choose from, you can easily find the size and material that suits you best. Or, you can always use an old pillowcase.
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