Caring for Your 100% Cotton Sweatpants: Keep Them as Soft and Plush as the First Day You Got Them!

At Just Sweatshirts, we take “just” cotton clothing seriously, very seriously. Our goal is ultimate comfort and we have gone to great lengths to provide that for our customers while at the same time providing inspiring new and classic styles in our sweatshirts, sweatpants, and other 100% cotton clothing.

While a 100% cotton, heavy hoodie might be a more popular option than 100% cotton sweatpants and might garner more attention for its stylistic versatility, that’s no reason you should overlook a fresh pair.

There’s little more enjoyable than unwinding with a quality pair of all-cotton sweatpants such as those that you’ll find in our shop. They’re comfortable, practical, and great for all seasons, and with more and more people working from home, they’re also great for the “office.”

For the Love of 100% Cotton Sweatpants

As we’ve covered in other articles in our blog, 100% cotton clothing is great for many, many different reasons. For one, cotton is a natural, exceptionally soft fiber, so it’s great for people with sensitive skin who might not react favorably to synthetics.

Cotton garments are also great for people that might exhibit allergic reactions or other sensitivities to synthetics or even other natural fibers like wool. In addition, cotton is great at regulating moisture and temperature. Since it’s breathable, it keeps your skin at the optimum humidity level without getting “sticky.” It’s also warm in the winter while remaining breathable enough to remain comfortable even in hot weather.

Cotton is also a renewable resource that is grown instead of created in a lab. This means that cotton is sustainable whereas other synthetics are not and need to be continuously manufactured. What’s more is that, if it was ever necessary, cotton would be returned to the Earth and biodegrade, whereas synthetics would remain in the ecosystems into which they were released for long afterward.

That latter point means that cotton should be afforded a decent level of care and attention. Your 100% cotton sweatpants take care of you and keep you comfortable throughout all seasons. You should provide them a high level of care just as they do for you!

Why You Should Exhibit Care

Cotton is a natural fiber and so, despite the fact that it offers so many benefits to the clothing that is made using it, it requires a decent level of care to stay soft and comfortable.

For example, cotton is prone to shrinking, creasing, pilling, and wearing out. For our part, we use only ring-spun and preshrunk fabrics so that loose fibers won’t pill. Our preshrunk fabrics are also nearly impervious to shrinkage, but as cotton is a natural fiber, you still need to afford it the right care to prevent this.

As for creasing and wearing out, only affording the right care will prevent these from occurring, and we’ll go through these in this guide. Typically, creasing occurs from improper storage or drying techniques, whereas washing out or becoming threadbare is a result of improper washing or too-frequent washing - this latter issue is easy to prevent!

As you can see, there are a few things you’ll want to prevent from occurring to your 100% cotton sweatpants, and many of these can be easily prevented by observing the right protocols and cleaning procedures.

With this guide, you should be able to keep yourcotton sweatpants just as plush, comfortable, and form-fitting as they were the day you got them and first tried them on. There’s nothing like a completely fresh pair of cotton pants or socks, and with this guide, you should be able to keep it that way.

How Often Do You Need to Clean Them?

Cotton clothing, like all clothing, needs to be cleaned from time to time to remove stains, odors and dirts, and oils that can damage the fibers. However, believe it or not, overwashing or washing too frequently can be just as damaging if not more damaging than letting your clothes become dirty.

Washing too frequently can actually damage the fibers of your cotton clothes outright, and can shorten their lifespan. Even if you are very judicious about the detergents and stain removers that you use, washing your cotton clothing agitates the fabric and causes loose fibers to fall away from the weave. The result is a garment that will eventually become threadbare.

Our cotton clothing is luxurious, soft, and heavy, so it would take a lot of overwashing to make them lose that. Still, it is something to look out for.

The easy answer is to wash your clothes when they need them and not before. For all garments besides undergarments (socks and underwear) this probably equates to every two or three times you’ve worn it. For a close-fitting t-shirt, this might equate to washing once every time you wear it.

If your clothes appear clean and are not soiled, you might be able to wear them three times or so before they need to be clean. However, let common sense prevail. If you wear your sweatpants once and they become spotted or dirty, wash them! That oil and dirt are no good for the pants either.

Use your judgment - just don’t overdo it.

Treat Stains First

So you’ve worn your cotton sweatpants and have determined that you need to wash them. The first step in returning them to shining, comfortable novelty is to treat any glaring apparent stains that a normal wash cycle will not remove.

The first thing to be sure of is that the stain remover you want to use is compatible with cotton. Be sure; double and triple check the label. Cotton is a sensitive natural fiber that can respond poorly to some treatments.

Also, if you’re going to use a new stain treatment product, first test its effects on an inconspicuous area because safe or not, all treatments react a little differently. You don’t want to wash your cotton sweatpants only to have the stain treatment itself leave a mark or alter the color of your favorite pants.

Choose the Right Wash Cycle and Temperature

Once you’ve treated any conspicuous stains on your favorite cotton sweatpants, you need to choose an appropriate wash cycle and temperature. Right here on our website, in our care section, we suggest washing your clothing in warm, but not hot water. It should not exceed 105 Fahrenheit (or 40C).

For our cotton garments, it’s important not to use water that’s too hot. While warm water will help to dislodge dirt and oils with the aid of a detergent, high temperatures are not good for cotton. In fact, you can wash some of your cotton garments in cool or even cold water, depending on how dirty they are. That’s the best option for the fabric itself.

As for the wash cycle, you can probably choose a normal cycle, because our heavy cotton garments are naturally tough. However, don’t be afraid to choose a gentle cycle, especially if you’ve only lightly used your clothing. Gentle is better for the fibers and the fabric and if it gets the job of removing dirt and oils done, it’s all you need.

Drying Your 100% Cotton Sweatpants

Here at Just Sweatshirts, we advise that you let your cotton clothing air dry and lay it flat to do so. You can also hang them carefully and let them air dry as this will dry them in less time. There are a few reasons that this is valuable.

Air drying, whether done inside with your clothing laid out or outside on a clothesline in the sun, occurs more slowly than drying clothing in a machine drier. This is much less stressful on the fibers. Whenever cotton fibers are subjected to rapid changes in moisture content and temperature, it stresses them out. Extreme instances can cause shrinkage or even breakage of fibers, which will shorten the lifespan of your clothing. Our preshrunk fabrics are intended to guard against this - but that doesn’t mean you should stress them out unduly.

Drying out too quickly and then not storing your cotton clothing properly can also result in creasing, which can be removed with ironing. Still, why welcome the issue when you can prevent it by air-drying your clothes?

A Note on Ironing

Cotton is naturally prone to creasing, which can be mostly prevented with proper cleaning, drying, and storage techniques. However, if your cotton clothing creases despite these preventative measures, it may become necessary to iron it.

As we have belabored throughout this article, high temperatures and rapid shifts in moisture are damaging to cotton fibers. That means that you need to exhibit care if you’re going to iron your cotton clothes to restore their appearance.

If you do decide to iron your cotton clothing, make sure that you only iron them on the lowest possible setting. Do not exceed 110C or 230 Fahrenheit or you will run the risk of damaging the fibers. Either way, that should be adequate to enable you to iron out your clothes and remove wrinkles and creases.

But, as we said, you can prevent some of those issues with proper storage and drying techniques.

Notes:

Observing these procedures should arm you with all the information you need to properly care for your favorite 100% cotton sweatpants, but we wanted to reiterate and reinforce some previously delivered points while taking the opportunity to provide some new ones.

  • Avoid the use of hot water

The use of hot water sometimes becomes necessary to remove heavy soiling from some cotton garments - but this is generally reserved for hard-use items like dish rags and underwear. Sometimes you need to wash these garments in hot water and nothing can be done about it.

However, with a pair of sweatpants or a hoodie, it will do more harm than good. Avoid hot water and avoid damaging your clothes.

  • Dry them flat or carefully hang them - air drying is best

If you didn’t get the impression that air drying is best, here’s your clear warning. Drying cotton clothes in a machine is practically welcoming damage to the fibers. If you can help it, lay them or hang them to dry.

  • Do not use bleach

Never use bleach, even colorfast bleach, on our cotton garments. Bleach has its place in the lineup of laundering accessories, but it is absolutely devastating to cotton fibers. Bleach, A.K.A. sodium hypochlorite, is a powerful chemical that weakens cotton fibers. Applying it can cause them to erode over time.

  • Iron on low if you’re going to iron

We know cotton clothing creases. If you’re going to iron them, iron them on low to prevent damage.

  • Don’t wash them if they don’t need to be washed!

This is also important. If you’ve only worn your sweatpants once, didn’t exert yourself heavily in them, and they appear and smell clean, they probably are. Skip the wash; they probably don’t need it.

  • Fabric softener is not essential - you don’t need to use it

Fabric softeners, like bleach, can be very damaging to some fibers. That’s not to mention that our plush cotton clothing is already as soft as can be. Skip the softener, observe the other protocols we mentioned, and your clothes will provide you with many years of wearability and inherent softness.

  • Gently stretch your 100% cotton sweatpants after washing if you want to “pull” them back into shape

While our cotton clothing is preshrunk so as to hold its shape very well if you’ve noticed that after washing its form has changed a little bit, give it a gentle tag to get it back into shape. It can’t hurt the clothing; actually, it can help.

When in Doubt, Call Us!

If you still have questions about how to care for your favorite cotton sweatpants, don’t play the game of guesswork. With the right care, your sweatpants will serve you well for many years.

Get in touch with us and we’ll let you know whatever it is that will answer your questions or concerns. You may even have come up with some unique questions given your specific circumstances and we’ll provide you with feedback on these as well!

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