Home Family and Home Science – Taking Care of Clothes, Meaning of Laundering & Detergents

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We have already learnt that all fabrics are not washed and finished in the same way. For some fabrics you use hot water, while others are washed only in cold water. Some are washed with detergents while others with mild soaps. Some are hung on the clothesline; others are dried flat on the ground and so on. This means, different fabrics have to be given different care while washing.

Taking Care of Clothes

  • We all know that when we wear clothes, they become dirty due to the dirt, grease, perspiration, etc.

  • Clothes look ugly if those are allowed to remain on the fabric. They also tend to lose their strength and stains can get fixed on the fabric.

  • The dry dirt can be easily shaken off the clothes, but greasy dirt requires a special treatment.

Meaning of Laundering

Most of us think that “Laundering” means only washing of clothes. But actually, it includes washing as well as proper drying and finishing. Laundering means Washing, drying and finishing of clothes.

Dry Cleaning

  • Some clothes cannot be washed. These are cleaned by using solvents and grease absorbents.

  • In other words, clothes are cleaned without the use of water which may damage the fabric or colour of the fabric.

  • You will learn more about dry cleaning in the part of this lesson.

Image of Steps in Laundering

Image of Steps in Laundering

Image of Steps in Laundering


  • A detergent is a product which is capable of cleaning. Detergents can be of two types

    • Soaps

    • Syndets

  • In your daily life you must have had experience of working with soaps. You must have observed the various properties of soaps.

  • Soaps are good cleansers, but you know syndets are even better.

  • Both the cleansers act by helping penetration of water into the fabric by reducing the surface tension of water.

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