our everyday life

How to Clean Khakis

by S.R. Becker

Khaki pants, shorts and skirts are usually made of cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. If your khakis are stretchy, they might also contain spandex. All these fabrics are machine-washable. However, cotton fabric can shrink if it's not properly laundered. Because khakis are light-colored fabric, these garments show stains more readily than darker pants, which means you might need to wash them more often than you wash your jeans.

Remove stains from your khakis as soon as possible after the staining occurs. Spray your khakis with a commercial stain remover and allow them to soak for 15 minutes or as directed on the bottle.

Wash your khakis after every two to three wearings. If you have just treated a stain, launder them after the stain remover or detergent has had time to sink in.

Set the laundry machine for a warm wash on the regular cycle. Add laundry detergent while the washer fills when using a top-loading machine. Place your khaki clothing in the machine after it fills. If you're using a front-loader, add the detergent to the dispenser inside the machine according to the package directions or the manufacturer's instructions.

Place the khakis in the dryer and set the dryer for low temperature. The amount of drying time depends on your dryer and the amount of clothing you're drying, so check your khakis after 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the khakis when they are still slightly damp to minimize wrinkling.

Lay the khakis flat on an air-drying rack or hang them outside to finish drying in the sun.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images