The Advantages of Cotton Clothing and How to Wash It

Cotton clothing is cool and comfortable. But what other advantages does this fabric offer, and how should you care for it in the wash? We'll tell you here.
The Advantages of Cotton Clothing and How to Wash It
Leidy Mora Molina

Reviewed and approved by the nurse Leidy Mora Molina.

Last update: 19 May, 2023

The softness and lightness provided by cotton clothing are just two of the best-known qualities and the most sought-after by those who prefer clothing made with this fabric. It’s precisely the fabric’s comfort that has transcended made it so popular, since cotton is not only used for intimate apparel, but also for gym outfits, casual wear, and many other garments.

This is due to the many advantages of the fabric, including its durability. So that you get the full benefit of the textile, in this article, we’re going to tell you some of the best tips for how to take care of it.

The qualities of cotton

Cotton comes from the plant belonging to the genus Gossypium, from the malvaceous family, in popular slang known as cotton or cottonwood. The Encyclopaedia Humanidades comments that it develops in the surroundings of the seed and is useful in the textile industry, to the point of being positioned as the most important natural fiber in the world.

These fibers vary in length and proportion. When they’re short, they’re known as “Indian cotton”; if they are medium they are “American cotton”; and the longest fiber is called “Egyptian cotton”. The quality and flexibility of all of them are used to produce fabrics and make sheets, towels, and clothing.

Cotton is also used in the creation of paper, rope, and animal feed, as well as in the preparation of oils and biofuels. As if that weren’t enough, there are currently sustainable cultivation procedures that benefit the plant and the environment.

National Geographic points out that, according to the German Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation, the cultivation of conventional cotton for an ordinary T-shirt requires 2,700 liters of water, but if you use organic cotton, half that is enough.

The advantages of cotton clothing

Cotton is a fiber that lends itself to bonding with other fabrics, such as wool, polyester, and linen, for example. Each brings its own unique qualities, and the result is comfortable clothing. There are more advantages to using the product in the manufacture of clothing, however, and we’ll take a look at them below.

Cotton is insulating

Cotton works reports that cotton with a certain design increases the volume and traps air, maximizing its insulating power. They note that garments with these characteristics are designed for active and outdoor markets, so that the insulating cotton naturally protects against wind and ensures thermal regulation, without the garment losing comfort.

It helps regulates the body’s pH

According to Medline Plusby increasing airflow, the fabric decreases moisture accumulation. Therefore, all-cotton underwear or synthetic underwear with cotton lining in the crotch is recommended to balance the acidity of the intimate area.

It has a great absorption capacity

A study published by Science direct highlights that cotton fiber retains water 24 to 27 times in relation to its weight. Such absorbent properties result from the molecular structure of the fiber.

Cotton comprises a complex series of atoms grouped in polymer molecules, capable of forming pure cellulose, which is responsible for absorption. Those who sweat excessively find in this characteristic to be a great ally.


Cotton is a breathable fabric that keeps the skin clean, ventilated, and odor-free, which is difficult with synthetic textiles. Cotton clothing is ideal for exercising or dressing in the hot season.

Softness and resistance

The texture of cotton is pleasant when in contact with the skin, so softness is one of its relevant features. It’s also durable, as cotton is a highly resistant fabric, even stronger when wet.

Although it’s advisable to wash it in cold water, cotton withstands high temperatures. This allows it to be washed with hot water when stains or dirt are deep.

Hypoallergenic attributes

The National Chamber of the Textile Industry suggests pure organic cotton as the best hypoallergenic fabric, i.e., it produces little or no allergic reactions. They claim it’s soft and contains no aggressive compounds because farmers exempt their crops from pesticides.

If you have sensitive skin, it’s very unlikely that you will suffer from irritation with cotton. In fact, the most delicate skin is that of babies, which is why most of their clothing is made from this fabric. This material is also often used for bandages and medical gauze,

How to wash cotton clothes

Although cotton has kind properties, to extend its durability you have to wash it with certain precautions. If you make a mixture in the wash, the consequences will be faded, stained, or shrunken pieces.

You can avoid this by following the advice below:

  • Wash inside out and in cold water: Turning your clothes inside out to put them in the washing machine reduces wear and tear. Also, cold water and a delicate cycle help.
  • Divide the colors: Dark shades should make up one load, while white pieces should make up another. Thus, the wash doesn’t mix pigments and the garments retain their original colors.
  • Apply neutral detergent: Aggressive soaps damage the intensity of the colors in cotton. It’s advisable to apply a mild detergent or one that specifies on the package that it is neutral.
  • Air-drying: Don’t tumble dry cotton clothes; let them dry in the open air, without direct sunlight, so as not to weaken the fibers. In the dryer, this textile wears out due to heat and rubbing.
  • Ironing while still damp: As in the case of the washing machine, when ironing do it with the garment inside out and while it is still a little damp. If the garment is completely dry when you pick it up, activate the steamer of the iron or spray water with a spray bottle.
  • If there are stains, don’t rub them: when the clothes have complicated stains, it’s advisable to pre-wash them by hand. In the process, do not rub the stain, as it will soak into the fabric. Try soaking for a couple of hours in hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or a formula that includes baking soda and lemon.
Here’s a must-know fact: always read the label to treat your clothes with the manufacturer’s precise instructions.

Like this article? You may also like to read: How to Keep Clothes Smelling Fresh in Your Closet

Don’t miss out on the benefits that cotton clothing brings to your skin

Cotton has set a high bar that is hard to reach for other fabrics, especially when it comes to intimate apparel. This is due to the freshness and comfort offered by the fabric, to the point that it’s recommended to reduce the chances of suffering from fungal infections, allergies, or other sorts of infections caused by moisture retention.

Take advantage of the textile and wear it also in your pajamas, tops, and pants. There are countless, budget-friendly and fashionable options out there!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.