Everyone Wants Their Clothes To Last
It doesn't matter what your favorite piece of clothing is, cotton crew socks, a floral shirt, or even a pair of orange leather pants. Everything always gets worn down and has to be replaced at some point.
To postpone the inevitable there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help your clothes last a little longer. It will help the clothes you love stay intact and stay the shape you want them to be.
Don't be afraid to use more than one method since using these tricks will only help, not hinder you. Give one a try and see if you can fit one into your cleaning routine.
18 Washing Tips To Make Clothes Last Longer
1. Read Clothing Tags
Every single piece of clothing has a tag or printed label that tells you the size, materials, and how to wash that item. The tag will usually have multiple symbols and written instructions on what the best method for washing is.
You don't have to follow the instructions but it is a good indicator on how to make them last longer. Most people throw all their clothes into the washer which is fine, but it weaken the fabrics of some clothes.
2. Carry A Stain Removal Pencil Or Wipe
Stain Removal pens are small and easy to store in a purse or pocket. If you spill something on your shirt while your out to dinner it can be used as a quick cleanup so the stain doesn't soak into your clothes.
3. Sort Your Laundry
You have seen TV shows and Movies where someone throws a pink sock into the washer and turns all the white clothes pink. Well it is a possibility if you're not careful.
Separating your clothes into white vs colors is the right way to go. It keeps your lighter clothes from being discolored and your darker colors from getting dulled.
If you're not into separating them then make sure there's more than one color in the washer. This is so there's a smaller chance the whites will turn a random pastel color.
4. Zip It And Button Up
Zippers are known for getting stuck and buttons are known for being lost. To keep both from being ruined in the wash, zip your zippers and button your buttons.
5. Delicates Should Have Their Own Space
If you're like me then you have lost too many socks to count. The easiest way to clean them and keep them in one place is to buy a mesh bag made specifically for washing them.
It can also be used for underwear, bras, spandex, and other small items your afraid to lose. just put it in a zippable mesh bag and throw it in your washer.
6. Don't Overuse Everything
Sometimes I think if I add more detergent or dryer sheets my clothes will smell even better or be cleaner. In reality that would just ruin the clothes and wear down the fabrics.
Be conservative with the amount you use, don't overdo it. Use the recommended amount and your clothes will be fine.
7. Don't Cram Your Clothes
The washer and dryer have limits to how much should go in them. Don't try to stuff 3 loads into one because you'll just waste water, might stretch or rip your clothes, and could break the machine itself.
8. Change The Settings
Your machines have settings for a reason, they're there to not damage your clothes. There are heating, cooling, delicate, and other washing and drying settings. Use them with the appropriate clothes and you may notice a difference.
9. Bleach Isn't A Detergent
Be careful when you're using bleach since it can really ruin your clothes. Unless you actually mean to alter your clothes, don't put it in bleach unless it's completely white.
10. Inside Out
I'm not talking about emotions when I say inside out. If you want to get your garments clean, turn them inside out. The inside is what gets the most sweat and dirt accumulated so make sure to get it washed.
11. Aluminum Foil
Dryer sheets are pretty cheap but if you don't have some you can always improvise. If you're planning on going to the store but don't have time at the moment, just add a ball of aluminum foil.
12. Shrinking Doesn't Have To Be A Problem
Sometimes clothes just decide to shrink and you have to either throw it out or give it to someone else. You can try always try and stretch it back out again.
One way to do so is to soak the shirt in lukewarm water with some baby shampoo. Let it sit for a few minutes until it's soaked and slowly pull it to stretch it out. Take your time and don't stretch it to much.
13. Tiny Drying Machines
When you hang clothing it can take a lot longer for it to completely dry. If you want to remove some excess water for it to dry a little quicker you can put light or smaller garments inside a salad spinner. Then spin it until most of the water is gone.
14. Use A Clothesline
A dryer is the quickest way to completely dry your clothes so they're ready to be worn. However, If you live in a warmer climate, hang drying is a great option to keep you clothes fresh and durable.
If you live in colder climates it can be a bit harder to use the hang dry method. A good heating system could work or if you want to hand press clothes that could also help. However, a dryer is still a viable and relatively safe option.
15. Salt Isn't Just For Food
Colors can fade over time from the sun and continuous use. If you want to keep colors vibrant then add some salt to the washer. Along with detergent, it should preserve the color so it will look as good as new for a long time.
16. Don't Constantly Dry Clean
Most suits and expensive clothing will be dry clean only. However, dry cleaning deals with a lot of chemicals that can slowly wear down your clothes if it's not properly done.
AS an alternative you can hang your clothes in the bathroom as you're taking a steaming hot shower or just steam them yourself. Don't go to the dry cleaners more than you have to, especially if you don't have the money.
17. Keep Your Clothes Clean
You don't have to wash every piece of clothing after you wear it once. It really depends on what you've been doing the entire day.
Without sweating or getting dirty any item can be worn again. However, if you're going to store them for a long time or they are dirty then wash them before you set them aside. They'll be clean and ready to go when you decide to wear them again.
18. Clean Your Washing Machines!
This process takes longer than most cleaning methods but it only has to be done a few times a year. Just take one day to make your washing machine clean for the next hundred batches of clothes.
Set your machine to a large load with the hottest water. If it's a top loading washer fill it with water first, if not then put in white vinegar and baking soda into the areas originally for detergent and softener.
Then after the water has filled up the container, stop it, and let it sit for about an hour. Then start the cycle again and let it run through. Then do it again but with just the water with a tiny bit of detergent to remove anything left behind.
12 Ways On How To Hang Your Clothes So They Won't Be Ruined
19. Keep Your Clothes Dry
Before you go and fold or hang up all your clothes make sure they're completely dry! After a season ends if you store them wet for the rest of the year they can grow mildew.
The originally wet clothes will be ruined along with the ones it was stored next to. Just be careful and make sure to feel all of your clothes before putting them away.
20. Plastic Is Problematic
If you have just bought new clothes or just went to the dry cleaners your clothes are probably sitting in plastic. Don't keep them in there, it doesn't preserve them at all.
Clothes are like living things, they need to breath. If they're kept in a plastic bag the fabric can weaken and cause staining, like vintage wedding dresses. Let your clothes air out and keep them in a more open environment.
21. Don't Crowd Your Closet
Breathability should also be taken into account with the amount of space in your closet. Some people have too many clothes so they decide to throw everything into their closets.
Give your clothes some room by leaving at least half an inch between them. If it seems impossible then get some hangers that connect together so you'll have more places to put your clothes on.
22. The Misconception About Sweaters
Most people will want to hang up their sweaters because they're usually made of high quality materials. However, hanging them up can stretch out the fabrics.
Instead of hanging them up fold them neatly and store them in drawers. Most sweaters won't wrinkle from being folded so you'll have shapely and neat clothes to wear.
23. The Iron Isn't For Burning
If your setting are to high on your iron you can burn right through your clothes. Wrinkles are a range. So if you've stored your clothes impropely but there's only a few wrinkles, set it on a low setting.
If there isn't a lot of crinkles then change the setting to one notch below the recommended setting. If it's more like a mountain range then use only the recommended setting. It may take more time but it won't ruin your clothes.
24. Hang Your Clothes Correctly
Clothes can alter their shape even with the right hanger. If you don't have drawer space you can fold your sweaters and other coats with a simple method.
Fold the sweater in half, put the armpit area around the hook, then fold the sleeves and bottom across the hanger and each other.
25. Secure Your Clothes On The Hanger
If you have a button up jacket or shirt then make sure you button it up. Don't leave it open because it will most likely slide off. All you have to do is button the 1st or 2nd button from the top and it will stay.
Hangers Matter! It Keeps Your Clothes In Shape
26: Wooden Hangers
Wooden Hangers with plastic grips are best to use with thick clothes likes dresses or jumpsuits. It keeps the clothes on the hanger and if you add extra tissue into the folds it can also keep it from wrinkling.
27: Fabric Hangers:
Fabric hangers are the best when used with thin clothes like blouses or things with thin straps like rompers and dresses. It stops wrinkles from forming and won't mess with the shape of the garment as it sits on it.
28: Curved Hangers
Heavy overcoats and jackets should be put on thick curved hangers. It won't alter the shape of the shoulders and will be strong enough to hold onto them.
29: Wishbone Hangers
These hangers are like ordinary hangers but with thicker ends. The clothes that should go on these are blazers, sports jackets, and regular coats.
30. Add To Your Hangers
If your clothes are falling off their hangers then get some grips for them. Moleskin (adhesive padding) or a hot glue gun can be used to make makeshift grips.
You can also add clips to your hangers to hang pants, shorts, and sleeved dresses. Clips can help hold clothes up without having to fold them which could otherwise cause wrinkles.
17 Extra Tips To Help Make Clothing Stay As Good As New
Clothes can get damaged and worn down after a long time of having and wearing them. You can always rejuvenate them and make them look as good as new.
31. Dye Baths
Your clothes can lose color pretty easily. Constant sun exposure and even leaving them to sit can cause some discoloration.
If you want to revamp the colors then make a dye bath. Just add some dyes to a bucket of water and let your clothes sit inside. Just make sure the colors match so it won't look distorted.
32. Mend Your Clothes
Learning how to sew should be something everyone learns. Even if it's a super simple and basic stitch it can still save clothes from being thrown away. Just thread a needle and practice on an old and beaten up item.
33. Boot Shapers and Tissue Paper
Shoes, especially boots, can lose their shape and have folds appear in the fabric. Save them from further damage by using boot shapers or crumpled tissue paper to maintain their shapes.
34. Waterproof Your Clothes
There are now sprays made to make all of your clothes waterproof, no matter what the fabric is. Anything from shoes to shirts to cotton crew socks can be made to withstand water.
35. Dehumidifier or A Nice Shower
If you have a really wrinkled shirt but don't have an iron you can hang it on a door or a hanger inside the bathroom. It will steam the shirt for you as your washing up.
You can also buy a dehumidifier instead of an iron. Irons can burn through your clothes if you're not careful. However, dehumidifiers will only steam your clothes so there won't be any damage that's done.
36. Adhesive Padding Helps
If you're favorite bra got ripped and your underwire is showing you can patch it up. Moleskin and other adhesive padding can be used to repair it for a while.
37. Razors Can Neaten Clothing
Cotton can collect on some jackes and hoodies. If you have those little annoying balls that seem to stick to your clothes a lot, you can get rid of them.
If you take an average razor (a cheap one) you can literally shave your clothes. It will get rid of all the extra cotton and make your clothes look neater.
38. Use A Shoe-horn
After a lot of wear and tear, your shoes aren't going to look pretty. Especially if you wear them to take out the trash without properly putting them on.
Flattening the back of the shoes can cause damage that may want to make you throw them away. Instead buy a shoehorn so the shoes stay intact for longer.
39. Stains are a Hassle!
Stains are the bane of everyone existence. If you want to make your clothes last for a long time, get rid of them! There are a lot of options that can remove different stains from their clothes.
40. Heel Caps Are Healing
If you have some scuffed up or broken heels you can use a cap as a temporary fix. If you want to actually repair them then this is a great alternative for a short period of time.
They won't last forever but it will be long enough for you to either get new ones or to get them repaired. It saves the shoes from further damage.
41. Wax Crayons Aren't Just For Coloring
You may be wondering what a wax crayon can do for clothes. Well if you have a zipper that constantly gets stuck you can draw on it to make it more slick. It unsticks a stuck zipper.
42. Lemon Juice And Water?
White is the easiest color to stain, even your own sweat and deodorant can ruin a shirt. To remove the discoloration just soak it in some lemon juice and water for a while. Then throw it in the wash and it will be as good as new.
43. Straws and Safety Pins
I somehow always pull the strings out of my hoodies and get annoyed when I can't tighten my hood. To get the string back into place use a straw and safety pin.
Right when you notice that the string has disappeared get a straw and slowly fish it out. You can also add safety pins to the ends so you'll have something to grab onto if it does get lost.
44. Vinegar Is A Miracle Worker
For some weird reason vinegar is a magical substance that cures everything. Well it can also prevent the colors from running in the wash. Add some vinegar so new clothes won't be washed away by the detergent and water pressure.
45. Use Some Essential Oils
With all that vinegar and sweat you're clothes may not smell as fresh as you want them to be. While they're in the dryer you can add some essential oils to the load.
46. Freeze Your Clothes!
Some people recommend freezing your pants so you can wear them more than once before washing. Well you can also get gum and other sticky substances off the same way.
Just freeze your clothes until they're stiff and then slowly chip away at the recently sticky substance. Once it's off run them through the wash and they'll be as good as new.
47. Bicycles Repair Kits
What do bicycles and shoes have in common? Well you can use the rubber adhesive from a bicycle repair kit to fix holes that have appeared on the rubber soles of your shoes.
48. Tea Bags Can Be Use For More Than A Drink
If your shoes stink you can add a tea bag to them to freshen them up. You can also use a sock full of baking soda but tea leaves might smell a little better.
8 Ways To See If Clothes Are High-Quality?
49. Check The Brand Name
Most high end brands have high quality clothes that will last you a long time. Try to find brands that are well known and fit in your price range.
Companies like Sock Me One, Levi's, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Nike, Birkenstock, Patagonia, and others. Some of these may be a little expensive but they are known to last people a long time.
50. Check The Labels (again)
Labels have the instructions on how to wash them, but they also have what they're made of. Synthetic fibers like spandex and polyester are a lot easier to tear apart.
Even though it may say that it's 100% natural fibers it could still be lower quality. You can do more quality checks to make sure they won't fall apart in the near future.
51. Hold It Up
If the product itself isn't supposed to be sheer then hold it up to the light. If you can see your hand through the shirt then it's lower quality. It's even worse if you can see the color of your hand through the shirt.
52. Look At The Seams and Stitching
The seams and stitching is actually really important. If the stitching is uneven it was most likely hand stitched so it could be higher or lower quality depending on the place you got it from.
You should also check if there are any loose strings that are coming off the seams. That also implies that it was a machine that didn't cut it at the ends.
53. Is The Price Right?
It's unfortunate but the higher the quality it is, the more expensive it will be. Most cheap clothes are lower quality which is unfortunate.
If you really want a shirt or pair of cotton crew socks that's high quality and is made of natural fibers you may have to pay a little extra. It will be expensive but it will also be worth it.
54. Wrinkle Or Stretch It Out
If you want to see if your clothes will stay the same shape you can wrinkle or stretch them out in the store. If they snap back they're good, if not then you won't want to buy it.
Doing this will show you how it will fit in your closet or drawers as they're stored. If it can be ruined by a squeeze then it won't last for a long time.
55. Does The Zipper Zip?
This is important for determining if coats and pants are good quality. If it has a plastic zipper or a metal zipper that gets stuck, then it's no good. Metal is usually paired with better quality clothing so they're better to buy if you want them to last.
56. How's The Pattern?
This is also a good thing to determine if something is high quality. If the patterns were stitched together or on a button up, see if they match up. If they are off set then the clothes will be low quality. Try to find clothes with a pattern that isn't ruined along the seams or zipper/buttons.
Make Your Cotton Crew Socks and Basic Shirts Last More Than A Week
These are only a few simple tips that can make your clothes last for more than a few weeks. Wear and tear is something that you can't avoid no matter how hard you try.
If you wear some cotton crew socks or a plaid shirt long enough, it will get damaged. So try a few of these tricks to make them last a little longer than usual.
These hacks may not completely revamp your wardrobe, but they may help.
If not you can always donate them and get new clothes that fit you better.