Like New: Tips To
Make Your Clothes Last
While clothing may seem inexpensive in the moment, if you're replacing pieces in your wardrobe every year or every other year, those dollars can add up quickly. To save some dough while maintaining your style, check out these tips to make your clothes last longer.
Know Your Water Temp
Not only does it save money and energy, but also knowing how to use different water temperatures can get clothes cleaner and help them stay looking newer longer. Hot water is best for white fabrics, removing germs or heavily soiled pieces. It can shrink other clothing or fade garments that don't retain their dye well. Warm water offers the best of both worlds, with less fading and wrinkling while still getting clothes clean. A cold wash is ideal for dark or bright pieces with dyes that will fade or run into other garments. It's also good for delicates or washing stains that you don't want to set, like wine, coffee or blood. To keep dark and bright clothes looking like new, wash them inside out and toss in a teaspoon of salt to help prevent dyes from bleeding.
Stow Clothing Properly
Cleaning clothes properly will only go so far in making your clothes last. Whether it's using wider hangers for jackets or folding sweaters, knowing how to store your clothing will help stay looking great from season to season. For everyday storage, make sure to not pack your closet with clothes. The fabrics need room to breathe, so be sure to leave room, about 1/2", between hangers to let air circulate around your clothing. Fabrics that may stretch out, like knits or sweaters, should be folded instead of hung. For clothing that is hung, make sure you have the right hangers. Broad, sturdy hangers are good for keeping jackets properly shaped, while more delicate clothing can be hung on a thinner hanger. Be sure to give your clothes a little extra love and attention every day. Those few seconds or minutes invested early on can potentially turn into years of life for your wardrobe.
Go By The Label
Sometimes it's hard to know how to wash something just by looking at it. So instead of relying on intuition or guessing, check out the label. It should clearly state the ideal wash and dry cycles for the particular garment. Going by the label is an ideal way to wash clothing that's new to you.
Show Off Your Sorting Skills
While separating darks and lights is a good start, you're going to want to separate clothes by weight, too, to prevent heavy items from scratching delicate items. You can also sort by the lightest wash and dry cycle necessary. That way, no clothing is being over or under washed and dried. Towels, sheets, and duvet covers should be washed separately from clothes. Also, save yourself from a headache and separate items that will create lint from items that will attract lint.
Forgo The Dryer
The dryer is a convenient option for laundry day, but all that lint you pull from the trap is actually fibers of your clothing. If at all possible, air-dry your clothing on a rack of clothesline. It may take longer, but it may help your clothing last longer as well, and you'll be able to enjoy a couple chapters from your discount books while you're waiting. If you're in a rush and your garment can be ironed, consider running an iron over it. The moisture from the wash cycle will turn to steam, helping to remove wrinkles and plump fibers.
Throw On Something Underneath
The easiest way to prevent sweat stains is to stop them before they start. Consider wearing a tight-fitting top underneath your dress shirts and other fashion pieces. The undershirt will help to absorb sweat before it reaches your nice shirt. Some tops don't allow for undershirts, in which case you can find absorbent pads that stick to your shirt. If you have a problem with rings around the collars, make sure you're washing well and exfoliating to remove the dead skin cells. This should help lessen the build-up of dirt.
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