Clothing is one of our basic necessities. Our clothes protect us from the elements and make us look decent enough to go out in public. Aside from being functional, clothes have also become tools for self-expression. We pick our outfits depending on the mood we are in, the reaction we want to elicit, and as a reflection of our personality. Clothes, as important and as useful as they are, don’t always come cheap. Even when buying from secondhand, consignment, or thrift stores, clothing costs can add up. That is why it is important that we know how to get the most out of our clothing. Here are 13 easy ways to care for our clothes to make them last longer.
1. Limit Laundering
Consider holding off on laundry if you’ve only worn your clothes once or for a few hours. (Of course, this greatly depends on the activity you were doing and the sweat that you might have transferred onto your clothes.) The reasoning behind this is that excessive laundering breaks down fibers and fades colors faster. Limiting your laundering is not only good for your clothes but it will also help you save money, energy, and water.
2. Segregate Your Clothes
Some colored or dark clothes are not colorfast so they will stain your other clothes when you do the laundry. This is why it’s so important that you learn to segregate your clothes before doing laundry. Here are the basic rules I follow: keep whites separate from colored clothes; wash similarly colored clothes together; wash dark colored clothes last. Of course, you also have to consider how delicate the clothes are when you segregate and wash them.
3. Use Cold Water
Washing clothes in cold water is better for your clothes because the fabric will not break down as fast as when you wash clothes in hot water. Using cold water not only preserves your clothes but you also use less energy. Some fabrics and materials require cold water exclusively, so make sure you pay attention.
4. Whiten the Earth-friendly Way
Bleach is not only toxic to humans, it is also harmful to the environment. It can also cause fabrics to thin out faster. Instead of using bleach, you can try soaking your clothes in baking soda and hot water. You can also use green laundry products.
5. Avoid Damage in the Wash
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid damaging your clothes while they are in the washing machine. You should close the zippers of your hoodies and pants to avoid tears in other clothes. If you are washing your bras in a mesh bag, still make sure to hook them to prevent them from catching on to other clothes.
6. Be Delicate with Your Delicates
There are some pieces of clothing that, whenever it's possible, shouldn’t be washed in the machine. Your underwear is something you should hand wash whenever you can. If you must machine wash them, use mesh bags or old stockings to keep them separate from the other clothes.
7. Air Dry Whenever Possible
The heat from the dryer can damage your clothes. As much as possible, you should try to use the dryer just until the water has been taken out from your clothes. Remove the moist clothes from the dryer and air dry them.
8. Display Properly
Make sure that you hang what needs to be hung and that you fold what needs to be folded. This will prevent your clothes from being misshapen, stretched, or incredibly wrinkled. Doing this neatly also saves space in your closets and drawers.
9. Store Clothes Well
When storing off-season clothes, use containers that will protect them from moths, dust, dirt, and other elements that can possibly ruin them. Place the containers in a cool dry place to prevent mold, mildew, and discoloration. You can even use sachet or something similar to make sure they smell nice when they come out of storage.
10. Wear Appropriate Clothes
To avoid damaging your clothes, wear items most appropriate for the task at hand. Wear your formal, dressy, and nicer clothes for work or for social settings. When doing rugged or messy chores, make sure that you wear clothes that you wouldn’t mind being stained or torn.
11. Repair as Soon as You Can
Don’t wait until your clothes become so damaged that you can no longer use them. Repair any damages as soon as you can. Keep the extra buttons that come with your clothes so that you can immediately sew on missing buttons. Repair tears before they get too big. Learn to fix broken zippers or have someone fix them for you.
12. Be Aware of Anything That Can Cause Damage
Be on the look out for anything in your surroundings that might damage your clothes. This includes nails that stick out, desk edges, and rough surfaces. The chemicals you use, such as perfume, hairspray, and deodorant, can also stain your clothes. Your perspiration can also cause discoloration.
13. Check Care Instructions
A fundamental rule to make your clothes last longer is to check the care instructions. Different fabrics require different treatments so check the care instructions tab for more information on how to launder, dry, and iron your clothes. Taking care of them properly makes them last much longer.
As you have read, caring for clothes isn’t that hard after all. Hopefully, employing these tips will help keep your clothes functional and looking new for a long time. Do you have any clothing care tips that you would like to share? I would be happy to hear about them.
Top Photo Credit: indulgy.com