How To Keep Clothes Looking New
I know that for most people, myself included, a wardrobe is a big investment. And not just an investment in money, but also in time. Finding clothing you love, that you feel represents your personality, and portrays the image of yourself you want to show the world can take a lot of time. Even years. So it makes a lot of sense to protect your investment.
No matter the amount of money originally spent on clothing, taking proper care of your clothes can help you save money over time. Not only is it better for your wallet, but it’s also much better for the planet as well. Around 80% of textiles, almost 10.5 million tons, end up in landfills annually. So, preserving your wardrobe is clearly in everyone’s best interest.
And when it comes to that, here is the list of the rules I personally stick to, and recommend, when it comes to keeping your clothes looking like new.
How To Keep Clothes Looking New
With the exception of underwear, not all clothes need to be washed every time you wear them. Especially if you only had them on for a few hours and there are no orders or stains. The more you wash and dry your clothes, the more wear and tear you put on them. In fact, fabrics like denim aren’t meant to be washed that often. It’s recommended that washing should be done after around 10 wears unless there’s visible dirt showing.
Always Read The Care Labels
This is probably one of the most basic laundry tips, but it still needs to be said. Always read the care labels before you wash your clothes for the first time. And again anytime you need to be reminded. If an article of clothing says hand wash, you will probably be fine using the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Just be sure to wash in cold water, use gentle laundry detergents, and make sure the spin cycle is down to low. And if a care label says dry clean only, take it to the dry cleaner. Trying to avoid this will most likely end up in the ruin of that piece of clothing. Unfortunately, I know this from firsthand experience. It’s also important to pay attention to how the garment should be dried. If you are unsure, the safest bet is to air dry your clothes.
Treat Stains Right Away
The best practice for stain removal is to treat it right away. Use cold water and a damp cloth to dab at the spot, this will help stop the fabric from absorbing any more of the stain. Here are some great tips on removing just about every type of stain you can think of.
Wash Clothes Inside Out
Turning clothes inside out before washing helps prevent damage by preserving the fabric’s fibers. During the wash cycle clothes rub on one another creating a lot of friction. When the clothing items are inside out, the wear happens to the inside of the clothes where no one will see it. It also helps prevents pilling and lint from accumulating on the outside of your clothes. If you do this extra step, your clothes last longer and will look newer for much longer.
Separate Colors Before Washing
At minimum always wash darks, lights, and whites separately. But in all honesty, I take it a bit (or a lot) further than that. Leggings tend to pick up a lot of lint, and fabric softener should not be used on fitness apparel. So I wash workout clothes in their own separate load. Then I wash blacks together. Greys, blues, and greens together. Reds, yellows, and purples on their own. And then a load of whites and a separate load of dirty whites, like socks and bath mats. And of course bedding and delicates in their own loads as well.
Wash Clothes In The Right Temperature Water
Clothing labels usually provide a temperature guide. But in general cold water is best unless the clothes are very dirty or need to be sanitized. Not only will using hot water all the time hike up your gas bill, but it will also put a lot of extra wear on clothing. Fabric fibers break down and fade faster when you wash in hot water.
Use A Mesh Laundry Bag
If your washing machine doesn’t have a gentle cycle, place any delicate items in a mesh bag before washing. When washing bras, and lingerie, it’s best to use mesh bags for protection even with the gentle cycle. This will help keep delicate clothes looking new and help them maintain their shape.
Hanging clothes up to dry isn’t always an option. But the less heat clothing is exposed to the better. Besides color fading, heat exposure can cause shrinkage and damage to delicate fabrics. If you are able to hang dry your clothes, don’t leave them in a place where they’re exposed to the sun for a long time. A few days of sitting in the sun will fade colors fast.
I know it’s hard when you have a favorite sweater or pair of jeans. But wearing the same item over and over again without much downtime will wear them out much faster. Giving clothes a break allows the fibers to return to their natural state.
Hanging heavy sweaters will lead to the shoulders stretching out over time. The best option is to fold them and lay them flat inside a drawer or on a shelf.
Invest In Quality Hangers
I know cheap wire hangers are way less expensive and take up less space in the closet. But they’re actually doing harm to your clothes. Because wire hangers aren’t always strong enough to hold an item of clothing, they can bend and stretch out clothes. The ends of the wire hangers can also snag on delicate fabrics, pulling threads and even ripping holes. They also have the potential to rust, which is disastrous since it’s just about impossible to remove rust from fabric. Wider wooden hangers are more expensive but the best choice, followed by plastic when it comes to keeping your clothes looking new.
Hope you found this helpful. Do you have any laundry tips that you think should be added to this list?