The constantly-increasing costs have made it difficult to spend lavishly on clothing and apparel. So, when you buy the clothes you like, you will want them to last. Increasing the longevity of your clothes can save you considerable money.
Extending your clothes’ lifeline is all about treating them right. Whether it is washing, drying, ironing or storing them, you need to be careful with everything as all these factors impact the life of clothes. This post will tell you all about the care you need to take for increasing the longevity of your clothes.
1. Read Washing Instructions Carefully
When washing your clothes, make sure to read the related instructions carefully. Check the washing symbols given on the tag before doing your laundry. These symbols provide helpful information that can save your time as well as money. For example, soaking woolen garments in cold water before putting them in the washing machine can prolong their life.
In fact, read these labels when buying your clothes. This way you can avoid buying dry-clean-only garments if you can’t afford the extra time and cost involved in their upkeep. Most types of clothing also require regular ironing. Make sure to buy wrinkle-free clothing such as cotton, nylon or polyester if you don’t have the time to iron your clothes regularly.
2. Choose the Correct Laundry Temperature
The correct water temperature can better the performance of your detergent. It is, therefore, necessary to maintain the right temperature when washing your garments. Washing your clothes in cold water is probably the best way to wash white and dark-colored fabrics. But, cold water washes are suitable only for unsoiled or lightly-soiled garments.
Warm water washing can reduce wrinkling and fading in clothes. Use it for regular washing of light-colored and sturdy garments such as jeans, sportswear, and other moderately-soiled clothes.
Hot water washes can weaken fibers as well as cause the color of your clothing to fade quickly. Still, few laundry labels recommend regular hot water washing. Hot water cycles are often used to disinfect seriously-soiled clothing. These may include kitchen and bathroom towels, bedding, hospital and nursing home wear, and garden clothing, among others.
3. Treat Stains at Once
Treat stains right away to prevent them from setting-in. Set-in stains can ruin your clothes permanently. Soaking the stain in water immediately can prevent it from setting-in. You can also use a leave-on stain treatment, which doesn’t require immediate washing. Avoid using hot water cycle for washing stains as heat will accelerate the bonding of stains. Use lukewarm water or solvents for washing, if necessary.
4. Turn Your Clothes Inside-out
Turning clothes inside-out before washing may prevent the fading of dark clothing and pulling of woolen wear such as sweaters and knits. It can also prevent buttons and zippers from snagging on other clothes. Most jeans are still dyed using the natural indigo dye, which fades over time. The blue threads in the jeans are present more on the outside compared to white ones because of their intricate weaving pattern. Thus, washing your jeans inside-out can certainly reduce the dulling of the blue color.
5. Use Vinegar to Prevent Fading
White vinegar can prevent most fabrics from fading. Add about ½ cup of vinegar and two tablespoons of salt to 25-30 liters of water. Soak your clothes in this solution for half an hour to maintain their brightness. Alternatively, you can also add ½ cup of vinegar directly to the rinsing cycle. Baking soda can also prevent fading in garments.
6. Sort Your Clothes before Washing
Clothes are usually sorted based on color and texture of the fabric. Separate light-colored clothes from the dark-colored ones to avoid painting of your light clothes. Always wash whites in a separate washing cycle. Heavy fabrics require rigorous washing cycles, which may damage delicate clothes such as lingerie. So, make sure to wash delicate and heavy garments separately.
7. Wash Only When Necessary
Avoid washing your clothes too often to prevent them from wearing out quickly. Clothing fibers may get damaged due to frequent exposure to water, detergent, fabric cleaner, heat, and friction of the machine. Most garments can stand more than one wearing before you wash them. Avoid washing jeans which has been used only for a couple of hours, if there are no stains on them.
8. Skip the Dryer Whenever Possible
Drying your clothes by hanging them outdoors is much better compared to using a dryer. The heat from the dryer can weaken the garments’ fibers and cause them to shrink. It can also fade their colors quickly. Hang your clothes outside or use an indoor drying rack if you don’t have enough room outside. This trick will save your money as well as energy. Make sure to turn your clothes inside out when you hang them outside for drying as exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading over time.
9. Store Your Clothes Properly
Storing your clothes properly not only increases storage space, but also helps your garments last longer. But, make sure to use the right type of cloth hangers. Wire or metal hangers can damage your clothes over time. Plastic hangers, however, can be used to hang most garments. Use padded hangers for delicate clothing such as lingerie, night suits, and other lightweight fabrics. Be sure to use wooden hangers to hang suits and blazers.
Bulkier clothes such as sweaters and jeans should be folded rather than hung. In fact, folding your clothes before storing them is almost always better to increase their durability. Storing out-of-season clothes in airtight bags or boxes is the best way to increase their longevity. Make sure to clean all the seasonal garments thoroughly before storing them away. Clean your closet regularly to prevent mold and insects. Store your clothes loosely to allow air circulation, especially for long-storage. It will keep the storage area moisture-free.
Replacing your clothes often gets expensive. Besides, finding the perfect outfit is easier said than done. It is, therefore, better to take care of your favorite clothes and make them last. Extending the life of your clothing can substantially cut down your wardrobe expenses. It can also reduce energy and water consumption. The above nine tips will help you increase the longevity of your garments without spending big bucks.