Extending the Life of Your Clothing
You look in your closet and you see a bunch of stressed jeans, faded shirts or pants that once fit you and now they don’t. You can probably get away with reselling some of them, like the shrunken shirt or too-small pants. And you can donate the others to charity. But, wouldn’t you love to extend the life of your clothes and your pocketbook?
By taking measures to take care of the clothes you own, you can save yourself money by not having to buy clothes as often. Little things; such as washing correctly and taking care of stains and damages; can really help to prolong your clothes’ lifetime.
Washing Your Clothes
When washing your clothes, be sure to read the washing care instructions. This may be the biggest reason why clothes get ruined. Also, know your limits when it comes to taking care of your clothes. If you can’t afford to dry clean your clothes, avoid buying dry clean only pieces. Same thing goes with ironing and other maintenance. Stick to lower maintenance fabrics such as cotton if you do not have the time to keep up with ironing.
Wash clothes in cold water instead of using hot water. Hot water makes clothes lose their bright colors faster. Also, be sure you have enough water in the washer: too little and the clothes can experience wear from too much friction in the machine.
Before throwing your clothes into the washer, be sure to mend any tears. Washing your clothes with a tear in it can make the damage worse. Turn dark colors inside out to prevent fading. Always undo collar buttons to minimize wash wear on the folds.
Drying Your Clothes
Hanging your clothes to dry is much better for your clothes than using a dryer. If you have a clothes line outside and the weather permits, hang them in the sun. If you do not have room outside, try an indoor drying rack. The heat of the dryer can shrink clothes and fade the colors faster. Use a flat-drying rack for knits and other sweater fabrics that can stretch when wet.
If you must use a dryer, always shake out clothing before putting them in. Balled up clothes take longer to dry and can result in shrinkage.
Laundering your clothes too often also contributes to their wear. Clothing fibers break down more quickly the more they are exposed to water, heat, and machine friction. If you have a very gently worn piece that has not been soiled, you can wear it again before washing it. If you wear something for only a few hours and it looks and smells clean, hang it back up instead of throwing it in the laundry pile.
Choosing What to Wear
Another way to make sure your clothes last longer is to dress for whatever it is you are doing. If you are going to be gardening, or doing chores, change into your “grubbies.” Don’t do chores in your work clothes (even small chores) because you can ruin them.
If your clothes do get dirty, treat the stain immediately. Carry a stain pen with you. Waiting too long allows the stain to settle, making it harder to remove. If the stain will take more than a little stain pen, make sure to treat it as soon as you can.
Storing Your Clothes
Store your clothes properly. Items that will easily stretch should be folded rather than hung. If your home is prone to moths, protect knits by keeping them in a chest or hanging them in a clothes bag. If you store away seasonal clothes, clean them first and place in airtight bags or bins.
Buying and replacing your clothes often gets expensive. If you are careful with your washing, and regularly check your clothes for damages, you can extend the amount of time you can wear the clothes that you already own.
If you are looking for a wardrobe overhaul and want to unload your well-cared-for clothing, contact Wearhouse and More. We are always looking for consignors! Not only can you make money off of your clothes, you can shop for quality clothing items to replenish your closet!