How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer: Clothing Care

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Clothing is a substantial and unavoidable expense for most households, especially if you have growing children.  There are many ways to save money on clothing purchases, such as only shopping sales and hitting the second-hand stores. But taking care of the clothes you have so that they last as long as possible is also a great way to save on your clothing budget. By taking proper care of your clothes, you can avoid unnecessary replacements due to stains and other accidents or improper cleaning techniques.

First of all, you really should read and follow the care instructions on clothing labels. It may be nearly impossible to meet all the specific recommendations for each piece of clothing without spending way too much time on your laundry, but you should try to follow the basic care instructions to avoid destroying delicate fabrics, shrinking 100% cottons, accidental bleaching, or color bleeding.

Although some clothing which says ‘dry clean only’  may also be hand-washed with mild soap and air-dried, you should generally take the clothing manufacturer’s word on the best washing conditions in order to preserve the life of your clothing and save money in the long run.  If you don’t want to spend money on dry-cleaning, look for this when purchasing clothing.

  • If clothing is dark and appears to be dyed, you may want to wash it alone or only with like dark colors the first time to avoid the dye bleeding into other lighter clothing. Of course, you should always wash dark clothes with other dark clothes, but color-bleeding of new items is another concern.
  • Delicate clothing can be further preserved with the use of protective garment bags.
  • Never pour detergent or bleach directly on your clothes in the washer. Put these in as your washer fills to let them be diluted first.

Do less laundry. This may sound contradictory. After all, our clothing should be clean, right? But the problem lies in how frequently we wash our clothes. In the course of a day, most of us change outfits several times for work, at home, or for specific activities. Some items are only worn for a few hours at a time while you’re not engaging in physical or dirty work. Use your own judgment, but keep in mind that the more your wash your clothes, the faster their fabrics break down and the faster, in turn, you will need to replace them.

  • Tide to Go sticks work well for treating spots on otherwise clean clothing without having to wash them after the application.
  • Wear plenty of deodorant: the less you sweat, the less you dirty the inside of your clothes.

Store clothes properly. Hang dresses and dress shirts and fold sweaters. Sweaters get stretched when placed on hangers, and the fabrics most commonly found in dress clothing are prone to wrinkling.

Keep the spare buttons. Most button-up clothing will include a spare button or two when you purchase it new. Place these in a jar or drawer and collect them for future use. You never know when you will lose a button and without the spare, your clothing becomes unwearable. And, if you don’t know how to sew on a button, you should learn. It’s one of the easiest problems to fix yourself.

Taking care of your clothing from the time of purchase is the best way to ensure your wardrobe lasts as long as possible. It’s much better to have to discard clothing due to decade style changes than to abuse or improper care.

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