How to extend the life of your clothes

Tip #1 – Don’t wash your clothes every single time that you wear them

I know this may sound gross to some people, so I will say that you have to use common sense and good judgment here. If you wear something and you get a big glob of mustard on the front of it, of course you need to wash it right away. When I say you don’t need to wash your clothes every time you wear them, I’m basically talking about things that you wear for only a couple of hours or so. Like in the case of jeans, don’t washed them every time you wore them instead, try hanging your jeans or shirt that was worn only for a couple of hours out in the sun. They will get freshened up in a hurry, and you won’t have to put them in the washing machine.

Tip #2 – Treat STAINS immediately

Stains are one of the most common ways our clothing gets ruined. If you leave a stain until the day you do your laundry it has time to dry and set in and will be even harder to remove. If you wash a stained item improperly this can also set the stain in and putting a stained item in the clothes dryer is almost certain to ensure a permanent mark. Rinse out a stained item with water immediately after the stain occurs or as soon as possible. If the stain is a grease or protein stain you can treat it with a bit of dish soap. Hot and warm water can cause stains to set in so only use cold water until you are sure the stain is gone.

Tip #3 – Prevent Shrinkage

Shrinkage is another common killer of clothes. Clothing that is made out of natural materials like cotton and wool can shrink in the clothes dryer quite quickly. Items like denim blue jeans will shrink a bit each time you dry them. Clothes dryers can also give clothes quite a beating if you dry them too long and too often. Air-drying your clothes is the best way to make them last longer. Using a fabric softener in the rinse cycle will help keep your clothes from getting stiff. You can dry your clothes outside or on an indoor folding rack that stores easily when you are through.

Tip #4 – Sew loose seams or small tears as soon as they occur.

If you have a small opening it can easily tear into a larger one that is either harder or impossible to fix. Replace lost buttons immediately or the item may end up in the bottom of the mending pile never to be seen again. It only takes a few minutes to sew up a loose seam or button and thread costs next to nothing.

Tip #5 – store it properly for the next season

When it’s time to put your clothes away for the season be sure to clean, iron, and fold them first. Always store your clothing in plastic tote boxes along with some cedar blocks to protect them from moisture and insects. Label the tote so you can easily locate your clothes when you need them. When the season comes back around your clothes will be clean and ready to wear.