Taking proper care of your clothes will help them last much longer. Here are 9 laundry tips I follow to keep my clothes in tip-top shape!
I’m so embarrassed to admit this, but when my husband I were dating, I remember him telling me one time that I really needed to throw away a few of my clothes. I was so bugged by this, because why should I throw away some of my favorite pieces? He responded, “because they are full of holes!” Apparently I didn’t think that wearing a shirt full of small holes in the elbows was a problem? Or one covered in pilling?
I’ve come a long way since then, tossing or repairing clothes that get holes and other damage, but I also am much better about taking care of my clothing in the first place. I’ve started purchasing more investment pieces over the last few years (although I still purchase lower price pieces) and it’s such a waste of money to purchase good clothing and then not take care of it!
Here are 9 laundry tips to take better care of your clothes so they last longer
1. Follow the care instructions!
This is the best way to take care of your clothing. Every item of clothing that you own has a care instruction, to either wash at a certain temperature, wash with similar colors, hang to dry, etc. These care instructions are there to help keep your clothing in the best condition possible as long as possible. Yes, I absolutely deviate from the care instructions sometimes, but I’ve also ruined some clothing this way when I ignored the “hand wash only” instructions. If you want your clothes to last, keep vibrant colors, or not pill as quickly, follow the care instructions. And if your clothes still get ruined after a first wash, then you should absolutely reach out to the brand and ask for a refund.
2. Don’t wash your clothes as often
I used to wash my clothing every single time I wore them. With most of my shirts I still do, especially in the summer when I’m sweating in them, but dresses and jeans can go a few wears without having to be run through the wash.
3. Use higher quality detergent
I’ve tried a bunch of different laundry detergents over the years, and absolutely notice the difference between low quality and high quality detergents. I want something that keeps my whites super white, and brights super bright, all while not damaging my clothing. This Persil Pro Clean 2-in-1 is amazing, as is this Oxiclean Stain Removal Powder you can add to your regular detergent. If you want to keep your whites bright, try White Bright by OUT or Charlie’s Soap Oxygen Powdered Bleach (which is safer and gentler on fabrics!)
4. Store your clothing properly to avoid damage.
We now have a large closet with plenty of space, but for years we lived in places with small closets and limited drawer storage. But despite that I try to keep my clothes stored properly to avoid causing any damage to them. If you have the space, hang your dresses and blouses, fold your sweaters, fold your t-shirts, fold your jeans, and keep your shoes in airtight containers (like these ones that I used to use in my small closets!)
5. Rotate through your clothing regularly.
Part of my problem when I was dating my husband is that I had four or five favorite shirts in my closet and rotated through those ones way more than anything else. So they quickly got worn out because of so much use. Although I’m still prone to reach for my favorite pieces more often (like everyone), give your other pieces a little more airtime to balance out the wear and tear. And like I regularly mention, cleaning out your closet every so often helps you remember what pieces you actually have so you get more use out of your entire closet! (READ THIS POST if you need help cleaning out your closet)
6. Buy clothing with higher quality material.
The higher quality the fabric, the longer it will last. This doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive items, lots of inexpensive stores sell pieces that are made of good quality material. Feel the fabric before you purchase it (or if you’re purchasing online, look for how it hangs on the model, look at reviews, and make sure they have a good return policy if it shows up and you’re disappointed by the quality).
Thicker, sturdier, tighter woven fabrics will be more durable and be less prone to snagging, holes, or pilling.
7. Wash your clothing inside out.
When you wear your clothes, the inside of the clothing touches your body most closely, so turning your clothes inside out to wash helps the detergent get those more soiled spots. I always do this with jeans and dresses, but it’s good to do with t-shirts and blouses too!
8. Use vinegar to avoid bleeding
I don’t know the science behind this, but if you have something that’s multiple colors (like black and white stripes) and you’re worried about the colors bleeding during washing, add 1/2 a cup of white vinegar to your load (where you put fabric softener by the detergent) and it’ll keep the colors from bleeding. I don’t know how, but this truly works!
9. My favorite spot treatment options
I’m sure there are lots of good stain removers out there, but my go to is Dawn Dish Soap and baking soda on greasy stains (I use dish soap to scrub the stain, and baking soda to absorb grease spots), and then this Oxyclean Stain Stick for other stains. A Tide Stick is also a must!