Tricks of the trade to help extend the lifespan of your clothes.
By following a few simple steps you can extend the lifespan of your clothes. Not only will you save money and conserve resources but your favourite clothes will look better for longer, and so will you.
- Wash Your Clothes Inside Out
We’re sure you already know that your jeans will fade less if you turn them inside out before washing them, but do you actually go to the trouble of doing it? And did you know that you should also turn any t-shirts with graphics and logos inside out too?
- Sort Your Washing Carefully
Take care to separate your washing. Tough fabrics like denim can cause abrasion over time when thrown in the machine with shirts, t-shirts and underwear. So consider washing them separately. All delicates should be washed separately too.
- Turn Down the Heat
Washing at lower temperature uses less energy, your clothes will also fade less if washed at lower temperatures.
- Use Less Detergent
Detergent manufacturers prey upon our hygiene anxieties and encourage us to use large volumes of detergent, but those same detergents fade your clothes and wear them out. For the sake of your clothes use enough to clean them and not a drop more.
- Don’t Over Wash Your Clothes
The more you wash your clothes the faster they will wear out. Clean spot stains rather than throwing a jumper in the wash after a single wear.
- Don’t Use the Dryer
The ease and convenience of a tumble dryer is very tempting but it’s actually very harsh on your clothes. Think of all the dryer fluff you remove from the filter each time you use it – that’s your clothes, a direct result of the drying process. Tumble dryers are particularly damaging to any garment with elasticity, this not only includes delicate items like underwear but anything with a stretch component, including stretch jeans.
Air drying your clothes, either flat if woollens, or line drying is by far the best way to extend the life of your clothes.
- Keep Dry Cleaning to a Minimum
The dry cleaning process uses harsh chemicals that can over time damage clothes. We advise never to dry clean knitwear – see All You Need to Know About Caring for Lambswool – and keeping dry cleaning to a minimum.
Never store clothes in the plastic dry cleaning garment bags. The plastic creates a humid atmosphere that encourages mould and mildew. Much better to use garment bags with natural fibres that allow air to circulate.
- Store Wisely
Once your clothes are nice and clean it’s important to store them properly. Fold rather than hang your woollens and use wooden hangers, never wire. See our posts on washing wool – All You Need to Know About Caring for Lambswool – and choosing the best hangers for your clothes – No Wire Hangers, Ever!
Use shoe trees to help shoes retain their shape and stuff bags with tissue.
Repeated daily wear adds to the stress on fibres, the fibres are stretched with every wear. Resting a pair of jeans or jacket allows the fibres time to relax back into shape. The same is true for footwear, leather behaves in the same way. Your clothes and shoes will last much longer if you rotate them.
Use lavender pouches in your drawers to deter moths and keep your clothes smelling fresh and natural.
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