Tips to Help Make Your Clothing Last Longer

Whether you are trying to keep your clothing budget within reason by making clothes last longer, or you have a few favorite pieces that you want to keep looking great, these tips will help you get longer, better wear from all your garments.

1. Wash in cold water whenever possible. Cold water helps prevent shrinkage, it is good for lifting certain types of stains, and it helps reduce fading. Using cold water helps keep down energy costs and some brands offer detergents specifically formulated for cold-water washing as well as formulas that help resist fading.

2. Sort clothing and wash similar colors together. Strong colors tend to bleed onto other garments in the wash, so sorting properly will help keep your clothes the colors they were meant to be. Washing dark colors with light color will cause your lights and whites to look dingy, so always sort before washing.

3. Wash similar fabrics together. This is important if you want your clothes to remain in good condition. For example, washing knits with a load of towels guarantees that your garments will come out covered with lint and will develop “pills.” Turn knits inside out and wash with other knits for best results. Wash delicates with other delicates. Always be sure to allow powdered detergent to dissolve completely before adding clothing to the washer.

4. Hang clothing to dry instead of using the dryer. Smooth out as many wrinkles as possible then hang your items or lay flat to dry (or at least until nearly dry). Toss into the dryer for five or ten minutes to fluff up fibers, help control wrinkling, and don’t forget a fabric softener sheet to help reduce static. Using the dryer less often and for shorter periods of time, helps avoid shrinkage as well as wear and tear on clothing. It also helps keep energy costs down.

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