How to Care for Your Clothes

How many new clothes do you add to your wardrobe every year? The average family in the U.S. spends $1,700 on clothes annually, so you can imagine what you’re spending accordingly. It’s one thing to buy a new outfit every few months—though it’s a good idea to rethink this too—and another to need new clothes to replace worn-out ones.

If you’re wondering why your clothes won’t last longer than a few seasons, it’s time to take a look at your clothing-care habits. First, you should invest in good quality clothing. Buy fewer outfits of better quality, and make sure you store them correctly. Read labels for washer and dryer instructions, and avoid clothing care mistakes. Read on to see how to keep your wardrobe in tip-top shape, so your clothes last forever.

Use wool dryer balls.

Dryer sheets help soften your laundry, but most of them can also damage your dryer with extensive use. And, they’re not a great way to soften your clothes either. Liquid fabric softeners are no better since they can stain your clothes and contain chemicals that can damage your skin. So, how do you keep that load of laundry soft, fresh-smelling, and wrinkle-free? Consider using a fabric softener ball instead of a liquid softener or dryer sheets.

In particular, wool dryer balls are a great way to save money and keep your clothes in better condition. These dryer balls are eco-friendly, free from chemicals, and an effective fabric softener. And they also reduce the dry time for a load of laundry. Usually made without any synthetic scents, they’re also an excellent option for sensitive skin.

Care for each outfit differently.

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What works for your wool sweaters and summer jackets won’t work for your work clothes and fancy blouses. You should read all the labels before you wash, dry, and store each item of clothing. It’s especially important to do this for business casual or women’s work clothes.

For workwear like skirt suits and business jackets, you should store them in garment bags to prolong the outfit’s life. Make sure your suit covers are breathable and read the labels before you wash and dry them. Some skirt suits and workwear can go in the washing machine on a regular rinse cycle. Many suits and jackets can also be dried in the dryer safely. However, for some skirt suits, you may have to skip the dryer or get them dry-cleaned.

Don’t overwash your clothes.

Do you put denim in the washing machine after every wear? Washing and drying your clothes too much can ruin the fabric. Don’t wash sweaters, denim, or cotton trousers too often to help them last longer. You can wear your denim for months without a turn in the washer. Of course, this rule doesn’t apply to socks, underwear, and anything that you sweat through too often.

Get rid of your drawers.

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Okay, perhaps you don’t need to get rid of all your drawers. However, don’t fold and store all your outfits if you want to keep them in good condition. It would be best if you hung certain clothes to maintain the shape and quality of the fabric. Try to hang dresses and other delicate material on fabric hangers.

You can store sweaters, lingerie, some t-shirts and socks on shelves or in drawers. Invest in breathable garment bags for outfits you won’t wear as often. And, remember to buy a jacket hanger to ensure your blazers and workwear don’t stretch out at the shoulder.

Prevent colors from running.

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When you put any dark clothing items in your washer or dryer, remember to turn them inside out. Regardless of how light your spin cycle is, colors can bleed or fade with time. Washing them inside out can prevent this from happening too soon. Also, remember to do the same for any sweaters of material that can suffer from static cling or pilling issues.

Invest in a good iron.

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Did you know that ironing can ruin your clothes? If you iron synthetics on a linen setting or silks at cotton temperature, you can destroy your clothes. Since ironing heats up the fibers in your clothes, it’s essential to heat each material to the point that doesn’t damage or burn them. Buy an iron with several settings to prevent this. It’s a good idea to get a steamer too, or an iron with a built-in steamer setting.

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