Caring for clothing might sound like the most uninteresting topic ever, but it’s really worth the extra effort! Regardless of how much you paid for your clothes, if you take good care of them, they’re going to love you back and last much longer. Check out some of these handy hints on caring for clothing so you can keep your favorite skinnies and LBD looking fresh and clean!
1. Washing Denim
Caring for clothing such as your treasured denim might seem as easy as throwing them in the wash, but in order to keep them looking good it takes a little know-how. If you own raw denim items, it can take up to six months to break them in and they really don’t need to be washed until then. Most denim jeans these days are treated and typically only require washing when they’re stained or starting to sag.
2. Drying Denim
Did you know that drying your jeans in the dryer is generally frowned upon? This might sound crazy to some because they’re just jeans, but clothing experts actually recommend hanging up and laying them flat to dry. If you’re like me and don’t particularly care for the way air-dried jeans feel, dry them on the lowest setting, remove them before they’re completely dry and hang-dry.
3. Read Labels
One of the clothing care tips that I highly recommend following is to always read the instructions on clothing labels before you invest in new pieces. If you don’t have the budget for more dry cleaning or don’t have time to hand-wash items, don’t buy it. Clothing labels are there for a reason and the best way to care for the piece is to follow the directions to the letter!
4. Don’t Crowd Your Clothes
I think we’ve all seen closets that are completely packed and the clothes are super crowded. Crowding your clothes not only wrinkles them, but frequently ironing them causes wear and tear on your clothes. Some fabrics like silk and denim need to breathe, so keeping them stuffed in a closet isn’t good for them either. Keep your closet clean and well-ventilated so your clothes last longer.
5. Invest in Good Hangers
Clothing care tips also include investing in good quality hangers. The thin, wire hangers that are frequently used can cause many fabrics to sag and stretch out, making them lose shape. Look into getting some sturdy hangers that support the clothing so you don’t end up with stretched-out shoulders or sagging sweaters.
6. Wash Workout Clothes Straightaway
Caring for clothes like workout gear can take a bit more work, as you typically want to wash them ASAP. If you can’t get a load going right away, always hang them up instead of leaving them in a hamper. Leaving them in a hamper can create mildew and the scent of perspiration can set into your clothes. Once you’ve washed them, let them air dry or dry in the dryer on the lowest heat setting.
7. Washing Swimsuits
It might seem wise to wash swimsuits after every wear to get the salt water or chlorine out, but they only require a rinse. Instead of washing them each time you wear them, rinse the pieces in cold tap water to get off the dirt, sweat and sunscreen. When it is time to wash it, turn the suit inside out and hand wash it in cool water with about a tablespoon of liquid detergent.
8. Drying Swimsuits
Drying your swimsuits is as easy as hanging them to dry indoors. Letting them dry in the sun might seem the most logical, but the sun can cause fading and break down some of the fibers in your swimsuit. Also, avoid wringing out your swimsuit. Always gently squeeze excess water out of it first and then hang it to dry in a shady spot indoors.
9. Washing Wisely
A big part of caring for clothes is washing them the right way and, as a general rule, always sort. You were probably taught as a child to sort dark and light clothes but it doesn’t stop there. Always sort out clothes that produce lint, such as towels, from those that pick up lint, like synthetic fabrics. It’s always a smart idea to turn clothes inside out when you wash them also, so you prevent the color from fading and reduce pilling.
10. Drying Sensibly
Drying your clothes on a high heat setting can be disastrous to cherished clothing items. Be very careful when using the dryer as it can cause fading, shrinking or even add wrinkles to clothes. Always read your clothing care labels and avoid stuffing the dryer full of clothes. Shake out excess water and only fill it to the capacity your dryer can handle.
11. Don’t Take Chances
If you happen to have a piece of clothing or lingerie that you don’t know how to care for, you can’t go wrong by gently hand washing it with a mild detergent or soap or taking it to the dry cleaner. Even if the tag says you can wash and dry it in the machine, if you really love it and want it to last long, taking it in to be washed by pros or doing it yourself are the best ways to go.
Caring for clothes is actually a pretty involved process that takes time and work. But, if you treat your clothing as an investment, the extra effort you put into it will be well worth it! Do you have any special tips or tricks when it comes to clothing care?