When you shell out for your wardrobe, you’re sure to want ways to make your clothes last longer. After all, they don’t come cheap. There are several steps you can take to prolong the life of your clothing. I have pieces I’ve had for a decade or more that are classic so I don’t want them to wear out since they’ll likely stay in style for another decade. The trick is to use these ways to make your clothes last longer so you can continue to hang items back in your closet for years and years.
1. Use the Delicate Cycle
By nature, the delicate cycle on your washing machine is much easier on your clothes than the regular one. No matter what you’re washing, using the delicate cycle can preserve the lifespan of your favorite items, from sweaters to shirts to jeans. Using the delicate cycle is one of the best ways to make your clothes last longer and it doesn’t even require any extra work! What more could a girl ask for?
2. Air Dry
Even if you don’t have a clothes line, air-drying your clothes helps make them last. I love to use my clothes line in the summer, but I hang items around my laundry room in the winter. The heat of the dryer works to break down fabric, screen printing and stitching over time, so keeping your clothes out of that heat when possible can prolong their lifespan.
3. Use the Right Detergent
There are so many types of detergent on the market and it can be hard to make the right choice. By grabbing a natural product without a bunch of harsh chemicals, you can clean your clothes without damaging the material over time. Look for one without a long ingredients list and is free of dyes and fragrances. If you’re so inclined, you can also make your own detergent so you know exactly what’s coming into contact with your clothes.
4. Store Clothes Properly
If you’re like me, you have a winter wardrobe and a summer one. When the seasons change, it’s best to store the items you won’t be wearing. Choose a cool, dry place where the sun won’t shine on the clothing, which can break down fibers and fade the material. Keep out of season clothes in a tight plastic box or bag to keep bugs and dust out. Store the items in your basement or extra closet instead of the garage or outdoor shed. Extreme temperatures can damage the clothing.
5. Spread out Your Closet
Cramming every item you own into your closet results in pushing and pulling on all your garments, which can stretch or tear them over time. At the same time, you’ll just wind up with wrinkly clothes that require constant ironing, which can also reduce the lifespan of the clothing. If possible, store your clothes in several closets so they each have plenty of room.
6. Fold and Hang Correctly
Some clothing doesn’t hold up well to being hung on hangers. This includes sweaters and other stretchy materials.. These items should be folded and stored in drawers or plastic storage bins. For items that must be hung up, choose plastic hangers that won’t mold the shape of the clothing on them. Avoid wire hangers.
7. Practice Proper Stain Removal
There’s no question that sometimes you just wind up spilling on your favorite skirt or jacket. It’s just a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean the item is ruined. One of the best ways to prolong your wardrobe is to practice proper stain removal. Blot the stain with a cloth or paper towel right away. Once you get home, spritz the stain with a stain remover and wash it immediately. Air dry the item, check for the stain and then wash again as necessary.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing? I have so many pieces that I hope I can wear for years to come.