Seeing your favorite clothes lose their shape or pilling can be frustrating. Low quality? Or is it your own doing? Many popular clothing brands don’t prioritize durability due to the advent of fast fashion. However, your laundry habits could also explain why your clothes get damaged way more quickly than you’d prefer. Are you doing laundry properly? If your clothes come out of the washing machine ripped or faded, you may need to change parts of your laundry routine.
Here are seven laundry tips for keeping your clothes looking new.
1. Read the Labels
Do you often throw all your laundry into one load and move on with your day? This approach may be quick and convenient, but it is not ideal. Each piece of clothing comes with a care label based on fabric, color, and other particular details. One of the best ways to make your clothes last longer is to read the care labels and follow the instructions. Cold or hot water? Dry clean only? Hand-wash only?
Care labels simplify the laundry process, which is a relief if you don’t have experience with this chore. Once you learn the particular qualities of each fabric, reading labels will feel unnecessary.
2. Learn to Sort Laundry Correctly
Everyone knows the golden rule: always separate darks from whites. But is there anything else to keep in mind when sorting laundry? The answer is yes. You can protect your clothes from getting damaged in the washing machine by separating heavy fabrics from delicate, light ones.
An excellent way to protect your delicates is to place them in a mesh bag or pillowcase before throwing them into the washing machine. When sorting laundry, look for spots and greasy stains. If possible, wash heavily soiled clothes separately.
3. Use the Right Detergent
Buying laundry detergent can be daunting because there are so many products available. Are the most expensive products the most efficient? Will cheap detergent damage your clothes? Finding the best price-quality ratio is not easy. Moreover, if you check the labels, you will notice that not every detergent is the right solution for every type of clothing or fabric.
For day-to-day washes, you cannot go wrong with liquid and powder detergents, which are great for removing greasy stains, spots, and dirt. Powder detergents are a better option for heavily soiled clothes because they can remove dirt easily. For light fabrics and baby clothes, it’s best to use a gentler detergent.
Avoid using too much detergent because your washing machine will not be able to flush out all the extra suds. How to tell if you’ve been using too much detergent? If your clothes often have a sticky residue on them, you need to reduce the amount of detergent used. Only use the amount recommended for the size of your laundry load.
Another aspect to consider when buying detergent is the environmental and social impact of the product. Because of how detergents are produced and packaged, they are bad for the environment. They also end up in our water streams and pollute our ecosystems.
Are you interested in reducing your ecological footprint and supporting companies that share your values? Buying strips for cleaning laundry is the most eco-friendly option. Each strip is made of biodegradable paper and pre-measured to contain the exact amount of detergent needed for a load of laundry.
4. Zip Up Garments Before Washing
Something as banal as not zipping up your garments before washing can cause damage to the fabrics. As your clothes dance around each other in the washing machine, zippers can snag other fabrics, causing tiny holes with their jagged teeth. Before throwing clothes into the washing machine, remember to zip up all zippers.
Another valuable tip is to tie all loose drawstrings to avoid unfortunate snags in the drum and prevent tangling. Also, remove pins and buckles, and close hooks and snaps; they could easily ruin your garments in the wash. What about buttons? Laundry experts recommend leaving shirts unbuttoned to prevent stress on the buttons. Otherwise, the buttonholes might get torn apart or loosen.
5. Clean Your Washing Machine Regularly
It may seem paradoxical, but the machine you use to clean your clothes may not be clean. However, it all makes sense: over time, detergent residue, hard water deposits, grime and dirt from the laundry, and even mildew can build up inside the washing machine. During a washing cycle, these residues come adrift, so they might get stuck to your clothes or give them an unpleasant smell.
How to clean the washing machine? Most modern washers include a Self Clean option. If you cannot find this option on your washer, run an empty hot-water cycle. You don’t need to use detergent, but adding a bit of vinegar can help remove mildew and bacteria.
6. Select Lower Temperatures
Another excellent way to make your clothes last longer is to select lower temperatures on your washing machine. Washing your clothes at lower temperatures will keep the fabric soft, prevent fibers from breaking down, reduce pilling, and keep the colors vibrant. Colder temperatures also reduce the risk of shrinkage. Items such as underwear, towels, and bedding require high temperatures, but clothes don’t need more than 30°C.
Washing at colder temperatures is also more eco-friendly because it reduces the amount of energy needed per wash. It also saves you money on bills.
7. Let Your Clothes Air Dry
A final tip to consider is to air dry your clothes as often as possible. Not only that air drying clothes is more eco-friendly and saves you money, but it also increases the lifespan of your clothes and reduces creases. Moreover, it does not shrink your clothes, unlike dryers. Many people choose not to air dry their clothes because it takes more time. But if you can afford to wait, air drying is vastly better for your clothes and the environment than a dryer.
Follow our tips to ensure every piece of clothing in your wardrobe will keep its fresh look for as long as possible.