Laundry may or may not be your favorite household chore, but either way, it’s important to take a few extra steps when you’re working on it to help your clothes last longer. Don’t worry – you don’t have to spend a ton of extra time. These nine laundry tips may help you make just a few different choices than you might be currently doing to make a big difference in the life and appearance of your clothes.
Nine Laundry Tips to Help Your Clothes Last Longer
Wash with Cold Water Whenever Possible
Cold water is gentler on your clothing than hot water, which can cause shrinking and fading. In a household like mine, where some people have more than their fair share of black clothing, fading can be heartbreaking. Cold water can help!
Use Less Laundry Detergent
Most people use way too much laundry detergent. Not only is more not better when it comes to laundry detergent, but it can actually be worse. Clothes won’t come out as clean and may very well end up with detergent residue, which can leave clothes dirty and dull.
Sort Your Laundry. No, Really. Sort It!
I’m not talking about some vague, “Oh, I’ll just throw this shirt in with this stuff because they’ll be fine and I just want to finish the last of the laundry.” I’m talking about getting to know your clothes and their labels. After a time, you’ll just know what things to wash together because you’re familiar with their label suggestions.
This also means that it’s best to wash delicate items of similar colors together and in their very own load.
I also recommend washing denim together in its own load. Jeans are probably a heavier, rougher materials than most of your other clothes. Washing them on their own helps eliminate having them rub up against your other clothes throughout a whole wash cycle. Plus, many jeans have dyes in them that are more likely to bleed and damage other clothing.
Don’t Over Wash Your Jeans
Speaking of laundry tips for jeans, as long as they look and smell clean (and you’ve been wearing under garments), they don’t really need to be washed as often as most of your other clothing.
I know, there are probably people that might think that’s gross. But, if they don’t look or smell dirty, they probably aren’t. You will get far more wear out of your jeans, and experience less fading, if you wash them less often.
Don’t Overload Your Washing Machine
I know, I know. There are five people in my house. Sometimes, I just want to shove as much as will fit in my front loading washer and be done faster. It can be hard to keep up on laundry!
This is another case, however, where more is not better. Not only will clothes not get as clean, but they will also agitate against other clothing more, breaking down clothing fibers.
If your kids aren’t already helping with laundry and you’re overwhelmed with laundry, maybe it’s time to start teaching them laundry skills.
Watch Out for Zippers, Velcro, and Buttons
It’s best to put clothing with zippers, Velcro, and buttons with any of those items securely fastened when you’re putting them into the washing machine. By securing them ahead of time, they are less likely to get caught on other clothing in the wash. This can help save both items with zippers, Velcro, and buttons and those without.
Be Reasonable When Picking Your Wash Cycle
Unless you’ve been out getting really dirty, your clothing probably does not require the “extra soil” setting with a heavy duty wash. Aim to wash clothes for the minimum that they need for still looking and smelling clean. Don’t assume that harsher settings will get your clothes cleaner. They will probably get as clean as they need on a lesser setting, and then also last longer.
Take an Extra Second for Special Care of Clothes with Graphics and Designs
Taking just a second to make sure clothes with graphics and designs are turned inside out can really save designs on clothing. Keep the graphic or design away from all the agitating clothes around it can definitely prolong its life.
Inspect Clothes for Stains and Treat Them
Take a minute to check out clothes while sorting to watch for stains so you can treat them before they go through the washer and dryer. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bigger problem after you find your solidly set in stain.
Likewise, it’s best to keep out an eye for any rips or snags before clothing items go into the washer and dryer. It’s much more preferable to see a small rip in a seam and throw in a couple of stitches to fix it rather than let it run through the laundry and allow the rip to grow larger.
What are some of the things you do during your laundry routine to help your clothes and your family’s clothes last longer?
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