Taking care of your clothes is one of the most important things you can do to get the most out of your closet. It keeps clothes looking new longer, encourages you to wear them more often, and reduces the need to replace them. It really comes down to only two things: laundering and storage. Today I wanted to share 7 rules that I follow that help me take the best care of my clothes and keep my wardrobe looking in top-shape!
1. Separate laundry by colours & materials
When it’s time to do laundry, the first thing I do is sort everything into separate washing piles. It depends on what I have to wash, but I typically have four piles that I use: dark delicates, light delicates, regular cottons, and athletic wear. Doing this keeps abrasive fabrics from rubbing against my more delicate items and reduces pilling. It also helps me determine the right detergent to use in step 2!
2. Use the right detergent
Once I have my piles, I like to use the proper detergent, and I keep three different types on hand: dark fabrics, fine fabrics, and everyday. I use the dark detergent for my black and darker-coloured items to make sure they don’t fade over time. For light-coloured delicates and my athletic wear, I use PC’s Fine Fabrics detergent. This can be harder to find, but you can also use baby detergent as it’s also good for more delicate items and finer materials. Then everything else goes in with the everyday detergent – things like sweats, socks, etc.
3. Wash on the gentle cycle with cold water
Tip number three is to make sure you wash on the gentle cycle and use cold water. This will help stop your clothes from becoming misshapen, shrinking, and fading. The one caveat is that you should always follow the label on your clothes – for something that is dry-clean only, you might have to take it in or else you can try to get around it by hand-washing instead. But for the most part, using the gentlest cycle on your machine and staying away from hot or even warm water will help your clothes look newer for longer.
4. Don’t wash denim
Probably the strangest rule I follow is not washing my denim. Okay, it’s not like I never wash it – but it’s pretty rare that I do, and usually only because there’s a stain or something. It keeps them from fading and preserves the original colours and shape. It also keeps things like distressing from becoming more ripped and raggedy, which can totally ruin a pair of jeans that were distressed to perfection. If I do ever need to throw a pair in the wash, I always make sure to turn them inside-out first to reduce fading on the outside.
5. Hang to dry
This is one thing that I never used to do before; everything that I washed would go in the dryer, and it would start to show on my clothes after only a few washes. Now I hang pretty much everything to dry (except for things like towels and bedding). While keeping your clothes in better condition, it’s also better for the environment so it’s a win-win! I use a regular clothing rack to hang casual tees and denim. For things like button-up shirts and trousers, I will usually hang them on a hanger to make sure they keep their shape. Same with sweaters – laying them flat to dry on a clean surface will keep them from stretching out or getting wrinkled.
6. Remove fuzz and pilling
Someone once told me that to remove pilling on clothes, you needed to shave it with a razor. Well, I tried that and maybe it’s just me, but it’s not super effective! Thankfully, I’ve found a product that really does work: it’s a fabric defuzzer from Conair. I received this as a gift from my mom last Christmas, and I was a little skeptical at first that it wouldn’t work. However, I tried it once on an impossibly linty sweater and I was hooked. It removes fuzz and pilling without snagging your clothes, and can make things like sweaters and leggings look almost new again. It’s not very expensive (the one I linked to above is around $25 from Amazon), so I’d definitely say it’s worth the investment.
7. Store them properly
The last step is to store your clothes the right way. I hang almost everything to keep it from getting wrinkled and to help keep its shape. The exception is knitwear which I always fold and place in a drawer or on a shelf in my closet. Making sure you have good hangers is also key; cheap wire or plastic hangers can stretch your clothes or create wrinkles. The ones I have in my closet are a little bit thicker and velvet, which keep clothes from slipping off and stretching oddly and don’t create any harsh lines. For things like blazers and structured jackets, it’s worthwhile to invest in a couple of good-quality wooden hangers that help keep the shoulders in good shape.
So, those are all of my tips and rules that I follow for taking good care of my clothes. I hope you found this article helpful! I’d love to hear what you think and if you have any of your own tips or tricks in the comments below.
Until next time,
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Photo by Matthew Kane on Unsplash