11 laundry tricks that make clothes last longer

July 28, 2015

Whether you live in jeans and T-shirts, rummage-sale finds or tailored separates, there's no excuse for looking scruffy. With these money-saving tips, your clothes could look brand-new and last much longer.

11 laundry tricks that make clothes last longer

1. Tie rescue

  • If you get a water spot on a silk tie, let the spot dry and then rub the spotted area vigorously with a hidden part of the tie.
  • Small spots can be removed with soda water.

2. Shaving sweaters

Don't spend money on little shavers for sweaters. Gently remove the pilling with a cheap disposable razor.

3. The right hangers

  • Hang silk clothing on plastic or padded hangers. Wooden ones may cause snagging.
  • Don't ever use thin metal dry cleaner's hangers for any of your clothes.

4. Servicing suede

  • To get rid of scuff marks, gently rub with very fine sandpaper.
  • Steam clean suede shoes by holding them over a pot of boiling water. Once the nap is raised, stroke the suede with a soft brush in one direction. Let the shoes dry before wearing them.
  • Restore the nap on a suede garment by rubbing a dry sponge over it after each wearing.

5. Giving your lingerie some loving

  • Ideally, all fine lingerie should be hand-washed. But if you don't have the time, put it in a mesh bag to prevent it from getting tangled in the washer, and use the delicates setting.
  • Hang lingerie to dry, away from direct sunlight, and never put it in the tumble dryer.

6. Swimwear care

  • To give your swimwear a longer life, rinse in cold water after each use to remove salt or chlorine, which weakens the stretchy fabric.
  • Always hand wash, or machine wash on a gentle cycle.
  • Do not twist. Wring out or hang to dry in direct sunlight instead.

7. Easy on the starch

  • Most manufacturers recommend that you don't use starch on clothes as it damages the fibres.
  • If you have your clothes laundered, ask for a light starch only.
  • If you apply your own starch, use a dry iron and make sure you clean it after use as starch buildup can stain clothes.

8. Don't let stains stop you

Treat new stains by dampening a soft cloth with soda water. Then sandwich the stained area between two layers of the cloth. This lessens staining, but wash or dry clean the garment as soon as possible.

9. Pressing matters

  • Dry cleaning is actually bad for clothes and your bank balance.
  • If clothes are creased, not dirty, have them pressed instead. This is much less likely to weaken fabrics and will help to prolong the life of good-quality garments.
  • To do your own ironing at home, use a steam iron or a damp cloth and hot iron, and keep the iron moving constantly.
  • To remove creases from most fabrics, hang the garment in the bathroom for five to 10 minutes just after you've had a hot shower. The heat and steam will make the creases drop out.

10. Wine and wash

Red wine stains needn't mean waving goodbye to a garment. Act quickly and either saturate the stain with white wine, or pour on plenty of salt followed by soda water. This should wash out the worst of the mark. Blot and launder immediately.

11. The perfect finish

If a silk garment has lost its finish and looks crumpled, try a little steam heat. Hang it in a steamy bathroom or lay a damp cloth over it and gently pass the iron over it.

Taking care of your clothes is quite simple, and it can make your favourite outfits look brand-new for longer. To get the most out of your clothes, be sure to take care of them from the very beginning.

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