One day you’re wandering around a store looking for nothing in particular and you happen to stumble upon the the most beautiful jacket you’ve ever laid your eyes on. It’s in soft, it’s on-trend, it fits you perfectly. You can hear the little voice in your head (that sounds awfully similar to your mother) saying, “you don’t really need that, do you?” But it is 20% off, so…
You take the tags off in your car so you can wear it as soon as possible. You strut down the street like you’re in a Beyoncé music video. Your confidence is at an all time high. But why is the paparazzi taking so long to find you? Doesn’t matter. You feel on top of the world.
Then Disaster Happens…
You accidentally spill your caramel mocha frappuccino all over your jacket.
Refusing to mourn the loss of your beautiful, one-of-a-kind jacket, you rush home and try getting the stain out. It works fairly well, but there is still a small spot. You notice that the tag says “dry clean only,” but you decide to throw it in the wash anyway. When you take your jacket out, you notice that the color looks slightly different…maybe a little faded? You shrug it off and throw it in your closet. It’ll be fine.
As the weeks go on, your jacket ends up in the pile of clothes on your floor. You decide to hand wash your jacket one day, throw it in your closet while it’s a little damp, and forget about it for a week. When summer comes around, you throw your jacket in a garbage bag with the rest of your winter clothes and toss into storage. It’ll be fine, right?
Fall rolls back around, you take your jacket out of the garbage bag and — what is that smell? Is that…mildew? You hold up your jacket and look at it, you really look at it. The color is slightly faded, there’s one tough wrinkle that won’t seem to come out, and yes…the smell. Your once pristine jacket has become a sad-looking version of itself.
Does This Story Sound Familiar?
Let’s be honest with ourselves, we’ve all been this person. When we first get a new piece of clothing, we’re very careful about the way we treat it. Then as the weeks go on, we’re less careful — and it shows! Here are some helpful tips on keeping your clothing looking new at all times, because who wants to say goodbye to their perfect jacket? (Not me).
- When changing out of your clothes, let heavier items such as shoes, coats, and suits air out before putting them away.
- Fold sweaters or drape them over hanger instead of hanging up as to not stretch out the neck and shoulders.
- Do not throw your clothes on the floor or over a chair.
- Never leave your clothes near a window because prolonged sunlight exposure can fade dyes.
- Lotions, sunscreen, perfume and hairspray can all fade or stain clothing. Put these on before you get dressed!
- Clean your clothes before putting them away because untreated stains can attract bugs.
- Do not hang wet or damp clothes in your closet or store your clothes in plastic bags because this can attract mildew.
- In the winter, use a cold washcloth to wipe off any salt that may have gotten on your shoes.
- Occasionally rotate your clothing so your delicate clothing doesn’t lose their shape.
- Wash fabrics that work well together, together.
- Not all detergents are created equal: some are made for delicate clothing, to prevent color fading, or to prevent shrinkage. Choose the one that is best for your needs.
- Fuzzy sweaters and towels should be washed separately from your other clothing.
- Use a front-loading washer to save energy, water, and get your clothes cleaner.
- Don’t use chlorine bleach on colored clothing.
- Air dry clothes as often as possible to prevent wear and tear.
- Follow care label directions.
- Treat stains the right away, and right away.
- Wash your clothes in cold water to save money and get stains out better.
- Wash jeans inside out to preserve color longer.
- Turn sweaters and cotton t-shirts inside out to prevent pilling.
- Wash tops with sequins and embellishments inside out.
- Unbutton clothing before tossing into washer, as leaving it buttoned can cause stress on the buttons and buttonholes.
- Separate clothing into whites, lights, darks and delicates.
- Put your undergarments and other delicate items into mesh laundry bags to prevent tangling and damage.
- Let undergarments, leggings and lightweight shirts air dry when possible.
- Wash clothes you don’t want to shrink, in cold water.
- Warm water works best for whites and lights.
- Hot water is best for heavily soiled items and towels.