Urban Valet Blog

8 Tips to Help Your Clothes Last Longer

Posted: August 10, 2019

a woman folding clothes into a basket

If you’re like most of us, you have your favorite clothing pieces that you wear again and again. Maybe they’re the perfect fit? Maybe your favorite colors? Whatever the case, you want to keep them looking their best for as long as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not as easy as wash, dry, fold and repeat. Here are tips from our cleaning experts on how to help your clothes last the longest!

1 – Sort your laundry

This seems like a “no brainer” since it’s usually the first thing we are taught when learning to do laundry. But time usually trumps all and therefore you find yourself throwing in all your wash without paying attention. It starts by separating colors (lights and darks) but goes a step further. What about fabrics? Line dry or tumble dry? Sorting based on these factors is also important. It’s best to wash your heavier items (jeans, towels etc) apart from your delicates (blouses, sweaters etc).

2 – Inspect and treat stains

We could do a whole article on stains (and we will), but for now here are the basics. If you can’t treat stains immediately, try to set those pieces aside so that you can pretreat them before adding them to the wash. It is also important to inspect those pieces before drying, as it will be much harder to treat once dried on high heat. And lastly – if it’s an oil stain (think salad dressing) no amount of washing is going to help – bring it to Urban Valet.

3 – Read fabric labels

Believe it or not, fabric labels were put there for a reason – to follow them! Again, time is the issue here. But when you buy new clothes make sure to read the label before you clean it for the first time and then make a mental note for the future. Wash in cold? Delicate cyle? Line dry? These are all important instructions to take the best care of that piece. Ignore it and you’ll get color loss, shrinkage and more.

4 – Button & zip closures

Make a habit of closing zippers and buttons before you add your clothes to your hamper. This greatly decreases the chance of something snagging and causing tears.

5 – Check pockets

We have ALL been there. You’re moving stuff from washer to dryer and you realize you left a stack of tissues in a pocket! Or worse – gum, chapstick, pens? Checking your pockets is one of the fastest and easiest ways to prevent laundry issues. Plus – it saves not only the clothing item that had its pockets full, but everything else in the wash. Reminder – double check your kids pockets as these have some of the most interesting items!

6 – Use a mesh bag for delicates

Picking up a couple of mesh laundry bags is a great idea not only for your delicates, but for keeping socks and baby items together. When your delicates are in a mesh bag, they have a extra layer of protection and aren’t subjected to as much friction in the washer.

7 – Use the right amount of detergent

Have you ever pulled out your clothes from the washer only to see white lines on your darker items? This is usually caused by too much detergent, or overloading the machine (see last tip below). More detergent is not always better. Try your next load of wash with half the amount of detergent you normally use – then inspect the outcome. You’ll be surprised that you still get great results and save money in the process.

8 – Don’t overload your machines

We know, we know – again you don’t have a lot of time so you cram as much as possible in the washer. This is not good for your clothes, or your washer. When you overload your machine, the clothes rub together more causing friction and rips/tears. The water isn’t able to rinse as well, often leading to detergent marks left on the clothes. And of course over time if your washer is constantly overloaded, your machine will not last as long.

So – now we know we are going to sort our laundry, pretreat stains, wash by care label, button and zip all closures, check all pockets, put delicates in a mesh bag, use the correct amount of detergent and don’t overload the machine. Phew! – That’s tiring!

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