Everybody loves the smell, fit, and feel of new clothes. However, the euphoria fades – no pun intended – as the clothes get older and lose their original colours. That means they end up packed, crumpled and deserted somewhere where they’re left unused. With the average lifetime of a garment placed around just 2.2 years, you’re concerned with how to take proper care of your clothes so they can last longer.
Taking good care of your clothes does not just increase their lifespan, it also saves you money, and helps to considerably reduce the emissions that occur during their life cycle.
Here are some effective tips you could use to keep your clothes looking great and durable!
Read care labels
A proper care of your clothes begins with how you wash them. Different fabrics require different laundry approaches. The first and most basic step to understanding what particular care your clothing requires is to read the manufacturer’s care label. Pay attention to the instructions on the label and the recommendations on it. This will guide you on the recommended maximum washing temperature to wash your clothing so it can stay in top shape for longer.
Wash clothes only when necessary
As much as you’re tempted to throw your clothes in the washing machine after every use, doing so too often can actually damage the fabric and shorten its lifespan. As you constantly expose your garments to soaking, detergent and spinning, you may just be exposing them to harmful chemicals that flatten their natural fibre follicles and cause them to lose their colours faster.
For instance, wool, and delicate fabrics like cashmere and silk, should only be washed when absolutely needed, using a mild detergent on a gentle cycle or handwash. For jeans, wash only sparingly. Instead, simply spot-clean your denim. If a garment isn’t dirty and is good with just freshening up, hang it outside or in a steamy bathroom to breathe first, rather than throwing it into the laundry machine at the slightest whim.
Wash with cold water
Most clothes don’t do well in hot water; they shrink and lose their colours faster. Therefore, cold water remains the best choice for washing them. Cold water also helps to prevent the fabric from fading faster and shrinking. It’s also important to use less heat when drying clothes as well, and iron sparingly.
Use mild detergent
While it’s still safe to wash your regular clothes and underwear with regular detergent, you’ll need a mild detergent for other types of clothes. For your delicate clothes, expensive clothes, embroidered clothes and clothes with embellishments, hand-wash them using a mild detergent. Mild detergent is gentle on clothes, preserves colours, and is safe to rely on.
Sort before washing
Sorting clothes according to material and colours before proceeding to wash them helps to reduce wear and tear on your clothes and keep them in good shape for longer. When you wash your clothes in a machine, they mix with each other as they tumble around. Therefore, it’s necessary to sort your wash white clothes with other light clothes separately from dark clothes to protect them from colour transferring.
Similarly, you may also sort your laundry by fabric type. For instance, wash lighter weight, more delicate fabrics together. Also, wash tougher fabrics with heavier weight, like towels or jeans, in separate loads. Sorting your laundry by fabric type will not only protect your more delicate, lightweight clothes from tumbling around with heavier fabrics, it also prevents them from getting pulled by zippers that can strain their fibres.
Wash clothes inside-out
Another handy tip for proper care of your clothes so they’ll last longer is to wash them inside-out to prevent overfilling, which may cause friction and destroy the fibres. Also, turning your denims and jackets inside-out and washing them separately helps to keep their colours from fading when you wash them. Don’t forget to use a colour-protecting, mild detergent to wash your denims and jackets to reduce the effects of fading.
Treat stains before they set
The earlier you can treat the stains on your clothes, the easier you can get the stains out, and the longer you can keep your clothes. You can pre-treat all stains with a simple cleaning solution by mixing a cup of water and a teaspoon of detergent powder. Rub the stain gently using your fingers, allow it to rest for 7-10 minutes, and then rinse under cold water. Check to see if the stain had been cleaned out before drying the clothes. This is an important precaution so as not to dry out the garments until the stains are washed because heat will set the stain, and make it more difficult to wash off.
Store garments correctly
Proper storage can go a long way to prolong the lifespan of your garments. Store all clothes in a cool, dry space to protect them from moisture, sunlight, and heat, which can all wreak havoc on your clothes. Make sure your clothes are clean and dry before you throw them in the wardrobe to store, as dirt, moisture and surface debris can attract bugs and moths, which will damage your clothes. Don’t try to overfill your wardrobe, instead, allow your clothes to get the needed breathing space – this will help prevent wrinkling and colour loss that may arise from clothes rubbing together.
When hanging knitted or heavy garments, use wooden or padded hangers instead of plastic ones to prevent clothes from stretching and becoming looser, or getting hanger marks on the shoulders. If you can’t afford wooden hangers, folding the garments’ arms over the hanger can help keep them from stretching out in the shoulders.
You may store your clothing in clean, plastic bins as they help to keep moisture and bugs out. Placing cedar balls in the bins can also help keep bugs out and protect your clothes.
Buy high-quality clothes
Finally, one last way to care for your clothes right from the scratch is to buy the highest quality clothes you can afford. While cost doesn’t always guarantee quality or durability, high quality clothing tends to be more expensive, and most of the time, the higher the quality, the longer your clothing should last.
At AYÒ Made-Fit, we’re an Afro-urban fashion brand specialising in innovative, lush and opulent garment designs that enhance your fashion appeal and give you confidence everywhere you go. Our garbs are produced with high quality, durable and classy fabrics that stand out and last a long time.
Contact us today. Let us make you proud!