How To Extend The Life Of Your Clothes

We all like to buy new clothes, after all, who doesn’t?

But buying new clothes obviously costs and in the current economic situation, we can all do our best to try and save some money where possible.

One of the best ways of doing this is trying to extend the life of the coat clothes you already have. It might sound difficult, but actually, with a few sensible steps it can be easily achieved.

But why? What are the benefits of extending the life of your clothes?

  • Saving you money
  • It’s actually better for the environment
  • It reduces your carbon footprint. And who doesn’t want to do that!

If you start implementing a few, ideally all of the following steps, you can really save money and elongate the life of your clothes and your overall wardrobe. Let’s get started.

1. Buy Good Quality Clothing From Reputable Manufacturers

Whilst initially not the most cost-effective option, in the long run buying better quality clothes that are made from better fabrics will save you money and mean that your clothes last for longer.

Concentrate on your staple, go-to garments, and see it as an investment in your wardrobe, rather than a cost.

Whilst not always, the case there is an assumption that clothes made by better quality manufacturers will also have a better social and environmental impact. Let’s hope so at least!

2. Wash Your Clothing Less

Now we certainly not encouraging you not to wash your clothes, it’s simply washing them less. Each washing cycle causes wear to the fabric and the fibres of each garment and will, over time, cause them to fade and lose their colour. Basically, the more clothes are washed the more quickly they will age. If you include this as part of an overall eco-friendly laundry regime, you can definitely elongate the life of your clothes and save some money along the way.

3. Use the correct Washing Machine Settings

This might sound extremely obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people use the incorrect wrong settings and programs on their washing machines. By understanding the settings on your machine and the requirements identified on the label for each particular garment, you can cause less damage to your clothing in the wash and therefore keep them looking better for longer.

4. Understand  Clothes Washing and Drying Symbols

If you’re like most people, you look at the labels on your clothes and have no understanding or idea as to what the symbols mean. Believe it or not, the symbols are actually pretty important and can certainly have an impact on how long your clothes last.

By simply taking the time to understand what the various symbols mean, you can make sure that you wash, dry and maintain your clothes in the way that the manufacturer designed them to be. This will have an unexpectedly large impact on how long your clothes maintain their quality.

5. Correctly Maintain Your Washing Machine

Keeping your washing machine, clean and free of lint can have a real impact on how long your clothes last.

By making sure that particular the signal area of your washing machine is free of dirt and lint and occasionally using lint balls or lint catchers in your machine, you will have a better environment in which to wash your clothes.

6. Use a Mesh Laundry Bag

In an ideal world, you would always separate delicate garments from other rough and damaging material. But in reality, this is an extremely difficult thing to do given our busy lives and the requirements of large families.

So, one of the best ways to take care of your delicate items is to wash them inside your washing machine in a mesh laundry or washing bag. A mesh laundry bag is a simple and basic product that has a mesh outer together with a closing zip allowing you to place delicate items inside.  The water and detergent, permeate the mesh and allows your clothes to be washed whilst keeping them separate from other rougher garments.

Mesh laundry bags are relatively cheap  and simple to use, and are a great way of elongating and extending the life of your favourite delicate garments

7. Try To Avoid Dry Cleaning Where Possible

The process and chemicals used during dry cleaning can stress the fibres that your clothes are made of. As a result, it’s sensible to carefully monitor how often particular garments are dry cleaned. Obviously, certain garments are dry-cleaned only, and they cannot be avoided.

Really, the idea is to only use dry cleaning when it’s the only option.

8. Avoid Tumble Drying And Use A Heater Airer

Tumble drying is extremely damaging to the fibres of your clothes. The heat, motion and rubbing together of the fabrics cause significant damage and ultimately can cause the formation of ugly bobbles or pilling.

During the summer months, try to air and dry, your clothes outside. During winter use indoor heated clothes airer. Electrically powered airers are efficient and can save a relatively significant amount of money over the course of the winter and are better for the environment. 

9. Store Clothes In Their Appropriate Place

Does anyone have enough cupboard space? Not really, but if you can start storing your clothes in the appropriate place, you will go some way to making sure they have an extended life.

Make sure to store similar fabrics together and take care to fold sweaters and woollen jumpers in the appropriate way and keep them apart from other rougher garments.

If you have dense and heavy jumpers, you should make sure they are folded and not placed on a hanger.  Hanging these weighty garments will cause the fabrics to lengthen and stretch, resulting in a droopy and oversized sweater.

If you are hanging your garments ensure you hang them on the appropriate type of hanger.

10. Get To Know Your Iron

Let’s face it, nobody really enjoys ironing! It’s one of those necessary evils when it comes to maintaining and keeping your clothes looking nice. Ironing does however impact the fabrics of your clothing, often with a detrimental effect if not done correctly.

Is it important, in order to extend the life and maintain your clothes that you understand symbols related to ironing. Also, make sure that you understand and use the correct settings on your iron.

Using a clothes steamer instead of an iron is a simple and less damaging way of keeping your clothes crease and wrinkle-free.

11. Remove Pilling

Pilling or bobbling occurs when the fabrics of your clothing rub together, either in the normal course of use or in the process of washing and drying. 

Pilling can make your clothes look ugly and old before their time.

However, with a little investment in time and effort, and by purchasing a small device called a fabric shaver, you can easily remove pilling and lint from your clothes.

Fabric shavers are small inexpensive devices to buy, are super simple to use and will keep your clothes looking better for longer.

12. Learn Basic Clothing Repair Techniques

It’s inevitable that garments will get damaged during the normal course of wear and tear. However, you can easily repair them by learning a few simple techniques to darn your garments, or even replace a button.

Final thoughts

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to extending the life of your clothes.

By implementing all or just a few of these suggestions, you can easily elongate and extend the life of your clothes, save yourself some money and positively impact the environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our editors have independently selected and reviewed all of the products you see here. The reviews can contain links from affiliates, which means we may receive a small commission on editorially chosen products purchased through our links.

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