Want to make your clothes last longer? We have asked the experts at Repair Aid to explain why the washing machine is ruining your clothes and how to avoid it. Whether they’re your favourite pieces or you want to be more environmentally conscious, here are eight ways to extend the life of your clothes. What’s more, the longer your garments last, the more money for your bank balance too!
1.You’re sorting your clothes all wrong
While you may be separating the lights from the darks, you may not be spending the time sorting out the different fabric types and level of dirtiness too. Instead of bunging in your towels with your work clothes or your silk shirts with gym gear, take time to sort out your items into different fabrics and then wash them accordingly. For example, delicates do not need high heat and intense spins while dirty towels will often require a higher heat and increased spin cycle.
2. Respect your delicates
As well as washing your delicates with the specialist function on the washing machine, there are other ways to protect your delicate garments during washing. For example, put fragile items such as bras or beaded items in a pillowcase before washing. After the wash cycle, lay these delicate garments out flat on a drying rack, so items don’t lose their stretch or shape. Delicate items can be ruined by high heat, so don’t tumble dry them, air dry them instead.
3. Add conditioner
Conditioner helps to protect the individual fibres in a wash which can help to prevent pilling and bobbling. By using fabric conditioner, you take care of every thread and prevent excessive wear from friction in the washing machine.
4. …But don’t always add conditioner
Some garments wash better without conditioner. For example, performance clothing with high wicking capabilities such as gym gear can be ruined by conditioner. Instead, wash gym gear without conditioner on a cold and gentle cycle to prevent any pilling.
5. Read the care label
Not all clothes are created equally and therefore, need separate washing instructions. Take time to read the care label for garments before you ruin any of your clothes. Care labels are designed to prolong the life of your clothes so by following the instructions, you are doing what the manufacturer recommends.
6. Watch out for Velcro
Velcro in the washing machine can cause rips and tears to other garments, so much so it can destroy clothes completely. Make sure to wash any Velcro items separately from delicate items, and ensure Velcro is always fastened before washing.
7. Fold or hang?
It may seem tedious to put away clothes, but the way you do it can significantly prolong the life of garments. Velvet hangers can make all the difference in protecting your clothes while thin metal hangers can cause fabrics to stretch and misshapen. Make sure to fold trousers on the crease and secure the top button of the shirt when hanging. Don’t hang any wool items or jumpers as this can cause them to stretch. Folding wool items will help them retain their shapen for much longer.
8. You don’t want to hand wash
It may seem more convenient to shove all of your clothes in the washing machine, but some items are not designed for the fast-paced, heated, high-friction world of the washing machine. Instead, they need hand washing. Hand washing doesn’t have to take hours or be overly complicated. Just follow these simple steps;