Looking for simple laundry tips to help your clothes last longer? Here are 14 simple tips you can use today.
I may or may not have pointed this out about 500 times before, but instead of eating chocolate chip cookies?
It’s my new favorite thing on the planet.
I wait for sales and find new stores and hunt for bargains and organize my closet so it all fits.
And along the way with all these new clothes, I’ve discovered something important.
YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THEM.
There’s nothing worse than ruining an outfit with salad dressing.
It is not your outfit friend.
I got you.
Along with shopping, I’ve found a bunch of tips that have served me and my outfits well over the past six months.
Here are 14 laundry tips to help your clothes last longer.
(total aside: I’m really writing this for the twins at college. If you have a college student this would be the perfect post to send to them.)
1. Add a Tide pen to your purse (or purses)
This is the tip that has saved many an outfit.
I’m just messy.
I’m going too fast and talking too much and getting it all on my clothes.
The key with stains is you want to treat them right away. I found this set of three Tide pens so I”m always at the ever ready. Make sure to add a little water when you use it. I’ve found this makes it work better.
I put one in the car, one in my purse and one in my traveling bag.
I’ve already used them more times than I can count.
2. Soak the stain in water overnight
This is my BEST tip for getting rid of stains.
I mix up a little paste of detergent (whichever detergent you have on hand) and rub it into the stain.
If the stain is really stubborn (and the fabric has a lot of ridges), sometimes I use an old toothbrush to rub the detergent paste in. Then I put the garment with the stain into a bowl of water and let it soak overnight.
Then wash as usual.
3. Don’t dry stains
I know this is Captain Obvious of stain removal, but I wanted to put it here just in case.
If you use tip number 2 and you wash the shirt or the dress or the pants and the stain doesn’t come out?
DO NOT DRY IT.
Drying it is like setting the stain.
Instead, repeat step 2 and try to get the stain out again.
4. For really tough stains Fels-Naptha really works
I discovered Fels-Naptha when Zack played baseball.
I could NOT keep those white pants clean.
And then another mom told me about Fels-Naptha. It’s totally old school and comes in a bar. Best stain purchase you will ever make.
Every laundry room needs one.
Use the end of the bar and rub it into the stain and wash as normal.
5. Use the sprayer at a car wash for baseball pants
If you are a baseball mom or know someone who plays baseball, this tip is gold.
We would take our white pants to the local car wash with hand-held sprayers and rub Fels-Naptha into the stains and lay the pants on the ground.
We’d spray them clean.
The power of the sprayer at the car wash was the best fix for baseball dirt.
6. Use Blue Dawn Detergent on oil stains
All stains are not created equal.
Specifically salad dressing oil is one of the worst.
If you have an oil spill, for the best chance of success, you want to act as quickly as possible.
Blue Dawn Detergent is your friend.
Rub it into the stain and immediately wash per washing instructions.
7. Pay attention to fabric care labels
This has saved me with many a garment.
The fabric care labels are there for a reason.
If it says to wash in cold, wash in cold. If it says “delicate” and “don’t dry” make sure to follow instructions.
Your clothes will last so much longer if you just follow the care instructions.
8. Wear something twice without washing
Someone gave me this advice and just between us?
It was hard to follow.
I felt like if I wore it once? It had to be washed.
But truly? If you wore it and there aren’t any stains and you didn’t run a mile in it or climb a mountain?
It can probably go back into your closet for one more wear.
Clothes actually last so much longer if you don’t wash them as often.
9. Use mesh lingerie bags
This is the best tip ever. I never knew about these before someone else told me about these bags.
It started when I snagged a sweater with the hook on the back of my bra.
(total aside: you should always hook these together before washing.)
But lingerie lasts so much longer if you use these bags to wash them. It prevents everything from being stretched out or getting tangled up together and ripping.
Protect your unmentionables (as my grandma used to call them) in the wash with lingerie bags.
10. Don’t dry everything
I don’t dry half of what I wash.
Here’s what I dry:
- older pajamas
- velour clothing
- acrylic (on low heat)
Here’s what I don’t dry:
- blouses with ruffles
- swim suits
- tops with embellishments
- wool (never ever ever)
Many times, I’ll also lay a towel on top of the washer and dryer and lay the clothes flat to dry.
11. Use less detergent
ESPECIALLY if you have a front loader.
I know this seems counterintuitive, but using less detergent is actually better.
If there’s too much soap, it can bubble up and those bubbles get trapped in the clothes and leave a sticky mess.
Most detergents now are so high-powered that you just need a small amount.
12. Turn dark-colored clothes inside out
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to reduce fading is to turn dark clothes inside out.
Especially black pants and shirts.
Turning them inside out reduces the friction on the front of the fabric and puts all the friction on the inside instead (that no one will ever see).
12. Reduce wrinkles
Always remove your clothes from the dryer as soon as possible.
This prevents wrinkles from setting in and clothes looking frumpy.
I also have stopped ironing and started using a steamer instead. It saves SO MUCH time.
Instead of going back and forth with the iron, the steamer just swipes over the top of the shirt or blouse or dress and all the wrinkles disappear.
This is the steamer I have and love.
14. Keep track
One last tip that isn’t so much a laundry tip as a life tip.
Whenever we run out of something in the laundry room or butler’s pantry (they are the same room).
We just write it on this little craft paper roll.
It’s so easy to rip off and take to the grocery store.
They don’t make this one anymore, but I found a similar one here.
I hope this post inspired you today.
(Twinnies I’m talking to you).
Taking care of the clothes you have and making them last longer is so rewarding.
Can you help the twins and I out?
What is your favorite laundry tip?
Let’s discuss in the comments below.