Save money by taking better care of your clothes

Taking proper care of your clothes will have you looking fresher for longer and will save you money too.

Save money by taking better care of your clothes

By taking better care of your clothes, you’ll not only ensure that they’ll last longer, but you’ll also save money on your wardrobe.

Extending the life of your clothes won’t necessarily take you hours of hard work, but will require a conscious effort during washing, storage and wear. Here are 20 tips for taking better care of your clothes.

1. To help prevent your jumpers from becoming misshapen, try using the fold–hang method shown in the video below.

2. Old pillowcases can be converted into garment bags in which to store your out-of-season clothes and keep them looking fresh.

3. Using thick wooden hangers will minimise shoulder damage to your coats, jackets and jumpers. They can be expensive, though. So try binding a few skinny plastic ones together to create the same effect.

4. Always zip up your zippers before washing clothes, because open zippers are more likely to snag other fabrics during agitation.

5. If you don’t want your jeans, pant or shirts to fade, then it’s best to wash them inside out. It stops your clothes from rubbing against each other in the washing machine, which causes colours to wear away and fade.

6. Adding a pinch of salt to your wash cycles will help to prevent colours from fading.

7. Stuff your shoes with newspaper to keep them in shape.

8. Waterproof your shoes to protect them from water damage and staining.

9. If you’ve got any black clothes that have been bleach marked, you can retouch them with a laundry marker.

10. Freeze natural fibre clothes, such as jumpers or woollen tights to stop them from shedding. Put them in a zip-lock bag and pop them in the freezer. You only have to do it once (ideally immediately after purchase) for shed-free clothes. It may sound weird but it works!

11. If you don’t like the idea of frozen tights, you can spray them with hairspray prior to wearing them. This locks the fibres and prevents shedding and runs.

12. A dab of clear nail polish on your buttons can help prevent them from falling off.

13. Hook your bras before washing them and, if possible, it’s best to wash them in a delicates bag or try a pillowcase instead.

14. In winter, instead of using your clothes dryer, purchase an inexpensive indoor clothes line. It’ll save your clothes from the wear and tear of the dryer.

15. Spraying clothes with vodka can help to reduce odours in between washes.

16. Don’t iron your clothes unless you really have to. There are other ways to remove wrinkles from clothes, such as SJ’s tips for a wrinkle-free wardrobe, or this trick for ironing without an iron.

17. And don’t wash your clothes for the sake of it. If you can get away with a wipe or a spot clean, your clothes will thank you for it.

18. Rotate your clothes and shoes so that they don’t prematurely wear out.

19. Shoes should be given time to air out in between wears, too.

20. If you have t-shirts with graphics, it’s best to wash them inside out as well.

Taking proper care of your clothes will extend their life, so you’ll save money and be looking fresher for longer.

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    27th May 2016
    No. 15. If you put a bit of white vinegar in with the fabric softener you won't need to spray the vodka.
    27th May 2016
    The most important hint, however, is not listed here. Manufacturers recommend that we use one full scoop of washing powder per wash which is completely wrong. Overuse of washing powder is one of the major problems for wearing out clothes. Soap builds up in the fibres and completely breaks them down as you cannot possibly rinse out all that soap in a couple of rinses. Manufacturers want you to use more so that you will buy more. One quarter of a scoop is the absolute maximum you should be using for a very dirty wash. I use about an 1/8 of a scoop - really - and my clothes are soft, fresh and very clean. Use the best soap powder you can though. For two people, it takes me about 8 to 9 months to get through a box of concentrated soap powder.
    27th May 2016
    Good tip, Suze.
    27th May 2016
    I agree that manufacturers want you to use more. I only use Bosisto, Australian made with no nasties, and very economical. A lot of the chemicals in washing powders wear your clothes out.
    27th May 2016
    People of all ages can use these tips.Also hang your clothes inside out when you hang them out dry.This prevents clothes from fading in the summer sun.
    27th May 2016
    This will also help to hide any bird droppings when you put the clothes on.
    27th May 2016
    Fast Eddie,
    It won't kill the smell of it though

    27th May 2016
    I have some lovely long skirts (evening type) so this week I took them down to my local dressmaker (I am not a sewer) and she will take them them up from the band and make them shorter. Saves me buying new ones.

    The hint about using vodka......I would sooner drink it ;)

    I use washing detergent now ; no longer use powder.
    27th May 2016
    Best tip of all - DON'T buy new clothes!! Enjoy going to OP Shops... I am in my mid 60's, and after a recent change of events, needed some new work clothes. I now have one of the best work wardrobes, and am often complimented on my style, and clothes. And don't turn your nose up saying that 'someone else wore those clothes'. Believe me, many clothes are new. A few weeks ago, I bought a brand new Ladies Leather Jacket - (labeled as 'genuine NZ Lamb Skin') - still with the store tag on - marked $198. Fitted me like a glove - and price was $8.00!! I GLADLY gave the shop a $10 note and didn't ask for the change!! My absolute most favorite pair of summer casual pants I bought at an op shop - cost me $3. And every where I go, I get asked about them. Even sitting in the airport lounge waiting to pick up a friend, a lady asked me where I had bought them as they looked so comfy. I have had them for nearly 8 years now - love them so much, I paid to get a pattern made of them, so that I could make my own.
    Best tip though - DON'T put in a drier!!
    27th May 2016
    You must of found one of those old op shops, these days most op shops like our local charge too much. $5 for a worn t'shirt top, I can buy new at the same price on sale.
    27th May 2016
    I used to live near a Australian Red Cross and a Vinnies Op Shop (both in the same group of shops. Some clothes still had the retail tags, all sizes. I know a lady who bought 3 outfits for what she would have paid for one of them at Target. One of them was definitely brand new.
    If you are buying for grandchildren you will find fantastic new clothes for them, new or as new books.

    I don't like electric dryers but I don't have a lot of option at the moment if I want clean clothes, bed linen etc. There is housing construction just over my fence and although the soil is being kept damp by sprinklers it is drying out quickly and I don't want dirt flying onto damp clothes. They become brown. My clothes dryer is fairly gentle. When clothes are "airing dry" I hand them on airers inside to finish off.
    27th May 2016
    Another place you can get new / near new clothing for adults and probably children too is Savers
    27th May 2016
    I don't use fabric softener EVER. Just put same amount of white vinegar in dispenser (or direct in rinse water if hand washing). Removes all soap/detergent from clothes leaving them soft and fresh.
    27th May 2016
    It also keeps your washing machine cleaner and smelling decent.

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