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How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer: Washing and Care Tips From Professional Cleaners

Harsh chemicals, excessive scrubbing, and heaps of laundry soap are completely unnecessary for washing most clothes. Modern washers have advanced through the years to include many different types of settings that can take care of almost any type of fabric. Getting your clothes to last longer is a great way to save money. Your wardrobe will look better for longer, and you won't have to go out and buy new clothes as often. The only problem with making your clothes last is that it can be hard to know how exactly you should go about doing so. Here are some tips from professional cleaners on how they do it! 

Check for care instructions on the label

In order to keep your garment in pristine condition, you should familiarize yourself with its fabric. Some fabrics are more delicate than others and may require special care. Understanding the materials and composition of your garment is critical to ensuring its long life.

Garment manufacturers will always include care instructions on the label located within the side seams at either hip. These instructions indicate how dry clean only garments should be cleaned since it won't be possible to hand wash them without risk of damage.

Sort Your Clothes Before Washing

Before you wash your garments, sort them according to color and fabric type. For example, if you have a lot of black clothes that are all similar in fabric composition, then it might be wise to wash them together. Doing this will prevent any color transfer from one garment to another.

Delicate fabrics should be handled with care at all stages of the cleaning process. Washing these items by hand is the safest option because machinery can easily damage their texture or even tear holes into them! Use cold water when washing delicate fabrics and avoid putting them through the spin cycle as well; excessive twisting can also cause damage.

Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water

One mistake that many people make over and over again is washing their clothes in water that is too hot. This is because many machines include a hot water cycle, which can make it tempting to use. The truth is that warm water is much more likely to wear out your clothes than cold water.

If you want them to look great for longer, then wash your garments in plain cold water instead of hot or warm water. To avoid shrinkage, opt for the gentle setting on your washer and choose a shorter washing time if necessary. 

Avoid the Drier if Possible

Hanging your clothes to dry them is ideal most of the time. But if you can't wait for them to dry on your own, put them in the dryer on low heat for 10 minutes before hanging them out to air dry. It is important to dry items completely to prevent mildew growth. 

If you are using the dryer, take care not to over-dry your clothes. Operating the dryer on high heat for too long can cause shrinking and worn fabric. Don't leave the dryer running unattended, and check garments frequently to make sure you're not over-drying. If you have a lot of laundry to do, use the timed drying function on your machine so that it shuts off when the clothes are dry.

Use Good Laundry Detergent

Not all laundry detergents are equal so it is important to be sure that you're using a good quality laundry soap and liquid fabric softener instead of dryer sheets for static-free clothes. Using a gentle detergent that is free of dyes, perfumes, and brighteners will help keep your clothes looking like new.

It is also important to use the appropriate amount of detergent for your load size - too much will make your clothes stiff or leave residue on them. If you use too little, then your clothes will not get clean. Be sure to follow the directions on the detergent packaging for best results.

Air Out Your Clothes Before Storage

Before putting an article of clothing away for storage, check for any stains or odors that may have developed since the last cleaning. These types of issues should be tackled immediately so that they don't become permanent. 

Once you're sure that your garment is clean and ready to be stored, make sure you allow enough time for it to fully dry before boxing it up.  Leaving it in a humid, sealed box could lead to mildew and mold growth that is extremely difficult to get out of many fabrics.

Don't Forget About Stain Removal

When laundering your garments, take extra care with stains because they could become permanent if you simply throw them into the washer without treating them first. To remove stains, gently scrape off any excess material and pretreat with an appropriate product according to the fabric type and stain in question before washing as usual.

If necessary, use a laundry spot remover that is safe for all fabrics to help remove stains from delicate items. And remember to never use a stain remover on any fabric that is labeled as being colorfast, washable only in cold water, or dry clean only, because it could damage the garment.  

Have Clothing Professionally Cleaned When Necessary

If you want your garments to last longer then it makes sense that you should have them professionally cleaned when needed. Most clothing manufacturers only recommend professional cleaning once every three months or so, but if you work in an office environment then this may not be enough for you.

If you wear the same clothes over and over again because they still look presentable despite their wear, then it's high time to take them in for professional cleaning. This will ensure that all of the grime is removed from deep within the fibers where it won't come out with home washing methods. 

Understanding fabrics and having the right equipment will help prolong the life of your clothes while making each load cleaner and smoother. Of course, if you've already made a mistake with your garments or their care, then knowing how to minimize damage is equally important. 

For more information about washing and caring for your clothing in order to keep them looking good longer, call Cove Cleaners today at (941) 955-1111, or visit one of our three locations in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch and Osprey, FL. Free pick-up and delivery is only a phone call away!

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