Wash Them Less
The easiest way to make your clothes last longer is to wash them less. Many of your clothes can be worn several times before you wash them, especially sweaters. Most items get more wear and tear from being in the washing machine than they do on your bodies! When you do throw in a load, make sure to turn knitted clothes and T-shirts with designs on them inside out when washing and drying.
Remove Dry Cleaner Bags ASAP
It’s tempting to leave freshly dry-cleaned items in the plastic bags that the clothes are returned to you in. After all, it seems like they’ll stay cleaner longer that way. But the truth is that those bags can trap perchloroethylene—a toxic solvent used in dry cleaning—in the fabric. The fix is simple: Just remove the bags and hang the clothes outside or in the garage for an hour or two before returning them to your closet. The chemical will vaporize, and you’ll breathe easier.
Don’t Button Up
When you wash button-down shirts and polos, make sure to unbutton them before tossing in the machine. The agitation can weaken the threads and increase the chance that the buttons will loosen or fall off.
Make Bras Last Longer
If you want your bras to last longer (and who doesn’t?), rotate through them rather than wear one for a few days in a row. You’ll give the elastic time to contract between each wear, and the bras will last longer. Who knew?
Watch Drying Times
Make your clothes last longer by taking your cotton and denim clothing out of the dryer 20 minutes before the cycle is about to end and letting them air dry the rest of the way. Excess dryer heat can break down the fibers in your clothes prematurely.
Freeze Your Jeans
It sounds crazy, but you can save wear and tear on your jeans by cutting down on the number of times you put them through the washing machine—freeze them instead! The freezer eliminates many of the same odors and bacteria as the washing machine, so you can cut down on how often you wash your jeans, thus making the fabric last longer. Just shake off any debris, fold the jeans neatly, and put them in a plastic bag. Place in the freezer overnight, and in the morning, they’ll be ready to wear. (Of course, you’ll need to toss them into the washer for a periodic freshening up, and to remove stains.) It may sound crazy, but some people swear by it!
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