Clothes can be very expensive. Even if you buy from a thrift store - you want to them to last as long as possible. You want to be conscious of your funds. You can keep your look fresh and nice and still be financially responsible.
- Dress for the occasion - meaning only wear old worn clothes for working in the yard, nice clothes for dress up. Play clothes for play. Aprons when cooking - so as to keep grease splatters off your clothes. Grease can ruin more items.
- Wash in cold as much as possible. Cold water is not nearly as color fading as hot and it is more energy efficient
- Don't launder as often. Wear clothes more than once unless they are terribly dirty. When working in the yard I have old jeans to wear and I may wear two or three times while working out in the dirt before washing. Now, I wouldn't wear them any where else - but I plan. I know if I will be out 2 or 3 days in a row and sure don't want to get every pair dirty. Some people change clothes often and wash after every wearing - even if it was just an evening out. That seems wasteful of energy and you are wearing your clothes out faster
- Zip up all your zippers before laundering items. It keeps them from catching on other things. Fasten your bras as well - so hooks don't snag other clothes
- Be gentle with your undies - don't ever put them in a dryer. It wears them out and discolors & ruins elastic.
- Mend, patch, fix buttons, hems and zippers when possible. The more you you mend the longer you have your items in good repair.
- Dye faded jeans or dark colors. I have dyed jeans many times and they look great afterwards. You can buy denim 'color' dye.
- Wash your clothes inside out. Less color loss, less fraying and pilling, less cracking on T-shirt emblems, less lint.........
- Use deodorant/anti-perspirant to prevent sweat stains in under arm area. Some materials are hard to remove smells from - so keep the body odors at bay!
- Hang laundry as often as possible - whether outside or inside. The drier really does break down clothes (as does fabric softener). Hang in garages, on patios, on racks inside, out on a line - where ever you can
- Wash by colors. Whites, darks, light colors, etc. Keeps color from fading into others
- Make sure you buy easy care clothes. I do NOT ever buy dry clean only clothes. IF I did I would wash on gentle at home and hang to dry (I have done that in the past). I tried those home dry cleaning kits years ago and never again - the smell was horrible!!!!! Simple care means just that - easy is better!!
- Keep Tide pens or blue Dawn on hand for stains. Stains can ruin an item you love. Make sure you treat quickly. If that doesn't work - get creative with a patch or embroidery!
- Keep all those extra buttons you get with tops/sweaters. Keep them in a jar or box separate from all other buttons - that way you can find them easily if you lose one
- Place super delicate items in a pillow case to launder if you do not have a laundry bag. You can easily make laundry bags from soft nylon net or from an old lace curtain panel or tablecloth.
- Wash stuffed animals on gentle cycle
- Wear jeans until you can't - patch as long as possible. Once you can't patch - make shorts or a skirt or an apron!
- Use vinegar for softening clothes - in rinse. It is all natural!!!! (No smell once dry)
- Use baking soda and or peroxide to brighten and whiten - again all natural.
Would you be prepared to be able to do laundry without your current facilities? It would freak a lot of people out. Our ancestors worked hard at laundry - it sure wasn't like we do today (and we still gripe).
I do have ways to do laundry the old fashioned way if I needed to. I also have an old clamp (onto a table) wringer that I could use for water removal.
You could always use your bathtub as a wash/rinse bin.
Clothes are an outward picture of who you want to represent to the world. They can be expensive and there is no reason to trash our lovelies and wear them out quickly - make them last!
Do you have any tricks to extend the life of your clothes?