These laundry hacks will not only make your clothes look better, but they’ll last longer, too. In this article, you’ll learn how to wash and take care of your clothes the right way.
I don’t know about you but I get pretty upset if I ruin my favorite shirt in the wash. Or if I buy something and it gets ruined after the first time I’ve ever washed it.
That can be super frustrating and disappointing!
Learning how to take good care of your clothes will also help you save money. One of the best ways to take care of your clothes is to make sure you are laundering them correctly.
Here are a few of my favorite laundry hacks that I’ve learned over the years to keep clothes looking new and lasting longer.
Tried and True Laundry Hacks
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1. Read the labels
This is actually the first thing you should do before washing anything.
Companies put care labels on clothes for a reason. Make sure you read them and follow their instructions. If the label tells says “lay flat to dry” or “dry clean only”, then you should do just that. Not following those instructions has caused to me have some pretty shrunken sweaters in the past.
Tip: Check the labels before you purchase the clothes. This will save you a lot of time, especially if it’s something you have to dry clean every time you wear it.
2. Pretreat stains right away
Stains happen and they need to be treated right away. Make sure to pretreat stains as soon as possible before tossing the item into the wash. Also, check to see if the stain is gone before throwing the clothing in the dryer because heat-drying will often set a stain permanently.
Tip: Carry baby wipes with you when you go out. When a stain happens, run a baby wipe over it, and instantly the stain is less noticeable and, in some cases, disappears. Make sure to pretreat the stain right away when you get home and wash as usual.
- Click here to learn more about how to pretreat different types of stains.
3. Sort clothes before washing
Sort out whites from colors to keep your white clothes from accidentally turning into an entirely different shade. Some people sort into three piles: whites, lights, and darks. This may be a little more work, but it does help clothes stay truer to color.
Tip: Wash heavily soiled clothing separate from regular clothing.
- To learn more about how to sort clothing, click here.
4. Don’t overwash your clothes
A lot of people believe that you have to wash your clothes every time you wear them. This simply isn’t true. Unless your clothes are really dirty, or sweaty, there’s just no reason to wash them every time. Overwashing your clothes is actually reducing their life, fading the colors, and thinning the fabric.
Of course, I’m not talking about your socks and underwear here. Please wash those things right away! However, jeans specifically can be worn up to 5 times before needing to be washed.
5. Clean your washing machine
If your washing machine is dirty, it’s not really getting your clothes clean. Washing machines gather a build-up of dirt and detergent along with fabric softener if you use it. This grime is not helping your clothes get any cleaner.
- Click here to learn more about cleaning your washing machine.
6. Avoid heat
Heat can actually break down the materials of clothes and make them shrink. One of the best laundry hacks to prevent your clothes from shrinking is to let them air dry.
I understand this isn’t possible for everyone, so if you have to use your clothes dryer, try setting it to low heat. Also, try not to load too many clothes at once so you can reduce the drying time. Another way to reduce drying time is to use wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener.
Tip: Dry whites outside and dark colors inside. Sunlight can lighten dark colors.
7. Close zippers and buttons
Open zippers and buttons can snag other pieces of clothing in the wash. Make sure your pants, jeans, shirts, and jackets are zippered and buttoned before washing.
8. Wash delicate clothes in a mesh bag
Handle delicates with care and avoid snagging and knots by placing them in a mesh bag. After all, they are called delicates for a reason. If possible, hand wash them instead.
Tip: If you can’t find a mesh bag, just use a pillowcase. Place the clothes inside the pillowcase and tie the end together. Simple laundry hacks like this keep your delicates lasting much longer.
9. Turn clothes inside out
This is especially true for darker color clothes and jeans. Turning them inside out keeps the clothing from coming into direct contact with the detergent. This reduces fading and increases the longevity of your clothes. Tossing a color grabber sheet in the wash will also protect dark clothes by absorbing any loose dyes that may be in the water.
10. Use the right temperature
Use the coolest temperature possible when washing your clothes. This prevents clothes from shrinking, wrinkling, and fading. Also, some stains can set into fabric in warm or hot water.
Hot water is usually only needed if something needs to be sanitized. For example, I wash all of my pet bedding together using hot water.
11. Don’t overuse detergent
Using too much detergent can actually leave a film on your clothing and cause whites to turn yellowish. Make sure you read the label on your detergent bottle and follow the recommended instructions.
- To learn how to make your own homemade powdered laundry detergent, click here.
12. Fold clothes right away
There’s nothing worse than opening your dryer and finding it full of wrinkled clothes. Now you have to iron them before putting them away and personally, that’s not something I care to do. To avoid wrinkled clothes, fold your clothes and put them away as soon as possible.
13. Iron carefully
If you do have to iron your clothes, make sure you understand the settings on your iron. Use the proper setting according to the type of material of your clothes. Once again, read the labels before ironing or steaming your clothes and follow the instructions. After all, you don’t need a huge burn mark in the back of your favorite skirt.
14. Invest in good hangers
Avoid cheap wire hangers because they do not support your clothes properly and even misshape the shoulders of blouses and sweaters. Buying the right type of clothes hangers really saved a lot of my sweaters from being damaged.
15. Freeze your tights
Avoid those annoying ladder runs in your tights by soaking them in water and freezing them before you first wear them. Who knew freezing tights would save them?
16. Put lavender in your drawers
Lavender keeps moths and bugs away therefore they’re not nibbling on your clothes. Plus it will keep your drawers smelling nice, too!
- Click here to see how to make your own no-sew lavender-scented drawer sachet.
These laundry hacks will keep your clothes looking great and help them last longer. Saving you money and time!
What are your favorite laundry hacks?