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How to take care of your clothes so they last longer

Man holding up a white button down shirt on a hanger and man sitting on the couch giving a thumbs up

Fast fashion has made it so that new clothes are at our fingertips every day. But this false sense of endless buying means that many of us don’t take proper care of the items we already own and love. By taking better care of your wardrobe, you can spend less on new clothes, maintain your favorite items for years down the road, and live more sustainably.

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How can we take care of our clothes?

Keeping a well-maintained wardrobe depends on having good washing practices, organized hanging and folding, and buying items made of high-quality materials. By treating your items with care as you wear them, and as you clean and store them, you can extend the life span of your favorite items and reduce your waste levels.

What are 10 tips to take care of your clothes?

Organized washing and storing practices also help clothes keep their form, color, and optimal texture so they stay fresh and new for years on end. Here are some tricks you can follow to be sure you are taking care of your clothing.

1. Read clothing care symbols

Located in clothing labels, these symbols will indicate what temperature to wash the garment, whether or not to dry it, and if it needs to be ironed. Each triangle, circle, and square icon contained in your clothing means something different, so be sure to understand them before you wash.

2. Don’t overload the machine

Many customers tend to try to fit all of their laundry into one load per week. Just remember it's quality over quantity, and over-loading the machine will reduce the efficiency, harm the machine in the long-term, and cause your clothes to get increasingly tangled and stretched out during the wash.

3. Choose high-quality laundry detergents

Pick name brands or eco-friendly laundry detergent to ensure you are not washing your clothes in chemicals that will ultimately rip them up over time. Brands like Seventh Generation and 9 Elements are notable for being eco-friendly.

4. Wash clothes regularly

When you wash your clothes often, you'll fight against unnecessary stains that can come from food, everyday life, or sweat. Especially when it comes to your lighter or white garments, you will want to wash these after each wear, so you don’t start to see the color of the garment fade to grey.

5. Hand wash clothes that are delicate

For silky or lacy items, wash them gently in a bowl of water with soap to avoid the aggressive wash of the machine. The fast spin and entanglement with other garments can cause these items to rip easily and become unwearable.

6. Iron items with pleats

To avoid having your clothes lose their form and structure, iron items that have pleats or structure, like work trousers and button up shirts. Not only will it remove wrinkles, but it will also help keep the collar and cuffs intact.

7. Get your clothing repaired

If you have an item where the zipper breaks, button falls off, or seam rips, bring it to a seamstress for repair. Although fast fashion makes it easy to access new items daily, there is no need to throw out clothes with a small flaw, and getting repairs can help you keep your favorite clothes for a lifetime.

8. Pick fabrics that are high quality

If you buy higher-quality materials to begin with, your clothing will last longer. Read the clothing label as you shop and prioritize items that are made of cotton or canvas, as they will likely be more durable over time.

9. Fold knitted items

For sweaters and other knitted garments, keep them folded in a drawer or on a shelf, rather than hanging them on hangers, to avoid stretching them out and losing shape in the shoulders.

10. Wash white garments separately

Keep the bright, clean glow of your white clothing by washing it separately. Even if you don’t think your clothes are bleeding their color, they are causing your white t-shirts to slowly fade over time.

Get protection with Mulberry Unlimited

If you prioritize taking care of your items and purchases, subscribe to Mulberry Unlimited so you can get product protection for all your online purchases under the same plan.

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Justin Smith

About the author

Justin Smith has written about everything from stock market investing to electric vehicles, most recently for SuperMoney, Mulberry and EverLaw. Apart from optimizing the latest blog content and hunting for the perfect keywords, he also enjoys going on long runs.

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