We’ve all been there. That t-shirt you bought just a couple of weeks ago is starting to look dull and your favourite jeans look a bit worn-down.
It is possible, however, to give your favourite items a second and maybe even third life. Here are 7 helpful and nifty tricks to bring those now-dull pieces back to life so that you can show them off time and time again.
1. Wash in cold water
Washing your clothes in warm water does have its benefits. It can help stop your clothes smelling mildewy and can help soiled clothing but should only be done when this odour occurs or if the item is heavily soiled.
Any other time, it’s fine to wash your clothes in cold water. It’s good for the environment, great for your electricity bill and even better for the longevity of your garments. The clothes will be just as clean and the threads will last longer.
2. Wash clothes inside-out
I know I’m probably sounding a lot like your mother here (if she’s anything like mine, she’ll have banged on about this at some point) but it’s important to wash your clothes inside out. The most important part of your garments is the outside, so it only seems logical to protect it from the intensity of a washing machine. Items with any of the following should always be washed inside out:
- Any other intricate detailing
3. Brighten with vinegar not bleach
When it comes to whites, there are a lot of people who will swear by bleach to keep said items bright and full of life. Fortunately for you (and the environment) vinegar does the same job, only better. Chlorine bleach wears out the fibres of your clothes—unlike vinegar.
4. Read the labels
Those tags inside clothing really can be quite irritating sometimes but they are there for a reason. Before washing any item, read the labels! It will tell you how to wash the item (and more importantly, how not to) and even what setting they should be washed on.
Remember: A garment which says “wash in hot water” can be washed in cold but washing cold water garments in warm water can be damaging.
5. Wrap your clothes the right way
If you keep some of your clothes tucked away in plastic boxes or even wrap them in plastic bags, this could be contributing to your clothes losing their life. The Laundry Station says that plastic breaks down over time and can interact with the fabric- weakening or changing the colour. Keeping your clothes in plastic can also trap in humidity which can give your garments that mildew odour. Instead, use cotton or cloth.
6. Laundry detergent: Choose wisely
It’s easy to have one laundry detergent or one brand, at least, that you use and you don’t really shop around to see what else is out there to suit your needs better. It happens to the best of us. You stick to what you know.
Unfortunately, this could be costing you in every way. Find a detergent that is specifically formulated to be gentle on clothes and prevent colour fade. To prevent black clothes from fading in the wash you could use Woolite Extra Dark Protection, which is designed to help your clothes keep their shape and stop them from fading. Have a shop around for some extra-gentle laundry liquid and your clothes will thank you later.
7. Treat stains A.S.A.P!
This one may sound obvious but with a lot of products out there claiming to remove stains that have been there for days, many people get lazy with it. The fact of the matter is, the longer the stain is there; the harder it is to remove.
If you treat the stain as soon as possible, you’re more likely to get a better result. You’re also more likely to be able to treat it without harsh chemicals which may damage your garment. There are small, to-go stain remover pens which you can carry around with you to treat stains as soon as they happen. Some of the most popular are Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Pens, which can be used for quickly dealing with tea, coffee, tomato and wine stains, among many others.
In The Wash is your guide to the best laundry and cleaning products, tips and tricks. Our mission is to solve the UK’s cleaning and laundry dilemmas!