If you’re like me, you often dribble coffee on your blouse – and need to actually vacuum the interior of your purse every now and then (hey, some of us carry emergency snacks). But even if you’re generally tidy, caring for your items is nothing to take lightly – one study found that women spend $125k or more on clothing in a lifetime. After seeing that figure, how could you NOT think of clothing as an investment? With that kind of money I could buy a very nice boat, or a house in Ohio… but as it turns out, I kind of need clothes.
Caring for your clothes and accessories will keep costs down, eliminate the need to buy as frequently, and maintain their value over time. But just like any other chore, who has the time to keep up? Luckily, there ARE a few ways:
Quality Quick Tips
- • Buy pre-shrunk cotton when available to avoid surprises
- • Use bleach when washing all-whites
- • Don’t pull up jeans by the belt loops; most contemporary jeans include elastic, so constantly pulling will shorten its life
- • Read the care tags! There’s nothing worse than pulling a doll-sized sweater out of the washer only to see the tag reads “dry clean only” – I’ve been there about 12 too many times.
- • Spray shoes with a waterproof spray; reapply after each use in the rain
- • Spray leather goods with leather protector – it will maintain its new condition over time
- • Prepare clothing for the wash: Zip up zippers and close snaps to minimize snagging on other garments. Leave blouses unbuttoned so there isn’t pulling. Turn jeans inside out to preserve color better.
- • If your pants are too long, cuff them or tuck them in boots rather than letting them drag on the ground. Even if you look silly while walking from your car to the office, it’s way better than having holes in the bottom of your pants.
- • Sew buttons: make sure you can sew a button so you can repair on the fly. Keep a mini sewing kit with you for emergencies – voila, instant fix!
- • Remove shoe scuffs – remove them from patent leather by dipping a Q-tip in nail polish remover and gently scrub it away. With canvas and other materials, use a toothbrush and soap to buff scuffs out. Just always make sure to test on an inconspicuous area first.
- • Fix Zippers: Stuck, broken, or loose zippers can break any jeans or bag. This article on LifeHacker suggests fixing a stuck zipper by adding a little Windex to the teeth to get it moving again. For zippers that won’t close, see which of the teeth are sticking out of place and use pliers to push them straight again.
- • Clean the lining of your purse: First clean out your bag – find a few long lost items? Now, take some time to hand wash the lining to avoid surprises. Check the interior tag for the material, and remove stains accordingly with water and mild soap. If that doesn’t work, you can always contact the brand for appropriate ways to clean the material.
Overnight Fixes (that take two seconds):
- • Sprinkle baking soda in your shoes. Let sit overnight and shake them out the next morning. This will keep the soles of shoes new and bacteria free – truly adding years to your shoe’s lifetime.
- • If you have shoes that you suspect need a new lining try putting them in Ziploc bags, and leaving them in the freezer for 12 hours. This will eliminate any bacterial build up, essentially rebooting the fiber contents. Much less costly and time consuming than covering up the problem with an entirely new sole.
Do you have any quick tips for keeping clothes as good as new? Share it with us here.