Hello, my name is Sarah Mueller and I blog over at Early Bird Mom. Today I’m sharing with you how to properly care for new clothes.
I recently invested in some new clothes. A friend of mine dresses beautifully so I asked her for some laundry tips to keep these clothes looking great longer.
Here’s what I found out about about doing laundry…
I was doing laundry all wrong! Imagine – a mom of 4 who’s been doing laundry for over 2 decades – learning that she’s been handling her clothes improperly for years. I was the reason my clothes weren’t holding up and lasting longer!
So here are the laundry tips I learned to keep my own clothes looking their best.
How to Properly Care for New Clothes
(Almost) always wash in cold water on the short cycle
My clothes aren’t getting that dirty (unlike my children!) and washing them on warm or hot subjects them to more wear than they need. Ditto for using the longer wash cycles. Unless I have something that’s really dirty, I now wash all my own clothes on a gentle cycle in cold water.
Turn your clothes inside out before washing
If you turn an item inside out, you can avoid those little pills on sweaters and fraying on the seams.
This was one step I was always too busy to do, but now that I’m paying attention, it really isn’t a big deal as I’m loading the washing machine.
Wash only like items together
Don’t let your jeans and towels rough up your nicer tops and pants. Although my laundry system is based on doing different loads on different days, I would often fill up a smaller load with a towel. Big mistake!
Equally important is to wash those dirty kid things separately!
Find those stains before washing and use a good stain pre-treatment
I was getting little grease stains on my clothes (hello my sweet son who likes to kiss me with a dirty face!). But I wasn’t catching those stains before washing.
Now I quickly check over my shirts before I throw them in the washing machine. A quick dab with some stain remover (or essential oils) and it saves a nice shirt from looking like a paint smock. I’m also wearing an apron more often while cooking to protect my clothes.
Get the How to Properly Care for New Clothes printable here and hang it in your laundry room, so you can remember them.
Use a gentle detergent
Happily, this was one thing I am doing correctly. My homemade powdered laundry detergent is super gentle and only requires half a tablespoon.
Skip the dryer
The dryer adds yet more wear to your clothes. Most nicer clothes do better by being hung or laid flat to dry. This does take a little extra time, but it really makes a big difference. Plus, air-drying saves electricity!
Stretch and shape your clothes when you take them out to dry
Some fabrics tend to shrink a bit in the wash, but you can gently stretch them back into shape. Just pull on the seams while they’re still wet to stretch them back to the proper length. I wish I knew this before I donated a pile of too-short t-shirts!
You may not want to follow these tips for your kids. Their clothes might need hot water and a longer wash cycle. You might not want to take the time to turn their things inside out (or just have them do that task!) You probably don’t want to hang up 10 little t-shirts.
But for a woman who wants to look nice, these tips are a small price to pay.
Whether you buy your clothes new or give thrift store finds a little extra TLC, your clothing is an investment. Take a little extra care to protect that investment and you’ll be able to enjoy your best clothes for many years!
Sarah Mueller believes that outer order contributes to inner calm! She’s a sometimes frazzled mom to 4 boys in PA, encourager to moms everywhere, and author of Step-by-Step Decluttering.