Buying new clothes all the time can be fun if you love to go shopping, but it gets expensive! Even if you’re a Grade A bargain hunter, it’s better for your wallet and for the environment to buy better quality clothing and take good care of it. Keeping your clothes looking fresh isn’t necessarily difficult, either.
Wash less often A common thing to do is to wash something after wearing it once. How many hours did you wear it? Were you exerting a lot of energy and sweating when you wore it? If you only wore something half a day for leisurely activities, you can typically hang it back up to air out. Things like sweaters, jackets, and loose-fitting jeans can go a number of wears without being washed. This will prevent unnecessary wear on your clothes.
Separate clothing by color and by weight Washing delicates in with jeans can tear up your finer things. Wash paints and heavy clothing together while saving thinner tops and delicates for a separate cycle.
Check the temperature Your clothing will tell you how to wash it, which is helpful. As a rule, cold water does less harm to your clothes than warm. However, if your workout clothes may need to be washed in warm or hot water to get the sweat or deodorant out. Bonus – using cold water uses less energy, too.
Wash and dry inside out This will protect the exterior of your clothes from fading as much when you wash them.
Air dry more Over-drying clothes will fade, shrink, or damage them. Some drying is fine, but most things are better air dried most of the way and gently dried to soften them up. Or you can do it the other way- dry them part the way in the dryer, then take them out and hang them up or use a folding laundry rack to dry them on. If you have to pay extra to use a dryer, this is a great way to save money on your laundry.
Working retail taught me many things. Aside from teaching me that people shopping for clothes can be difficult and needy (I would never…) it taught me how to keep a stack of clothing pristine looking and uniform no matter what size the shirt was or what style. Perhaps not the most valuable of life skills, but when you’re doing laundry in your apartment and open your shirt drawer to find an absolute disaster it’s not such a terrible thing to know.
Where I worked, we used a folding board to do the trick. You can make your own from cardboard or wood (just make sure the wooden edges are sanded very smooth to prevent snagging) or you can use a clipboard, which is what we did half the time anyway. Use this quick video to show you how you can quickly fold all your shirts to a uniform size, free of wrinkles.
If you don’t like the folding board trick, you can try out Kon Mari which integrates a more mindful approach to caring for your clothing and subsequently makes it easy to store and attractive looking. You can use this video here to see how.
Doing laundry is a necessity and a fact of life no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately, the detergent companies are well aware of this and love to sell consumers highly priced laundry detergents. If you have a little bit of patience, you can make your detergent for a lot less in the long run. If you have sensitive skin, this may be the best option for you anyway as it will be unscented and mostly chemical free unless you choose otherwise.
Here’s what you need:
1 Bar Fels-Naptha or Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
A Plastic or Glass Airtight Container
(Add several TBSP Oxi Clean if you want to add extra stain fighting power)
Grate the entire bar of soap using a hand-held grater. If you want to chop the soap up more finely, use a food processor to create a powder from the soap. Mix with the other ingredients and store in the airtight container. Each load of laundry only needs a rounded tablespoon of the detergent formula, which should be put in the washing machine BEFORE your laundry. This will ensure the mixture dissolves completely and doesn’t leave any powdery spots on your clothes.
There are multiple ways to make your own detergent, so for more recipes take a look here.
No one likes chores. From yard work to doing dishes, nothing will make chores more fun, but they can be made easier. Of all of the household chores, I personally think doing the laundry is one of the easier tasks because a big percentage of the time is the clothes just being in the washer and dryer. However, that does not mean that sorting and folding the clothes can’t be made easier.
- Pre-sort your clothes. Instead of just throwing all of your dirty clothes into one clothes hamper (or the floor), get two hampers and only put white clothes in one and put colored clothing in the other. This way, when it comes time to get to cleaning, you don’t have to sort through 2, 3, or even 4 weeks of dirty clothes.
- Pre-treat stains. Whether you use a stain treatment or you just apply some laundry detergent right to the stain, don’t wait until right before you do laundry to do so. Apply the treatment to the stain right away for best results. Also, if the stain does not come out after one wash, do not put in the dryer because that may help the stain set. Apply more treatment to the stain and don’t be afraid to put it through another wash.
- Put small items in a mesh bag before you put them in the washer. Small items like underwear and socks can go in the mesh bag so that panties don’t get tangled up into balls and your socks always stay close to their other halves.
Happy laundry going!