How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

Ready to extend the life of your wardrobe? Here are my top 8 tips for keeping your clothes looking like new — simple and easy enough for your busy lifestyle.

Start with a Clean Machine

Ever get that mildew smell in your washing machine? It hangs around on your clothes and is less than pleasant. I clean my front load washing machine with these tabs, and it leaves my machine so clean. I really notice the difference in my clothes. 

Washing Machine Cleaner
DIY Stain Remover

Treat Stains with the Best DIY Stain Remover

Stains happen. Treat them as soon as possible with this DIY solution.

1 part blue Dawn dishsoap

1 part baking soda

2 parts peroxide

I keep this solution in a glass jar next to my laundry detergent. Just rub a little on the stain with a toothbrush and throw it in the wash or let it set if you aren’t washing right away. It even gets out baby stains!

Zip and Button Before Washing

There’s nothing worse than taking your clothes out of the washing machine and seeing that an item got snagged on a zipper in the wash. Prevent snags by zipping and buttoning all items before adding to your load.

Denim Zipper
Laundry color catcher sheet

Use a Color Catcher Sheet

These sheets are magic! I throw one in every single load (two if I have brand new items that might have more dye). The dye is actually trapped in the sheet at the end of the wash cycle. 

I do sort my loads into darks and lights, but I haven’t had a color bleed issue since using these.

Wash Denim with Vinegar

Dark indigo and black denim tends to fade or crock. Keep your dark denim dark by doing a vinegar soak on your new denim before the first wash. 

1 cup vinegar

2 Tbsp table salt

Soak at least an hour before you wash them for the first time. This helps lock in the dye and keeps them beautiful.

washing machine temperature settings

Avoid High Heat

I wash my clothes in cold or warm water only. High heat is great for towels and linens when it’s important to kill germs, but cold temperatures are better for retaining shape in your clothes. Avoiding heat is especially important for athletic wear to maintain elasticity and stretch. 

Hang Dry

Not only does air drying your clothes help reduce shrinkage, but it keep the fibers more intact. When clothes rub up against each other, the fibers wear or even pill (those annoying little balls of fuzz that can gather on your clothes). Personally, I find that hanging my clothes to dry on a drying rack saves me time. I only have to run one cycle in the washing machine, hang everything up, and I’m done. Then, I put it all away the next day.

clothes rack for air drying
how to use a fabric shaver

Use a Fabric Shaver

Fabric pills. It happens most often where fabric rubs against itself, like near the armpits of your tops or the inner thighs of joggers. The best solution I have found is a simple electric fabric shaver. It cleans up the appearance and feel of even your most-worn pieces, making them look new again.

results of fabric shaver

Let me know in the comments if you try any of these tips. I wish you a long lasting wardrobe!


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