There are lots of good reasons to keep your clothes looking and feeling good for longer.
Cost is one. Shopping for new clothes can be a drain on your budget.
Lots of people love to shop for new apparel, some not so much. If you fall into the second group, you’ll be especially keen to get as many wears out of your existing wardrobe as possible.
Perhaps there’s a piece or two in your closet that you adore so much, you never want them to wear out.
Or perhaps you feel passionate about the drain on the planet that the fashion and textile industry cause. Buying as few brand-new garments as possible will be important to you.
Not to mention time. Who wants to spend their free time doing laundry?
Whatever your reasons for wanting your clothes to live longer, it’s pretty straightforward to want to expand the lifespan of your garments. Here are nine tips to get you started from a professional laundry or clean and press service.
1. Avoid overwashing…
Here’s a game changer. Try to avoid washing garments unless they actually smell bad or are visibly dirty.
We all love clothes that look and smell fresh and clean. However, you need to be mindful that laundering your clothes is the time when they are getting the most wear and tear. All the motions of a washing machine- spinning, bashing and rubbing against other garments- are a stress on the garment. The fewer times you wash your garments the better from a durability point of view.
While you’ll always want to wash socks, underwear and gym gear after one wear for hygiene reasons, try to wear other items more than once. To achieve this, protect clothes from food spills by using aprons for cooking and napkins while eating. Avoid cosmetic stains by dressing after you’ve applied your makeup, deodorant and perfume.
2. …but avoid underwashing, too
Excited to do less laundry? Don’t push the idea of washing less too hard. While overwashing will damage your clothes, so might underwashing. Stains, particularly from food and makeup, should be addressed immediately using an appropriate stain remover. Leaving the stain to dry may set it and make it impossible to get out, meaning another garment in the garbage.
Odors and other kinds of dirt can set, too. So don’t leave laundry hanging around too long. Otherwise, you may need to use more aggressive washing tactics to get it clean, undoing all your good work.
3. Follow the instructions on the garment label
Most of us are guilty of cutting corners on laundry, and not taking the time to read garment labels must be high on the list of laundry sins. However, these instructions are created by designers and manufacturers to help you out. They’ve tested how best to wash the garment for an improved lifespan. It makes sense to use what they’ve learned.
4. Use cooler water
Hot washes are billed as more hygienic. However, they aren’t doing your fabrics much good. Today’s detergents are much better at removing dirt, odors and stains at lower temperatures so you may be washing hotter than needed. Dial down the temperature whenever possible.
5. Avoid tumble dryers
Just as your washer is putting strain on your clothes, so is your dryer. The motions of your dryer as well as the higher temperatures put a lot of strain on your garments. Dryer use can cause bobbling and shrinking. Of course, switching off your dryer has environmental and cost benefits, too.
The kindest, most economical way to dry garments is to air dry in a warm, well-ventilated place. Your clothes need to dry fairly quickly to avoid gaining a damp, musty smell. Dry in warm, breezy air to get that crisp, fresh smell. But avoid hanging clothes in the sun for longer than necessary as this can fade colors.
6. Cut back on detergent
Most of us are guilty of using too much detergent. This is not only costing you money, but it’s also bad for your clothes. Excess detergent will cause a residue build-up on your clothes. This can lead to unsightly marks or a sticky feeling, meaning you’ll need to rewash. Detergent also removes color over time, so less is more from your clothes’ point of view.
Excess detergent is bad for washing machines, too. Residue will be building up inside and may shorten the lifespan of your machine. If your washing machine is beginning to smell bad and that smell is coming out on your clothes, you likely have a detergent build-up that needs cleaning up.
7. Protect your clothes in the wash
Owning a set of mesh laundry bags is a simple way to reduce the chances of damage to your clothes. Simply separate delicate items into a bag to add a barrier between them and other garments. Or prevent damage by putting items with zips or metal clasps into a bag. This will prevent them from catching and snagging on other pieces of clothing.
8. Change your buying habits
No matter how carefully you wash your clothes, no garment will last forever. However, you can be sure that cheap clothing made from flimsier fabric and using poorer workmanship won’t last long at all. Consider ditching fast fashion, if that’s your thing, and only buying classic, well-made pieces that are designed to last.
9. Use a professional laundry service
Worried that you don’t have enough time or inclination to change the way you launder your clothes? Well, there is another way. Investing in a professional laundry and dry cleaning service will repay you in time away from the washer and dryer. You can expect your clothes to be very well looked after.
A professional laundry service should be an expert in returning your clothes fresh and clean but with minimal wear and tear. Look for a service that uses low-impact, environmentally friendly detergents. They should be committed to careful sorting of fabrics for appropriate cleaning, and using air drying technology to minimize the impact of laundering, too.
This amazing kind of laundry, ironing and recycling service in Dubai is out there. You can trust them to take great care of every garment, even your designer pieces. The best services will collect from your door and drop it off back there, too, meaning you can say goodbye to the strain of doing laundry forever. Look forward to beautiful, fresh and long-lasting clothes with virtually no effort required.
Rami Shaar is co-founder and CEO of Washmen, a top-notch online dry cleaning and laundry service in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Rami has a bachelors in Commerce from Concordia University and has filled BD, product, operations, and IR roles throughout his career. He has worked at Morgan Stanley, Swicorp and Uber before co-founding Washmen.