A guide to caring for your clothes to ensure longevity

Welcome to our guide on how to care for your clothes to ensure longevity and keep them looking fresh for years. Sticking to these techniques, detergent selection, and storage tips will help extend the life of your clothes so you can get the most out of them.

Why does it matter how I wash my clothes?

Washing your clothes the correct way matters because it preserves their quality, appearance, and lifespan. Using proper techniques and detergents prevents fading, stretching, and wear, extending the life of your garments. Following care instructions, sorting, and treating stains promptly saves money and supports sustainability.

So what should I do?

Here are 12 ways you can ensure each garment is cared for correctly.

1. Read the Labels: Always check the care instructions on clothing labels before washing. Follow the recommended washing method and temperature to prevent damage. 

Tip - Some labels only have symbols so here's a guide on what each one means. If any of these have an 'X' through them, it is not recommended. eg Don't Tumble Dry.

2. Rotate Your Clothes: Avoid excessive wear on specific garments by rotating them regularly. This gives each item time to rest between wears and reduces wear and tear.

Example - Have a few staple colours (or multiples of your preferred coloured tee) and rotate daily. Then repeat the cycle.

3. Avoid Over washing: Not all clothes need to be washed after every wear. Avoid overwashing to prevent unnecessary strain on fabrics. Assess items for visible stains, odours, or signs of dirt before deciding to wash.

4. Zip Up and Turn Inside Out:
Before washing, zip up zippers and turn garments like jeans, jackets, and hoodies inside out. This helps preserve their appearance and prevents snags.

5. Sort by Colour and Fabric:
Sort your laundry into different loads based on colour and fabric type. Washing similar fabrics together prevents abrasion and colour bleeding.

Example - Below is a guide on what colours are an ideal pairing when washing.

6. Use Cold Water: Washing clothes in cold water helps preserve colours, reduce shrinking, and saves energy.

7. Use Gentle Cycle:
For delicate items or clothing prone to wear, use the gentle or delicate cycle to minimise agitation.

8. Use the Right Detergent:
Choose a mild detergent that suits your clothes and their colours. Harsh detergents can damage fabrics over time. Also, skin irritation can be a consequence of using harsh detergent.

Tip - Eco Store is a great option as they are both eco friendly and good for sensitivity. They also have a number of refill stations around the country to reduce waste.

9. Avoid Overloading the Machine:
Give your clothes enough space to move freely in the washing machine. Overloading can cause friction and lead to premature wear.

10. Air Dry When Possible (if not every time):
Whenever feasible, air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer. High heat can weaken fibres and fade colours.

11. Properly Store Seasonal Clothing:
Clean and store seasonal clothes properly when not in use. Use breathable garment bags and keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

12. Address Stains Promptly:
Treat stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting. Follow the appropriate stain removal techniques for different types of stains.

Tip - If you are to take a damp cloth to a stain, it is important to remember to dab and NOT rub. Rubbing can stretch the fibres and spread the stain as well as making it set deeper.

Tip - Wonder Soap or a stain removal spray are always handy products to have for harsh/tough stains. 

By following these guidelines, you can extend the life of your clothes and enjoy them for longer, reducing the need for frequent replacements and contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle.