Tried and True Tips to Increase the Life of your Clothes


Growing up we owned a campground. My grandfather built a laundromat out back of our house for guests. I grew to love the humming of the machines, the warmth from the dryers, and the fresh clean smell. I would sit for hours soaking up the sun in the big bay windows while watching my grandma care for our clothes.


My grandmother’s generation did not have access to clothing like we do today. Clothes were well made, well cared for and kept for a long time. The techniques I learned by watching her I still apply today.

1. Hang Clothes out on the Line to Dry

Dryers can be very harsh on clothing. The lint you clean out of your dryer is little pieces of your clothes coming apart. Put a line outside and watch your clothes blowing in the breeze like in the old days.

2. Wash your Clothes Less

Wash your clothes less. With two small boys who love to go on adventures, I do a LOT of laundry. If we wear nice clothes to an event however, I change them into “play clothes” when we get home and hang the good ones up immediately. I do the same! As for my clothes, I try to get at least two days out of a shirt by hanging it up after wear to air out and several days out of pants.

3. Spot Clean

If  you get a stain, spot clean immediately. Hang the garment up to dry once the stain is removed. If its otherwise clean no need to go through an entire wash cycle for nothing.

4. Hand Wash Clothing

Hand wash clothing as much as possible. If you love the way a dress or bra fit before the first wash, just know they will most likely never fit as well after a run through a spin cycle. Even the “hand wash” option is not as good as a quick hand wash in the basin and line dry. To keep the integrity of your clothing, hand wash as much as possible.

5. Turn off the Heat

Use cold water as much as possible. Hot water is known for causing shrinkage and is harder on garments. I also apply this technique with the dryer using low heat to fluff something.

6. Learn to Sew

Even just simple repairs will enable you to mend small damages and will extend the life of your clothes. Plus, it is a small sense of empowerment to be able to fix things for yourself.


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