1. Start with the washing machine
You may not know this but, some washing machines are better for your clothes than others. If you find that your clothes are looking worn out more quickly than you’d expect, your washing machine may be to blame! If you are in the market for a new washer, you’ll want to look for a top loading machine that has a large drum. They react to clothes better than small stackable units. This might not be possible if you live in a smaller apartment or condo with a laundry closet, but look for the best you can find. It will help your clothes last longer and might even be more energy efficient, which is also good for the environment.
2. Separate your clothes by color
While it may be tempting to put everything in the washer together, taking a few minutes to separate by color makes a huge difference in the longevity of your clothes.
The dyes used to make your clothes can easily bleed and run, even when you’ve washed them hundreds of times before, or put everything on a delicate cycle. Not only will this dull the appearance of the original item, but it could ruin other pieces that you have in the wash with it. No one wants to wear a white t-shirt that has been tinted yellow or pink from being washed with other colors too many times!
3. Follow all of the care directions on the label
Care labels are there for a reason, particularly to avoid shrinking or fabric discoloration, so always take a look at the instructions before running a load of laundry.
If the directions are for hand-wash only, you can use the delicate cycle on your washing machine as a perfectly fine substitute. Most modern machines work very well and some even have a separate hand-wash cycle.
When you have more delicate fabrics, like silk or leather, following care directions and finding a professional you trust is especially important. You don’t want to take these fine items to just any dry cleaner and hope they know how to handle it. It will make them last much longer and make your investment in quality pieces go further.