How to Maintain Your Clothes

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Home Improvement

Proper care and storage are essential for preserving the quality of your clothes. In addition to washing and repairing them correctly, it’s crucial to protect them from moths, moisture, and sunlight if you want to store them for a season or longer.

Here are some tips to help you maintain your clothes:

General Clothing Maintenance

  • Apply clear nail polish to the center of each button of a new garment to seal the threads.
  • Use tape with the sticky side out to remove lint from small areas quickly.
  • Create a do-it-yourself lint remover by wrapping adhesive tape around a rolled-up magazine.
  • Brush clothes with the nap to remove dust and lint effectively.
  • Occasionally rub zipper teeth with wax to keep the zipper working smoothly.
  • Hang a garment on the shower rod and run hot water into the bathtub to de-wrinkle it in a hurry using steam.

Seasonal Storage

If you want to preserve your wool sweaters and heirloom items correctly, it’s essential to take extra care when storing them. Proper storage will prevent moth holes, mildew, and the need for replacements.

Preventing Moths:

  • Use new garbage cans as storage containers for clothing. If they’re airtight and you store freshly cleaned clothes in them, you won’t need to use mothballs.
  • If your cedar closet no longer smells of cedar, sand its surfaces lightly to release a fresh cedar odor that deters moths.
  • Clean all clothes before storing them to remove any moth eggs because the cedar odor only repels moths and doesn’t kill them.
  • Place mothproofing products as high as possible in the closet because the fumes filter downward.

Preventing Moisture:

To prevent mildew from forming in a leather purse while storing it, stuff it with crumpled newspaper and leave it unfastened. In areas with high humidity, corrugated boxes can be used for storing clothes if you coat the box with shellac to keep out moisture.

If you want to take care of your shoes, you can neaten up the frayed ends of shoelaces by dipping them in clear nail polish and remove scuff marks on shoes by rubbing with a baking-soda paste. Petroleum jelly and furniture polish can be used to shine leather shoes, while spray starch can be applied on new fabric tennis shoes to make them easier to clean. Baking soda can be used to clean the rubber on athletic shoes, and lemon juice can be used to clean and shine black or tan leathers. Hair spray and hand lotion can also be used to shine shoes.

To clean winter boots, use a cloth dipped in a solution of 1 cup water and 1 tablespoon vinegar, and to shine patent-leather shoes, use a soft cloth dipped in vinegar. Sprinkling a little salt in shoes that are starting to smell can help control moisture, which contributes to odors. Baking soda can also be used to control odor and moisture in shoes.

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1. How often should I wash my clothes?

It depends on the type of clothing and how often you wear it. Generally, clothes worn close to the skin, such as underwear and socks, should be washed after every use. Shirts and pants can be worn a few times before needing to be washed. However, if you sweat heavily or spill something on your clothes, it’s best to wash them right away.

2. How should I sort my laundry?

Sort your laundry by color and fabric type. Whites and light colors should be washed separately from dark colors to avoid color bleeding. Delicate fabrics, such as silk and wool, should be washed separately or placed in a mesh laundry bag to prevent damage. Be sure to read the care labels on your clothing for specific washing instructions.

3. How do I remove stains from my clothes?

The best way to remove a stain depends on the type of stain and the fabric of the clothing. For example, grease stains can be removed with dish soap or laundry detergent, while blood stains should be treated with cold water. Always blot the stain, rather than rubbing it, to avoid spreading it. If you’re unsure how to remove a stain, take the clothing to a professional cleaner.

4. How do I properly dry my clothes?

Check the care labels on your clothing to determine if they should be air-dried or tumble dried. Clothes that are air-dried should be hung on a clothesline or drying rack. Clothes that are tumble dried should be removed promptly from the dryer to avoid wrinkles. Avoid overdrying your clothes, as this can damage the fabric.

5. How do I store my clothes?

Store your clothes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. Hang clothes that are prone to wrinkling, such as dress shirts and pants, on hangers. Fold clothes that are less likely to wrinkle, such as t-shirts and jeans, and store them in drawers or on shelves. Avoid overcrowding your closet, as this can cause clothes to become wrinkled or misshapen.

6. How do I extend the life of my clothes?

Follow the care instructions on your clothing and avoid exposing them to harsh chemicals, such as bleach or fabric softener. Avoid using high heat when washing or drying clothes, as this can damage the fabric. Rotate your clothing to prevent excessive wear and tear on specific items. Finally, consider investing in high-quality clothing that is designed to last.

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