Home > Uncategorized > 5 Ways to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

Comments 0 Comments

Sweat stains? Fading colors? Pilling? Missing buttons? We have all been there with our clothes, and it can be seriously frustrating.

The average American spends roughly 4% of their household income on clothing every year — that can add up significantly when you’re on a tight budget. We’ve probably all heard that buying used at thrift stores or swapping clothes with friends can help you cut back on expensive clothing purchases, but these aren’t your only options. Taking proper care of your clothing can give them a longer life and help you save through a lower wardrobe budget. Check out the tips below to improve your clothing care.

1. Give Clothing a Rest

Even though playing favorites with clothing is natural, it’s a good idea to rotate your shoes and apparel so they do not wear out prematurely. Bottoms and footwear take the biggest brunt of wear, so you may want to try and give them a rest. This goes for cleaning as well as wearing. Washing and dry cleaning expose your clothing to harsh chemicals that can harm fabric. While socks, underwear and swimwear can go only one wear before wash, other items can often be worn two to five times before washing. (Of course if you sweat excessively or get an item dirty, you may have to wash it sooner.) Don’t let that gross you out — your garments (and wallet) will thank you.

2. Read the Label

It may seem obvious, but ignoring the care instructions can damage your clothing. This is easy to avoid. The clothing producer knows most about the product, so it’s important to be conscious of what is safe in the dryer, what needs hot or cold water, and what can’t be exposed to bleach. You can also separate items of different fabric, color and dirtiness.

3. Store Properly

It makes sense to keep out-of-season items out of the way, but it’s important to make sure things are being stored in the best way for preservation. Cheap hangers run the risk of stretching the shoulders of your garments, while wooden hangers can provide the necessary support for heavier items. It’s a good idea to keep storage spaces breathable so clothes aren’t crushed or getting musty. This also applies for jamming your closet or drawers full of clothes.

4. Take Care When Washing

The best way to protect your clothes from fading or wearing usually means using cold water and less detergent. You can try turning things inside out to further avoid color bleeding and fading. Also secure all Velcro and zippers closures so nothing sticks or snags to other pieces of clothing.

5. Avoid the Dryer

Exposing your fabrics to high heat can cause fading, shrinking and elastic stretching. The balls of lint that you remove from your dryer are actually pieces of your clothing. It is best to use your dryer sparingly and line or hang-dry your clothes when possible. If you do have to use the dryer, cut down on the time clothes are in there by using dryer balls.

Whether you want to focus more on saving for retirement or paying down debt, don’t let your clothing wardrobe dominate your budget. With these simple tips, you can find your current clothes last longer and you have less need to buy new.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team