Caring for Your Clothes: 12 Ways You’re Accidentally Ruining Them

Annoying t-shirt holes, stains that won’t budge and how do those underwire wires come loose? If you’ve ever wondered why your clothes just don’t seem to last as long as they should, there’s more to caring for your clothes than you realise and these reasons could explain it all.

Sure there are obvious reasons why your clothes could be ruined – pulling cropped tops to cover mum-tums or squeezing into activewear a size too small are a couple of main offenders but what about the more sneaky ways?

Take a look at these suggestions below – there could be some things you didn’t even realise you’re doing!

Caring For Your Clothes: 12 things you could actually be doing wrong!

1. Your bras need extra care

The quickest way to ruin your favourite bra is to throw it in the wash with all your other clothes. Make sure your bras are clasped together so the hooks don’t snag on the bowl (or your favourite knitted piece) and place them in a lingerie bag to prevent stretching tangles and wires from being bent or popping out.

2. Treat stains immediately and gently

One minute you have a beautiful white shirt, the next minute you don’t. The longer you leave a stain untreated, the harder it’s going to be to get out. Having said that, you can’t whip a shirt off in the middle of a restaurant. If you are caught short, gently blot the stain, don’t rub – and if you can, rinse the area with water. As soon as you can, treat it with a stain remover and wash it.

Take stain removal seriously, guys. Immediately and gently. via GIPHY

3. The cause of mysterious t-shirt holes

I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t suffered from weird holes appearing in their t-shirt for no apparent reason. But there is a reason, and that’s FRICTION. It could be that you lean against a kitchen benchtop a lot cooking or washing up, your belt buckle rubs, the top of your denim jeans rub, your jeans button … it ALL contributes to those tiny – and very annoying – midriff holes.

4. Don’t wear your favourite clothes while cooking

You might think it’s old fashioned, but an apron is a magnificent way to protect clothes while cooking. GO FIGURE! You mightn’t think you’ve splashed oil on your jumper until you’ve washed it and it’s all too late with a stain that won’t budge. The rule? Don’t wear your favourite clothes and do wear an apron. Not an apron fan? Find a cool one!

Remove your favourite clothes and wear an apron. Got it? via GIPHY

5. Storing your clothes without washing them first

If you’re not washing your clothes before storing them, you’re basically inviting a whole lot of moths, larvae and insects to come and dine on a banquet of skin flakes, hair, crumbs, dust  (and you name it) in the darkness of your wardrobe. The BEST way to store your clothes is to wash, thoroughly dry and pack in an airtight container until next season.

6. You’re leaving your sweaty activewear dumped in a pile

You’ve got home from the gym, peeled off your Lorna Janes and made a beeline for the shower. Don’t leave your clothes in that damp smelly pile, put them in the wash ASAP before sweat sets in with hard to budge stains and odours. Ewwwww.

Your workout isn’t complete until you’re hanging up your washing! via GIPHY

7. You’re washing the WRONG clothes with fabric conditioner

I get it, we all LOVE fabric conditioners. That smell of ocean breeze or a field of springtime daffodils hits us all right in the smug washing feels. The problem is, lycra HATES it. Avoid washing your activewear, gym gear, parts of sports uniforms and swimwear with fabric conditioner as it leaves a film on the fabric contributing to less effective moisture wicking and prevents garments from retaining their shape!

8. You don’t measure your washing liquid

OK let’s be frank here – more suds does NOT mean more clean. In fact, it can make for the opposite.  Adding too much washing detergent to your machine (even just a little extra) causes extra suds and prevents clothes from rubbing together and using friction to release dirt and stains. Excessive suds also makes the rinsing cycle less effective so things are often *crunchy* when dry. The message here? MEASURE YOUR DETERGENT.

The free pour technique doesn’t apply in the laundry. via GIPHY

9. What are these annoying AF balls stuck to my clothes?

Pilling is a gift that keeps on giving. When textiles like wool or cotton bunch up and rub together, it causes fibres to pill (ball up) and then next thing you know your new jumper is looking like it’s from three seasons ago. NEVER FEAR. Wash your woollen jumpers inside out on a gentle cycle and go over them with a lint shaver to gently remove the balls. Do NOT pull them off with your fingers or you’ll just create more drama. Trust me.

10. Be mindful of your accessories

We all know accessories make the outfit, but it can quickly ruin it too. Look out for rings, earrings and long nails that can snag and pull delicate fabrics!

Watch your BLING, girl. via GIPHY

11. Not everything can go in the dryer

Handy as it is to dry things in a hurry, the clothes dryer is no place for swimwear, bras, lace garments, woollen jumpers or anything beaded. The heat, the thrashing about, the tangling up – it’s the hot as heck party these items don’t need.

12. And finally, don’t overwash items

Tempting as it is to wash your jeans after every wear, this is the quickest way to wear them out. Literally. It’s recommended you wash denim after every three to four wears to keep your dark blue and black jeans clean and fitting well. Don’t forget to turn them inside out before you wash them.

So there you have it, folks! How many of these do you think you might be doing to accidentally ruin your clothes?

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Avatar of Lexi Klaebe

South Australian mum and self proclaimed foodie, Lexi can most days be found in the kitchen, apron tied firm and armed with a whisk or wooden spoon!

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