Could you give me your no1 tip to keep clothes looking nice?

(60 Posts)
bigkidsdidit Mon 26-Aug-13 15:22:15

After being pregnant / bf / fat for four years I'm getting my act together. I'm finally clearing out my wardrobe and buying new stuff but for the first time ever I'm buying expensive stuff rather than half of new look. Trouble is I'm clearly not looking after my clothes properly now; my bra straps are grey, my jeans fade, my jumpers are bobbly.

Could you give me your tips on how to keep my new posh stuff looking nice?

Thanks smile

Vivacia Mon 26-Aug-13 15:32:13

I'm afraid my answer is that if it's starting to look grey and my heart sinks to see it as I pull it out to wear, it gets replaced.

Look forward to reading some tips for better laundering, as at the moment everything gets a dash of fabric conditioner, liqui-tab and a 40 degree wash.

Wash, dry and iron everything inside out.

mysteryfairy Mon 26-Aug-13 15:55:35

I separate everything to the nth degree so do a whites wash, a pales wash etc. Always wash jeans separately, inside out, cool and gentle spin. Never tumble dry them - in fact I only really tumble dry pants, school shorts and socks.
Wash woollens in a bag, using delicates liquid and programme and dry flat. Use a cashmere comb. I have friends who just bung everything in the wash together and I'm sure it shortens the lifespan of their clothes.

Day to day I iron (or send to an ironing service) all clothes except underwear and I really think this makes a huge difference to how good stuff looks though obviously doesn't make them last longer.

I also think the quality of your washing machine makes a difference. Have used cheap washing machines in holiday rentals and been shocked at how hard they are in clothes whilst failing to get them as clean. I currently have a Bosch but would get a Miele next time.

wonkylegs Mon 26-Aug-13 16:08:38

Decent washing machine, not too hot a wash. Tumble dryer for underwear/socks/kids clothes and cotton shirts.

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 26-Aug-13 16:10:24

Colour catchers are a godsend!

Dylon is amazing when you have clothes that have faded but are still otherwise excellent.

wonkylegs Mon 26-Aug-13 16:10:57

Sorry pressed send too quickly .. Only
Separate colours & whites & use a colour catcher sheet.
I haven't got any greys after doing this.
My clothes last well , I rarely iron though

bigkidsdidit Mon 26-Aug-13 16:17:27

Oh thank you everyone smile

Can't choose machine as I rent but will do all other tips.

Do any of you hand wash underwear like my mad mother?

Thaumatrope Mon 26-Aug-13 16:20:25

Whites wash
buy a debobbler: it is a fact of crappy clothing sadly that jumpers bobble (not necessarily down to cost)
NEVER use a tumble dryer and hang things sensibly, i.e. shirts on a hanger to dry, get a proper airer, lay knitted things flat to dry

bigkidsdidit Mon 26-Aug-13 16:26:50

Never use a tumbler shock

Is this where I'm going wrong?

CaptainJamesTKirk Mon 26-Aug-13 17:14:12

Exactly what mystery says. As well as changing as soon as you get home from work and/or wearing a pinny when cooking.

CaptainJamesTKirk Mon 26-Aug-13 17:15:00

And don't bother hand washing underwear... My washing machine has a lingerie cycle.

Thaumatrope Mon 26-Aug-13 17:19:59

Tumble dryers shrink the arms and body lengthwise, make things wider, give a greyish bloom on some fabrics (they fluff up the looser fibres I think) and accelerate fraying at the hem.
I absolutely hate them.
My MIL is always trying to convince me to buy a 'new' tumble dryer, apparently they aren't the same as they used to be, but then I go and use hers if I'm staying and generally ruin at least one top and shrink my knickers.

I hand wash the padded/foamy bras but everything else goes on delicate.

petrock Mon 26-Aug-13 17:34:18

Yes yes to Dylon - I've just re-blacked a load of faded favourite basic tops. Marvellous.

Vivacia Mon 26-Aug-13 17:38:22

Does the Dylon dye everything , for example the thread on the hem, and make the clothes like weird? (The last time I used dye was in 1998 on some black jeans!).

PolterGoose Argentina Mon 26-Aug-13 20:12:52

Wash inside out
Wash like with like (jeans wash fine with sturdy things like towels and woollens are fine with delicates)
Never overload your machine
Line drying makes clothes last longer than tumble drying
Hang washing as soon as machine cycle finishes

bigkidsdidit Mon 26-Aug-13 20:22:48

Thank you!

Only tumble bed linen and towels.

Layl77 Mon 26-Aug-13 20:26:45

Iron everything inside out. The heat makes them look faded. Same for washing just wash as low as poss but whites Do come out better hot.
Use the sun on a washing line for stains

onepieceoflollipop Mon 26-Aug-13 20:30:28

Agree completely with mystery's first paragraph.

Re white bras (and other white clothes, but especially bras), only wear once, maybe twice as they quickly go sweaty and grey ime.

Sometimes I soak really grubby stuff (school socks etc) before washing.

I never spin clothes above 800 as it really creases them and I don't think this is good for the fibres.

Hang stuff on nice hangers, not flimsy and definitely not wire.

I love woollite liquid for delicates. smile

I am not houseproud but very particular with laundry.

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 26-Aug-13 20:32:30

Vivacia- it dyes natural fabrics, some polyester threads dont take too well but it can give a nice contrast

onepieceoflollipop Mon 26-Aug-13 20:34:36

re jumpers, anything made of acrylic bobbles very quickly I find. I tend to buy jumpers/cardigans from Mantaray or White Stuff. I don't wash them often as this shortens their life. They have a high cotton content. If I am cooking or cleaning at home I change into a tougher sweatshirt type top rather than my nicer jumpers.

bishboschone Mon 26-Aug-13 20:41:48

Use liquid detergents , most powders have bleach in them and I find powder harsher. Never tumble tops , dry on line or on airers .dont tumble denim it can mark it . Jumpers and tops with polyester will bobble regardless of what you do.

YoniTime Mon 26-Aug-13 20:58:15

Lots of good tips here. The tumbler is defintely a big villain, it shrinks and fades and ages clothing.

RenterNomad Mon 26-Aug-13 21:14:25

And the amount of fluff that comes out of a tumble dryer means clothes are getting thinner and thinner with every cycle... ugh.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 26-Aug-13 21:15:52

Don't use a very high spin in your washing machine

and NEVER use Persil on anything.

bigkidsdidit Mon 26-Aug-13 21:23:18

Ok. Point taken. I love my tumbler! But will keep it for sheets, towels and the DC's clothes.

Will buy good liquid rather than lidl powder, use colour catchers, buy a de-bobbler from Lakeland, reduce the spin and the temp and iron inside out. And will tell my mother I'm not hand washing my pants!

blueshoes Mon 26-Aug-13 21:30:06

Don't overwash clothes. I tend to wear them more than once before washing.

Dry clean or hand wash only and drip dry. My nice stuff does not go into the washing machine.

I don't think I am smelly. Just checked with dh - he says I am not smelly.

YoniTime Mon 26-Aug-13 21:32:16

And don't forget that most of the time it's better to air out wool jumpers instead of washing them, spot treat them instead of washing the whole thing all the time.

Layl77 Mon 26-Aug-13 21:38:20

You'll find your better quality clothes last longer anyway than the cheap. My dd was bought 2 primark dresses about a month ago they've both had to be chucked the white went bobbly grey and looked about 20 years old after one wash!

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 26-Aug-13 21:42:10

Never use fabric softener. Fill the dispenser with smart price vinegar instead.

Fabric softener damages lycra/elastane so your clothes don't last as long.

Bosch washing machine.
Separate into whites, pales, darkens and denim. Use detergent accordingly -I'm using Lidl own bran drabs and they are great. Use half the amount the detergent makers tell you to use- they bump up quantities so you buy more.
Min 40 degree wash for anything not synthetic. Hand outdoors whenever possible, even a short spell between rain is good.
Tumble drying makes things loose fibres so the fabric does not last as long.
Never ever use fabric conditioner, it coats the fabrics with sort of goo and dulls the colours.
Whites powders/tablets contain bleach so never use them on coloured items.

I know all this works because my younger sons school shirts and sweatshirts are the same bright white and mid blue as when I bought them for his older brother. When I get given clothes I often have to put them through several consecutive 60 degree cycles with hardly any detergent and a longer rinse cycle, just to get the build up of powder and conditioner out, and they always look brighter and fresher for it.

YoniTime Mon 26-Aug-13 21:55:15

Question. Do the clothes really dry that much faster outdoors than indoors even if the weather isn't warm and sunny?

Bran drabs?? Bloody iPad, I typed wash tabs!!!

bishboschone Mon 26-Aug-13 22:07:12

I put my washing out all year round . As long as there is wind and it's dry then it will dry . Make a space in your airing cupboard to warm them up after a day outside if they are a touch damp .

LovePotatoes Mon 26-Aug-13 22:12:59

Brilliant advice. I never ever thought about how i wash my clothes until now!!! Brilliant question op

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Mon 26-Aug-13 23:00:48

Definitely separate colours well. I do brights, darks, pales and whites. Friend was bemoaning greyibg pale things the other day and it turns out she just does dark and light loads.

bigkidsdidit Tue 27-Aug-13 06:32:25

How would I wash something like a Breton top?

bishboschone Tue 27-Aug-13 08:50:27

With lights , the blue should be colour fast but the dark from other things in a dark wash will taint the white .

napkin Tue 27-Aug-13 12:10:53

The op's who have a Bosch washing machine, what models do you have please?

bishboschone Tue 27-Aug-13 15:28:17

I have a Bosch but honestly can't see why difference it makes . It's more to do with which detergent and how you sort clothes.

Somethingyesterday Tue 27-Aug-13 15:43:06

Years ago - when I started my first proper post graduation job - I splashed out on a Burberry trench coat. Black wool. I reasoned that my extravagant purchase would need an equally stupendous brush. So I bought one of these. It was £18 in 1989!

The coat didn't last. I still possess, use and love that clothes brush. I would even say it gives me confidence when I'm buying good clothes because I know I'll be able to look after them properly.

YoniTime Tue 27-Aug-13 16:23:31

What do you use the brush for Something? <has never used one>

MrsApplepants Tue 27-Aug-13 16:32:22

Oh those brushes are brilliant, I've got one too and use it very often.

Somethingyesterday Tue 27-Aug-13 16:45:20

Yoni <seriously?>

Well.... I've just noticed that on the website they say the shorter bristle side can be used for "brushing dirt from trouser hems." hmm The instructions used to be that the shorter bristles were for de-bobbling of wool items.

If you (or Dp / Dcs) wear a lot of old-school suits a good clothes brush will probably save you the price of a new suit over a few years. In fact they're good for all lovely old fashioned fabrics - cord, velvet, tweed, wool crepe. (My past life....)

I guess people use them less now. sad

YoniTime Tue 27-Aug-13 16:56:51

Yes I'm serious! So you use them for de-bobbling and getting rid of dirt?

bigkidsdidit Tue 27-Aug-13 17:04:06

I've never used One either. Will buy one now, I have a lovely tweed coat.

flatfootcontessa Tue 27-Aug-13 17:06:08

I use a pumice stone to debobble. I find it quite good.

Somethingyesterday Tue 27-Aug-13 17:15:12

I think the technical term might be "freshening up". Mine hangs by the front door and I'm likely to whisk the brush over my person as I'm running out of the house. It also extends the time between soul, wallet and clothes destroying trips to the dry-cleaners.

OP Your tweed coat will think it's Christmas. And, while I'm here, I meant to say that in addition to all the excellent advice above, you need to invest in a brilliant iron and a really good ironing board. I find if your tools are helpful and you don't dread using them it's much easier to keep up day to day clothes maintenance.

What have you bought by the way??

Idespair Tue 27-Aug-13 17:18:17

Washing does damage clothes. Wear clothes more than once before washing to cut down the number of washes.

I usually wear cheap clothes anyway so if they are wrecked after a year or two, I just recycle and replace with something equally cheap.

napkin Tue 27-Aug-13 17:55:50

I wish my clothes lasted a year or two before wearing out!!!

bigkidsdidit Tue 27-Aug-13 18:01:38

Ive not bought anything yet but have two cardigans in my Brora online basket smile

FoundAChopinLizt Tue 27-Aug-13 18:02:46

I avoid ironing by hanging up most things, or folding nicely. Ironing wrecks some clothes. Agree about tumble dryers, sometimes I put mine in the tumble for a soften up for ten mins if they have gone stiff on the line in too hot weather.

MrsHoarder Tue 27-Aug-13 18:21:57

Clothes dried outside smell nicer and dry quicker than those dried inside. Minimal no-frills detergent, hang up on a peg to air before deciding whether or not to wash anything except socks and underwear, shake and fold rather than iron where possible (more ironing, more wear).

Separate colours religiously. Dh's whites before he met me were rather grey, now they're as white as mine.

Vivacia Tue 27-Aug-13 19:40:03

It's interesting to read about wearing clothes for longer between washing. I'm sure I've read that dirtier clothes wear out quicker.

Brilliant thread though everyone.

LoveSewingBee Tue 27-Aug-13 20:59:36

As Poltergoose mentioned, plus iron everything (well, what can be ironed of course).

Also, usespecial powderwith bleaching agent for whites or add a scoop of oxyvanish for whites. If stuff has stains, pretreat stains or add oxy canish (pink box).

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 28-Aug-13 14:38:08

Even if you can't choose your washing machine, try not to use the quick washes. Most people think quicker is better, but the machine has to rotate more vigorously and this is harder on your clothes ( according to my Miele repair man - my Miele has been going for 14 years now, with just one repair last year).

YoniTime Wed 28-Aug-13 15:50:15

I thought the quick programs were simply shorter, for smaller loads or simply less dirty clothing?

lucysmam Wed 28-Aug-13 16:45:19

placemark to come back & read later smile

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