If you’re looking to lengthen the life span of your clothing without always needing to purchase something new to wear, consider the following five easy steps every time you do a load of laundry. It’s a little bit of effort that goes a very long way; and who knows, you might just enjoy doing laundry again after seeing such great results!

Button, Zip, Turn Inside Out, And Separate

Spend a little bit of extra time making sure your buttons are buttoned, your zippers are zipped, and clothes are turned inside out. Doing so will ensure that your garments are less likely to snag one another in the wash, prevent pilling, and keeping your colors from fading. It’s an extra step, but completely worth your time. Wash your colors in cold water, and separate from your whites when you can.  While it’s tempting to wash everything together, a little separation can go a long way – especially when you’re dealing with delicates as they should always be in a separate load (or hand washed and laid flat to dry).

Hang Those Clothes Out To Dry

Stop in the name of shrinking, pilling, fading, and unraveling! Is the garment in your hand made of a delicate fabric? Is that sweater made with mainly wool or cotton? Is that t-shirt your favorite? Better hang them all to dry. Consider purchasing a clothes drying rack, as they fold beautifully and can be tucked away in the corner when not in use, and generally range between 10 and 50 dollars. If you’re concerned over the softness of your hang to dry clothing, there are always detergents you can buy with built in softeners, but often, the quality of the water in your area may be enough.

Shorten Your Cycle

If you are washing regularly, and your clothing isn’t heavily soiled, then there is no need to set the washer to a longer cycle. The longer your clothes wash for, the more damage is done. A quick wash, believe it or not, is more than you need if you are just looking to wash out the general scent and small stains of everyday wear.

Whiten And Brighten Naturally

Stop bleaching if you don’t need to! Bleach, while it may be useful for extremely soiled clothing (do you work and play in the mud regularly?) is not needed for your everyday garments. Bleach is harsh on your clothing, and using something as simple as baking soda can have the same effect as bleach on your clothes in the wash. A spoonful of baking soda naturally brightens your clothing by boosting the effects of your detergent. For treating specific stains, try sprinkling and rubbing some baking soda into the stain and let it sit for a bit before your wash to maximize the stain lifting action.

Soften And Scent Naturally, Too

Softening with fabric softener is great, but often fades your clothing at a faster rate than you’d like. So when it comes to softening, a dryer sheet or two will do the trick. If you’re not a fan of/ have sensitivities to strong fabric softeners or detergents, a spoonful of fresh squeezed lemon juice is a beautiful natural option for giving your laundry a fresh, pleasant scent.

Keep your laundry looking like new, and spend some time filling your laundry room with some essentials that you feel would help you become more efficient with some of the steps above. After a few loads, you’ll quickly begin to see the difference. So on your next laundry day, don’t forget to congratulate yourself for a job well done on extending the life of your garments!

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