How to Keep Your Clothes Looking New
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How to Keep Your Clothes Looking New

This article was written as a response to the question:

So you found the greatest pair of jeans and you'd like to keep them that way, but how?  Well, there are definitely a few simple steps you can take to keep your jeans (or other favorite clothing items) looking their best for longer.

Wash them inside-out - Washing your clothes inside-out keeps the outside from taking such a beating from the washing machine, and they come out just as clean. 

Wash them less often - Obviously washing your clothes is bound to wear them out and cause fading, so the less often you do so the better.  I'm not telling you to go parading around town in dirty clothes, but if it's not dirty, don't clean it!  Skip re-washing clothes that sat too long unfolded or unhung to get the wrinkles out - low-heat iron them or hang them in your bathroom while you shower instead.

Use a more delicate detergent or less detergent - Woolite works wonders for keeping the wash from tearing up your clothes as much.  If you'd rather use the detergent you currently purchase, try using a little less than the recommended amount to clean loads that aren't as dirty as they could be.

Smaller Loads - The more clothes you put in the washer, the more the clothes are going to rub together.  Try running smaller loads of laundry.  You'll probably use the same amount of water if you set the washing machine for smaller loads, it'll just take more time... but you're concerned enough to be reading this, so you have the time for an extra load or two for the sake of your clothes, right?

Use cold water - Most fabrics don't get along well with warm water, and it can cause the colors to fade much more quickly. 

Try avoiding fabric softener - Many people believe that fabric softener can harm the fabric of your clothing - breaking it down over time.  While this isn't true, it CAN build up over time, and cause discoloration or yellowing of your clothes.  Dryer sheets are a great substitute for liquid fabric softener.  If you do feel the need to use it, use it sparingly.

Use a different cycle option- There IS an option for delicates, use it!  With the exception of jeans, I use this cycle on all of my clothes and my child's clothes (except for those he gets extra dirty!)  Also, don't wash your delicate clothing (panties, bras, etc.) with your heavier items.  Jeans should be washed with only jeans if possible, same with bulkier items, like towels.

Don't dry them!! - Drying your clothes in the dryer gives them the hardest beating of all.  If you can, try hanging them up to dry - outside or inside.

Enjoy!

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