With fast fashion and its impact on climate change threatening our livelihoods, quality over quantity is now as important as ever. But are you storing your clothes correctly? Storing them the wrong way will actually cut down their lifespan.
Luckily the experts at home insurance, money.co.uk, has kindly shared their expertise on the right ways to care for your garments – helping them stay looking brand new.
Fold or Hang?
Whether you should hang or fold items depends on closet space, the weight of your items and the material. Understanding if we’re storing our clothes the right or wrong way doesn’t often cross our minds, but it’s key to extending the lifespan of your garments. Here are the suggested items for hanging and folding:
- Pleated items
- Smart trousers
- Dresses (except heavier/formal gowns)
- Any item that is prone to wrinkles
- Lightweight items
- Jumpers and hoodies
- Slinky/stretchy materials items
- Anything with embellishments or is heavily beaded
6 Tips For Taking Care Of Your Clothes
1. Store your items correctly
It is best to store your items in clean, dry and cool environments that have as little direct sunlight as possible to keep them in good condition. Giving your garments some breathing space will prevent them from fading or wrinkling.
Keeping them in waterproof plastic boxes will protect them from dust, mould, moths, and unwanted eight-legged creatures. It is also vital you don’t store them in direct contact with wood, as wood contains acids that are damaging to textiles, especially over a long period of time.
For heavier clothing items, like jumpers, hoodies, and sweaters, it’s best to fold them as hanging can contribute to the stretching of the fabric.
Invest in wooden hangers. Although a little more expensive, wooden hangers are proven to take better care of your clothes as plastic and wire hangers are the cause of shoulders and necklines becoming stretched out.
2. Rearrange your wardrobe to fit the season
As we move into summer, it’s time to store away the winter knitwear to make room for your lighter pieces, making it a good time to hoover your wardrobe and give it a once-over with a damp cloth. This will give your clothes some breathing space and remove any dust or dirt that has built up on the inside of your wardrobe. Avoid using harsh chemicals or over perfumed disinfectants as they can seep into the fabrics of your clothes and may cause damage or make your clothes smell of cleaning products.
For storing winter or summer clothing, it’s suggested to wash but not iron them beforehand; ironing can weaken fibres and encourage items to tear along the creases. It is also better to roll them than it is to fold, as rolling prevents hard creasing.
3. Air drying is key
Just like over washing, the excessive use of a dryer on your garments leads to the shrinking of fabrics and a breakdown of elastic. Air drying on a clothing line or rack is the gentlest way to care for your items.
Not only does air drying prevent the static cling on fabrics and extend the lifetime of your garments, but it also uses less energy, saving you money and makes less of an impact on the environment. And if dried correctly you may not need to iron them at all.
4. Wash your clothes less frequently
Contradictory to popular belief, washing your clothes less often will actually keep, and maintain, your items in better condition.
Machine washing can be harsh and sometimes damaging to your clothes as constant soaking, detergent, and spinning will inevitably wear them out. Unless they smell or are visibly dirty, they don’t need to be washed after every wear.
5. Dark clothing
No wardrobe is complete without a basic or statement dark coloured piece, but when it comes to washing them, they can bleed and fade over time. Washing dark clothing inside out is your best bet at enduring their lifespan and keeping them in their store-bought condition!
6. Pay attention to care labels
Care labels are there for a reason and lots of us may be guilty of ignoring them. Paying attention to how your garments should be washed will prevent items from shrinking or becoming discoloured.