Don’t you just hate it when you open your closet only to find that your newest purchase, the one that you had been so excited to wear, is stained, dimpled, and frankly, looks like it has been through a hundred washes? Yep. We’ve all been there. Now, sometimes, the damage can be salvaged, but at other times, we just have to chalk it up to life experience.

Have you bought something new lately? Whether it’s an expensive designer dress, a practical button-down for work, or your casual cardigan, you know you have to take preventive measures to make sure your latest buy won’t suffer the same fate as your other clothes! Here, we give you several ways to keep your wardrobe in good condition.

1. Read the instructions.
Washing your clothes isn’t just about popping them in the machine and waiting for the timer to sound off. Some garments have more specific directions as to how you’re supposed to wash them. For example, many bright-colored clothing need to be laundered “machine wash, cold.” This is because cold water is less likely to make the color fade. Some clothes, like silk or sequined ones, need to be handwashed. It can take up a bit of your time, but it will at least give your clothes a longer life span.

2. Store clothes properly.
To prevent your more delicate clothes from warps and dimples, store them in your closet with padded hangers. This keeps the fibers of your sweater or top from distorting. In case they already have those dreaded hanger bumps, you can still try to shrink the fibers back to normal by spritzing hot water on the area with a water bottle, steaming it, and then leaving it out to dry. If you don’t have padded hangers, you can simply fold them or hang them in a different way as it is done here.

3. Get rid of stains ASAP.
The faster you deal with a stain, the better your chances of eliminating it for good. That said, keep the stained clothing away from the dryer, at least, until you’re sure 100 percent sure that the stain is gone because heat can lock it in.

4. Button and zip.
To prevent snagging, make sure you do all your buttons up and that you zip all zippers close. This helps prevent any unfortunate accidents in the washing machine.

5. Add a layer of protection.
We are no stranger to himulmol. To prevent pilling and lint from wreaking havoc on your clothes, put them inside a garment bag before tossing them in the washing machine. This prevents your clothes from rubbing up against other clothes or the walls of the machine itself—both of which tend to cause the unwanted fuzz in the first place.

(Photo by kris krüg via Flickr Creative Commons)

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