7 laundry tips to make your clothes last forever (or as long as possible)

Dec 7th, 2021.

Every year Australians buy on average 27kgs of new clothes, and throw out 23kgs in the same year! As a community, we generate 800,000 tonnes of textiles waste each year which goes to landfill.

Starting today, you can contribute to lessening the load on the environment by wearing your clothes for longer. This means looking after them so that they last the distance. To help you, we’ve listed 7 ways to wash your clothes to make them last forever, or at least a few more years than they would if you didn’t follow these tips!

1. Use cold or lukewarm water

Using cold or lukewarm water (30 to 40 degrees) to wash your clothes will keep the fibres intact and preserve the quality of your garments over the long term. It’s easy just to wash everything in hot water – you get rid of all the stains right? Not always, in fact some stains will set permanently in hot water.

Read the washing instruction as well as some of the blogs we have here for valuable laundry tips. You’ll save yourself energy costs and keep your clothes looking good for longer.

Related reading: Don’t make these 7 most common laundry mistakes

 

2. Don’t dry clean if you don’t have to

Many labels now say “dry-cleaning only” and this is not always necessary. There are many clothing items that can be washed safely in a washing machine. Fabrics such as cotton, polyester, nylon, cashmere and woollens can all be washed in a washing machine with cold water and a gentle cycle.

Dry cleaning uses a chemical solvent which is harsh on fabrics and will deteriorate your clothes faster. So, if you can avoid dry cleaning, you’ll save yourself money and your clothes will look better in the long run.

Related article: Can you wash clothes that say “dry cleaning only”?

 

3. Treat stains immediately

Stains can ruin perfectly good and new clothes and in the majority of cases, they can be treated and removed. There are two golden rules when you spill something on your clothes which creates a stain:

  1. Act immediately – the sooner you take action the better the chance you have of removing the stain. Treat the stain with the detergent or stain remover and allow it to sit for fifteen minutes before you add to the washing machine.
  2. Only put in the dryer when the stain has lifted – if the stain hasn’t lifted off the garment after you’ve treated and washed it, putting it in the dryer will set the stain permanently. Wait until the stain has lifted and only then add it to the dryer.

Related article: How to remove the 7 most common stains

 

4. Use less detergent than more

Using too much detergent won’t make your clothes cleaner. Instead it will help deteriorate your clothes faster. Using too much detergent leaves a residue in the clothing fibre which impacts the colour and texture, causing it to fade and fray faster.

 

5. Wash dark clothes inside out

When dark coloured clothes rub together in the washing machine the fibres are aggravated and will fade. The solution is to turn them inside out and preserve the colour as well as the texture. And if you love your jeans, then you want to be even more careful, because nowadays every style of denim is in fashion and you can wear your favourite fitting skinnies, flares, boyfriend, high or low rise jeans for years!

Related article: How often should you wash your jeans?

 

6. Only wash your clothes when you really have to

If you really want to get the most out of the investment you’ve made in your wardrobe and stop contributing to textile landfill, wash your clothes less. Items like jeans, jumpers and jackets don’t need regular washing as it will wear out your clothes sooner than later.

Here are our guidelines on how often to wash your clothes to keep them clean and looking good for longer.

Related article: How often should you wash your clothes? Jeans, jumpers and more…

7. Use a lower heat on the dryer when possible

Always opt for low heat when drying unless you are drying jeans and towels/sheets which can handle higher temperatures. You may be in the laundromat for a little longer, but we have free WiFi so you can have some down time and read a book. And, the white noise of a laundromat can be rather relaxing!

Related article: Laundry Tips 101 – The Basics to Keep Your Clothes Looking Good

 

Find a Star Laundromat near you

The world’s most boring chore can be some well-deserved downtime at a Star Laundromat. Find one near you. You can have your washing and drying done in less than an hour! Free WiFi, coin and cashless, plenty of parking, conveniently located!