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Let’s face it: most of us probably buy more clothes than we ever need. But even if we have a wardrobe full of cute shirts, dresses, and jeans of the same color, we still get upset when we ruin something during the laundry or when don’t get as much wear of our expensive pair of boots as we hoped.

Wearing your clothes carefully isn’t enough to keep them nice and neat for a long time. To maintain your wardrobe in a good condition, it’s necessary to care for each piece of clothing following the manufacturer’s instructions, which means that you have to store, wash, dry, iron or not iron your clothes properly and with the use of the recommended products. Everyone knows that, right? But how do we manage to ruin our clothes then? Well, we make mistakes. I’ve listed the most common ones so that you’re able to review the way you care for your clothes and prevent the unwanted damage.

This is how you may be ruining your clothes

1. You always wash your clothes on hot settings

I know a lot of people who don’t even bother changing washing machine settings in between the loads of laundry. Or, they just choose hotter water temperature thinking that it will make their clothes cleaner and safer to wear. If you’re one of those people, you’ve probably ruined one or two sweaters and delicate items in your lifetime. When your clothes are exposed to hot temperatures in the wash and the fabric isn’t designed to handle them, your clothing items may shrink, fade and lose their shape.

Therefore, don’t ignore the temperature recommendations on the tags and learn the sign lingo to know which washing regime settings certain shirts and fabrics require. It will help you preserve your favorite clothes in their best condition for a long time.

2. You wash your clothes too often

Most of us are guilty of making this mistake, as we throw our clothes in the hamper after a single wear time. The thing is that even if you religiously follow the washing rules and use the most gentle laundry detergents, you ‘cut’ the lifespan of your clothes every time you put them in the wash. Try to extend the wear time and wash your clothes at least after every other wear (with the exception of socks and underwear, of course).

3. Your jeans fade too fast

 Prevent that by freezing dark denim jeans instead of washing them too often. This way, you’ll kill most of the odor-causing bacteria and avoid discoloration. And, when you need to wash them, turn them inside out and choose the lowest temperature settings possible.

4. You throw the ‘dry clean only items’ in the wash

That’s one of the worst things you may do when it comes to caring for clothes, especially considering the fact that delicate items, items with stiff shape and clothes made of special items the manufacturers recommend to dry clean are a bit more expensive than our regular cotton shirts and denim jeans.

So, if you want to preserve your clothes in a decent condition and avoid ruining pricey items, you should either refrain from buying the ‘dry clean only’ clothes or commit to bringing them to the dry cleaners every time you need to make them look/feel nice and fresh.

5. You let the stains sit overnight

Wash the stained clothes as soon as possible, as once the stains set in the fabric, they’re too difficult to remove. Then, we use harsh chemicals and rub our clothes extensively to get those spots out. In most cases, we end up ruining things we attempted to save.

6. You’re using the wrong hangers

The way you store your clothes has an impact on their condition as well. While the consequences of using wrong hangers or hanging the items you’re supposed to fold won’t be as drastic as throwing something you should air dry into the tumble dryer, it will take a toll on your shirts, dresses, coats, etc.

For instance, wire hangers aren’t as supportive as felt ones. That’s why they deform the shape of clothes made of heavier fabrics over time. On the other hand, felt hangers are a lot sturdier, they’re much more comfortable when it comes to hanging blouses and dresses made of silky materials, and they don’t leave little points on the shoulders like wooden, plastic or wire ones do.

7. You store your shoes in baskets

 It’s the ultimate way to misshape your shoes and ruin them for good. Ask a carpenter to build a separate row of shelves just for shoes in your closet or DIY an upright storage system to be able to store your boots, high heels and sandals properly and make as much wear time out of them as possible. 

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