Laundry tips to keep your wardrobe in check

As I am getting older, I find myself drooling over more expensive brands of clothing and shoes. I want to have a sophisticated look, but I also want to stay within my college student budget.

However, every now and then, I will splurge and purchase a quality item for my wardrobe. Before I go into buyer’s remorse, I know that if I take good care of it, it will last a long time. Sometimes I think of my clothing as my pets that need to be properly taken care of, I’m not ashamed to admit it.

Here are some tips that I use to make sure I am getting the most bang for my buck:

Avoid over washing– This tip is generally geared towards jeans. Get out of the habit of washing your denim after every wear. This may sound weird, but trust me! Over washing your jeans will cause the material to break down, which will make them loose and, not to mention, super faded. As a girl who practically lives in black or colored denim, the last thing I want to do is over wash my jeans.

Do’s and don’t’s of dry cleaning– It is very important to read all tags for proper care of clothing. For example, don’t think that a shirt will be fine on a delicate wash cycle just to save some money at the dry cleaners. There is a reason why the tag says “Dry Clean Only.” I have made this mistake one too many times. Even on delicate, the washer is too rough and may cause rips, not to mention what the water and soap will do to the fabric. However, even if the item does not say DCO, but is a bright print that may bleed in the washer, your best bet would be to leave it to the professionals. A few bucks to dry clean a blouse is well worth not ruining a whole batch of clothing in the washing machine.

Now, when you have done the right thing and have taken your clothing to the cleaners, the work isn’t over. When you get home, take the item out of the bag and off the wire hanger. The bag may trap moisture and grow mold. The wire hanger will pull the fabric, leaving you with stretched-out shoulders. To quote the 1981 classic movie “Mommie Dearest,” “NO WIRE HANGERS!” You don’t want Joan Crawford after you.

No rips, tears or tugs– Please, do yourself a favor. Do not rip off the price tag once you get a new item. Use scissors to properly cut the tags off. Too many times have I put on a brand new blouse and reached behind my head to rip the tag out before running to class. And more than once, I would hear, “Amanda, umm, there is a hole in the back of your shirt.” Talk about embarrassing.

Also, while you have the scissors out, cut any loose treads on pants or tops, this way when it heads to the washer, the loose threads won’t get caught and make a nasty pull or hole in the item.