Ten tips that will help extend your clothes life

Looking after the clothes in my wardrobe is not only a sustainable practice but super easy. I take so much more care of my clothes now and endeavour to make them last for a long time. I have a couple tricks that have helped me stretch my clothes life and save me money too.Ten tips that will help extend your clothes life
  1. Musty odours can linger on second hand clothing. Remove the smell by spraying a mixture of one part vodka, two parts water then wash as usual. 
  2. Never wash your bikini/swimsuit in the washing machine. Wash by hand in cold water and let air dry laying flat. This will help keep the elasticity and stop from sagging.
  3. Try not to rub anything spilt onto clothes. Rubbing will run the stain into the material. Instead blot or dab.
  4. Want to keep your jeans dark? Try adding 1/2 a cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle.
  5. Liven up an old coat or cardigan by replacing the buttons. 
  6. Being caught in the rain with your leather boots or handbag might result in watermarks. Fill a bowl with cold water and add a couple drops of white wine vinegar. Mix the two and apply to the stains, scrubbing with a gentle brush until stains are removed then allow to dry. 
  7. My runners can smell a little off after a couple weeks of use. I put two tablespoons of bicarb soda into each of my shoes. I let it sit overnight to help get rid of any smells and moisture. 
  8. Treat a red wine stain with white wine. 
  9. Invest in a clothes brush to remove pils. 
  10. Keep shoes lined up against one another and not sitting on top in a pile. This will stop scuffs, marks and dirt being transferred onto your shoe and help them keep shape.
Do you have anymore tips? What is the oldest item of clothing you have and still wear?


  1. Katie Redfern3/13/2015

    I have been using a sweater comb for most of my life. The one I have is nearly as old as me!

  2. Great list, Erin.

    Can I add, dry your dark coloured jeans inside out, and not in hot sun. I also dry more delicate items on a hanger inside.

    Hand washing woollens is another good tip. Even if the care label says machine wash you can be sure things will last longer if you hand wash. I also put delicate clothes into a net bag before putting in the machine as I'm in the unfortunate position of having an old top loader which is very rough on clothes.

    have a great weekend,


    1. Thanks for sharing your tips, especially about the woolens. The washing machine in my last rental was old too and ripped a hole in my dedicates bag! I have since patched it up and still use it.

  3. Anonymous3/15/2016

    From Bea Johnson's book, Zero waste home: very hot water poured from a height over strawberry stains (did a test run on a rag as mum always told me hot water set stains but it passed with flying colours (or lack thereof as the case may be) its very useful when you have fruit bat children. It works for get berry stains out of very old laminate worktops (which have become a bit porous) too. Cheers Claire

    1. Great tips, thanks for letting me know about them.

  4. Odd how we have lost this sort of knowledge or skills. So much of plastic free and low waste living feels like just going back to the knowledge of one or two generations ago.

    I do have to ask though, how big a bowl for #6? Pinch bowl, cereal bowl, large mixing bowl?

    1. Completely agree with you. This way of life is utilising the same day to day activities our great grandparents lived. I used a cereal bowl for number 6.


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