this when-to-wash-it handbook from real simple is brilliant. it gives guidelines for when to wash clothing as well as other helpful tidbits, like giving a bra a 24 hour rest before re-wearing it to extend the life of the elastic. who knew?
a few extra tips i’ve garnered over this year:
1. preventative measures
- wash socks in a delicates bag to keep the washing machine from eating them. (although this won’t help if your dog eats them, like mine does.)
2. life extenders
- use cold water and the delicate cycle as often as possible to preserve the shape and color of your garments.
- use shout color catchers! they can be life savers, especially if you’re mixing darks with lights.
- avoid the dryer to prolong color.
- keep pieces with elasticity out of the dryer (bras, athletic gear, etc.) to extend their life span.
3. last resorts
- if a favorite item is faded, try dying it before tossing it. i’ve given life to t’s jeans and my black basics to extend their wear multiple times.