when to wash it

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.

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  • Selah October 15, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    I’ve been washing our socks (and my kids’ itty bitty underwear) in a delicates bag for years. I got tired of the washer eating baby socks. :)
    Thanks for the tip about resting your bra. Bras are one of the few things I pay a lot for so making them last is important!

    • Caitlin October 16, 2012 at 6:39 AM

      That’s brilliant! I’ll remember it for when I’m a mama.

      No problem- I was glad to know for the same reason! Have a great day, Selah!

  • Selah October 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    FYI – stuff will clump together and take forever to dry in a delicates bag. I just dump the bag out into the dryer (which, thankfully, doesn’t eat socks).

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