If you’ve always wanted to know how you could make your shirts and your clothes last longer, then this is the guide for you. We will be looking at 6 simple and easy tips to make your shirt last longer. You don’t need to spend additional time or money to implement these tips. In fact, these tips are designed to be very efficient and they will save you money by preserving those favourite shirts that you always ware.
1) Use Cold Water
When washing your clothes using your washing machine, always use cold water. Hot water shrinks clothing fabrics and it promotes dyes and graphics on your shirt to washout a lot easier.
When shirts with graphics are made, the paint for the graphic work is printed on the shirts using heat. High temperatures from the heat is used to soften the paint during the transfer process, so that the paint sticks on the fabric while its soft, and as the paint loses heat, it sticks and stays on the fabric. However, when the paint is reheated, it started to soften once again, which makes it easier to fade away with the hot water solution inside your washing machine.
Summary: Hot water softens the paint on fabrics which causes shirts to lose their colour. Use cold water to avoid shirts from losing colour, avoid shirts from fading their graphics and to avoid shirts from shrinking.
Benefit: Longer lasting shirts, Longer lasting prints and graphics on shirts and saving hot water on every wash.
2) Use Less detergent
Detergent is designed to break down germs, dirt and stains. Although good quality printed shirts are designed to last, detergent still breaks the colours and paint on fabrics. You might not see the difference after one wash, but as you continue to wash your clothes, you will start seeing signs of fading in your fabric colouring, graphics and artwork. So using less detergent will still do a very good job in cleaning your clothes, but more importantly, it will also reduce the fading process dramatically.
Summary Detergent breaks down the colours and paint of your fabric during washes. The solution is to use less detergent to dramatically slow down colour fading.
Benefit: Longer lasting shirt colour, Longer lasting printed shirts, save detergent on every wash.
3) Avoid Using The Dryer
The house hold dryer is overused in today’s average washing. Everyone loves to get their clothes dried as quickly as they can, to get it over and done with.
But did you know that high temperatures from the drying machine actually shrinks the fabric of your shirts. It also softens the paint and colouring of graphics on printed shirts which make sit easier for the designs to fade. This is a disadvantage for everyone, especially if you are dealing with you favourite shirts or even if you’re into custom T-shirt printing like I am, and love to have your own unique t-shirts designed.
Summary If you love your clothes, don’t use the dryer unless you have to. The heat destroys the colour and graphics of your shirts.
Benefit: Saving the colour of your shirts, preserving shirt graphics, avoiding fabric shrinking, and saving electricity on your washes.
4) Washing Shirts inside out
Always wash your favourite shirts and clothing inside-out. When the fabric is getting washed, its constantly rubbing and scratching against everything else in the washing machine. So if you have heavy clothing being washed at the same time, like your denim jeans, then it’ll be like sand paper standing off those high quality shirts that you love. Which is why washing shirts inside-out prevents the outer-layer of you shirts from getting damaged during the wash.
This doesn’t just apply to high quality and expensive clothing. It’s also very helpful if you want your everyday clothes to last long and save money on buying new once before their time.
Furthermore, if you’re like me and you love T-shirt printing then you don’t want those beautiful art works to get scratched during your washes. Tip: make it a habit to turn your shirt inside out when taking it off, before you throw it in the laundry basket or pile. For those who naturally take their shirts off inside-out, congratulations! you’re a step ahead of me.
Summary wash shirts inside out to prevent the outer layer of the shirts from being damaged. Make it a habit to throw your shirt in the laundry basket when its inside-out to make the process efficient and seamless.
Benefit Longer lasting clothing, preserve printed designs on t-shirts and save money on buying new clothes before their time.
5) Sorting Colours Before washing
This one might seem like common sense, but a lot of us tend to forget it’s importance, especially when we first start doing our laundry.
To avoid your clothing from picking up colours from other items in the washing machine, make sure to arrange your clothing into three groups; Whites, Colours and Darks. Next, when doing your laundry, wash each pile separately. Tip: try and hold off the wash for each group, until you have at least 5 clothing items in a group. In other word, don’t wash your white pile of clothing if it only consists of one shirt, unless its urgently needed for a date of course.
To make this process more efficient, don’t leave the sorting till the last minute like I sometimes do. Instead, as soon as you’re done with a clothing item, throw it in the right colour pile. That way when its time to do the wash, the process will be seamless.
summary Sort your laundry into three piles; whites, coloured and darks. Instead of leaving the sorting for later, try and do it as you go by putting the your clothes in the right pile as soon as you take them off.
Benefit Shirts and other clothing items will not come out of the wash with discoloration.
6) Don’t Leave Your Clothes In The Sun For Too Long
The sun is beautiful and its the source of life to most things on our planet. However, it can also cause degeneration in living things and objects. If you washing is left out in the sun for too long, it will lose it’s colour and become a rustic and faded version of what it used to be.
If you’re going to leave you’re clothes to dry out in the sun, on a very hot day for long hours while you’re out, then turn them inside-out before hanging them, if they’re not already. That way, if you do get a really sunny day, the outer-layer of your clothes will not get damaged.
Summary Leaving clothes out to dry on a very sunny day for too long will fade the colour of your clothes. To avoid this problem, don’t leave clothes out for too long, if its a 40 degree summer day. Alternatively, just turn the clothing inside out before hanging them up, to avoid discolouration of the outer layer of your clothes.
Benefit Preserving the colour of your clothes and making them last even under the Australian Sun.
There you have it! 6 tips to make your shirt last long. It actually applies to everything in your washing, and if you follow these steps as you go and not leave it till the last minute, you’ll easily be able to make it a habit and get the most of those clothes that you love most.