If I had a dollar for every time one of my garments got ruined because of a laundry mishap, well, I’d have quite a few dollars. Honestly, I’ve learned a lot over the years from some major laundry accidents. Living with roommates who just threw it all into one load and then piled everything in the dryer was an eye opener. I’ve come to realize that if you want your clothes to last forever, or close to it anyway, you have to be an advocate for them. Yes, I know this sounds a bit crazy, but I have clothes that have lasted me for the majority of my adult life which means only one thing: take care of them, and they will last.
Disclosure: Thanks so much to Persil for partnering on this post. All opinions are my own!
When it comes to caring for your clothes, you have to have the right tools for the job. My arsenal of laundry supplies has waxed and waned over the years, but the tried and trued stick with me. For me, that means a high-quality laundry soap, dryer sheets, hangers, a lot of lint rollers (dog mom problems!), and a sweater stone for those once a year sweater trims.
I discovered Persil ProClean Laundry Detergent while shopping at Walmart this year, and the brand new Pro10 formula is impressive. I know this because, just yesterday morning, we had a little accident involving a dog, a broken planter, and a mess of dirt all over my white fur “blogger” rug that I took these photos on. I’ve tried to clean it before to no avail with other detergents, but Persil ProClean Pro 10 cleaned it right up. I don’t know how it did it, but it must have been those 10 Dimensions of Clean. All the heart eyes emojis for that save!
Laundry Hacks to Make Clothes Last Forever
Other than the tools for the job, I’ve learned a few laundry hacks that I hope will help you avoid some of my past mistakes. Learning the hard way is never fun, but I’m willing to take one for the team if that means passing on my wisdom. With that said, here are my favorite laundry hacks to make your clothes last forever! (Or as long as possible, anyway.)
Cold water is your friend
If the idea of separating your colors, lights, and darks makes you crazy, opt to use cold water. Typically cold water will prevent colors from running, and more than likely, all of your whites will be safe. Personally, I like to play it safe and separate my lights and darks. I also find that by separating them, my whites stay whiter longer. Using the right detergent is also key to keep your colors colorful, preventing your darks from fading, and your whites brighter. Persil ProClean Pro 10 is a cold water cleaning formula and has anti-graying, brightening, and whitening properties to keep your garments looking great longer.
Opt for Pro10 to power clean (gently, of course!)
Spilled something down the front of your new shirt? No worries, just let it soak in Persil ProClean Pro 10 before you wash! The cleaning agents will work their magic, and your stain will lift away. My personal method for soaking stains is to fill a sink part way with lukewarm water, apply enough detergent to cover the stain and gently rub the material together to help penetrate the fibers. I then let it soak in the warm soapy water for about 15 minutes before washing. I find that typically by the time I remove the garment from the sink, the stain is nowhere to be found. For tougher stains, you may have to rinse and repeat, literally.
Air dry to prevent shrinkage
Buy a new top or dress, and it shrank on the first wash? We’ve all been there. I once had a blouse that looked like it was fit for a doll, not me, after accidentally being put in the dryer. It’s such a bummer, but I’ve since learned that there are quite a few materials that should never be put in the dryer unless you’re intentionally trying to shrink a garment of course!
Some of the materials to avoid putting in a hot dryer are:
– rayon or viscose (many tops and dresses are made of this material)
– wool and cashmere (think sweaters and coats)
– spandex (bathing suits, activewear, and undergarments)
– leather, pleather, and suede (jackets and pants)
– silk and chiffon (typically in nicer dresses and tops)
– specialty fabrics like velvet, lace, anything with beadwork, or anything labeled Dry Clean Only
Reuse & reduce
Did you know that laundry products like dryer sheets can often be reused multiple times? I used to throw mine away after one dryer cycle only to realize that most can be used a few times before they become ineffective. And while I haven’t tried it yet, when I run out of sheets I’ve got my eyes set on a truly reusable solution like wool dryer balls or even trying out a hack for aluminum foil dryer balls.
Sensitive skin? No problem!
Allergies? Sensitive skin? No worries, just look for labels like “sensitive,” “hypoallergenic,” or “free and clear.” Persil also makes a sensitive skin friendly detergent that’s sure to please everyone in your family. So next time you’re feeling a little itchy after wearing your favorite sweater, you’ll know it’s the wool and not your laundry soap. ;)
Lay flat to dry
Have you ever left something to air dry on a hanger only to find it completely lost its shape? Be sure heavier garments are dried flat as the delicate fibers of some materials can permanently become stretched. Another reason to not air dry on hangers? Color transfer. A set of hangers I once purchased left black marks on the shoulders of garments. It wasn’t a problem until I hung a white top on it and the black stain showed right through the clothing.
Shrunken clothes? No worries, there’s a fix!
I used to think that clothes that shrunk up a few inches after being washed and dried were a goner. Not so much after this easy trick! Just mix a solution of mild detergent or baby shampoo with warm water, then let the garment soak for about 15 minutes. When you return, gently stretch the material back out the way it shrank. Let air dry and check to see if it fits. If it’s still a bit small, rinse and repeat, stretching just a bit more vigorously than before.
Pizza and burger stains are the bane of my existence. Fortunately, the Persil ProClean Pro 10 stain removal hack from above will more than likely take out any grease or oil residue. If it doesn’t, there’s still two more options. The first is to use something to sop up the grease like baby powder. If you’re still battling a greasy mess, try a dish soap that claims to cut oil. It will often remove it from your clothes too!
Pills for days
No, not the kind you swallow, the kind that find themselves on friction points of your favorite knitwear! Those pesky pills drive me crazy, so every year when I unpack my sweaters, they have a little shave. It’s as easy as grabbing your razor (you know, the one you shave your legs with?) and gently running it over the pilly spots.
Mesh bags prevent snags
I think it’s pretty common knowledge that undergarments should steer clear of the dryer, but be sure you protect them in the washing machine too! Bra clasps are often forgotten but can cause snags and tears in loose weave garments. Prevent this by zipping them into a reusable mesh bag. It will also help you remember not to allow them to hit the dryer too! Win-win!
I hope these laundry hacks prevent any laundry accidents from happening at your house! It all starts with the right tools for the job, so be sure to stock up on Persil Laundry Detergent at your local Walmart store. For a limited time, they are offering a $2 off coupon which also makes it one of the most budget-friendly options too! Try it and let me know what you think. ;)
What are your favorite laundry hacks or tricks you’ve picked up? Have you had any horrible past laundry mishaps? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!
I am so horrible at laundry that my husband won’t let me touch it anymore. LOL. I haven’t washed a single item of clothing since 2010 and trust me, I know how lucky I am!
Ha! I’m so jealous. I don’t mind doing the laundry, it’s just the actual folding and putting away that drives me crazy. It takes forever!
Very awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading, Ashley!
Never heard of this brand before this. :) I’m more of an EcoNuts kind of gal, but I’m weird like that. Good tips to consider though!
Ha, not weird at all! Glad the tips were useful. :)
I love to try different hacks, for example this one for shrunken clothes is favourite,really works. I knew some new hacks in this post and I’ll try it. Thank you.
Thanks Jennifer! The shrunken clothing hack helps me all the time, in fact I just used it yesterday to save a top! ;)
Love this post! Thank you. I also had some accidents with the laundry through the years and I can say you gave very helpful advices.
Thanks so much Erin!