Do you take care of your clothes? Extending the lifespan of your wardrobe can be good for your health, your finances and the environment.
The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters, after all – and the UK buys more clothes than any other country in Europe.
Research from the home experts at Hammonds has revealed many of us are hiding dirty habits when it comes to washing, however. Almost one in three Brits wash their bedsheets just once a year, for example, while nearly one in five wash jeans annually.
The study ultimately showed that many of us have different views and strategies when it comes to caring for our clothes. Below we address common clothing myths and offer simple storage tips to help you get more from your garments.
How often should you wash your clothes?
Are you a clean freak, or do you avoid the washing machine at all costs? Washing clothes too frequently or too rarely can both be harmful, so it’s best to find a happy medium depending on the items you own.
17% of Newcastle residents wash everything after each use – but doing this with items such as bras will wear them out. Coats can be washed once a season to prevent piling, while washing jeans up to every 10 wears will maintain colour and shape.
At the other end of the scale, socks and other underwear items should be washed after each use to prevent infection or irritation. Shockingly, one in seven people from Belfast use underwear over ten times per wash!
The items you shouldn’t forget about
The Hammonds study found there are several other clothing accessories that rarely make it to the washing pile. Winter warmers such as scarves, gloves and hats are serial offenders, despite the ease with which they can pick up germs when out and about.
A number of us also ignore our jumpers and hoodies, perhaps because they’re often worn with protective layers. It’s still advised to wash them every six to seven wears, however.
Clothes storage tips
The way you store your clothes can also impact their longevity. Read our quickfire storage tips:
- Air-dry clothes as much as possible after washing to avoid damp smells
- Button trousers, shirts and jackets completely to keep the material from sagging
- Create plenty of hanging space to prevent creasing. It could be worth investing in fitted furniture
- Use strong hangers to avoid stretching necklines
- Fold other clothes along the seams to avoid unwanted creases
- Invest in storage bags to protect expensive items while allowing fabrics to breathe
- Set moth traps if necessary to prevent holes
How do your clothing care habits stack up? Follow the tips above to make sure they look their best for years to come.