7 Frugal Tips To Clean and Care For Your Clothes

by JT on August 27, 2008

Extend the use of your clothing with these tips on how to clean and care for your garments.

There are many lifestyle changes, however slight, that can save you both time and money. Wouldn’t you love to get the most bang for your buck? You can start with your wardrobe — while many families focus on clothing their ever-growing broods, there are many ways for anyone to save a bundle just by caring for the garments they already have hanging in the closet.

cleaning tips for your clothes

Here are some ways to get more out of what you wear:

1. Care Well for The Clothes You Own

While you may not be able to go shopping every day to expand your wardrobe, the first step in saving money is to care for what you already have. Depending on the fabric from which your clothing is made, you need to be careful how you clean it. Items that contain spandex and nylon fibers shouldn’t be dried on high settings. Doing so will cause the materials to lose elasticity, which will alter the look and feel of a perfect fit. Take care to read the labels for each garment. Wash clothes in cold water; keep your zippers closed, and other hooks and accessories covered, to prevent damage to other articles of clothing in the washer.

2. Treat Stains Properly and Promptly

While there are many products on the market “guaranteed to fight stains”, you need to follow recommended instructions for removing each type of stain based on the material that is soiled, otherwise you may end up making the stain removal that much harder. Remember to blot away stains as soon as they happen and avoid rubbing them further into the fabric.

3. Repair and Mend Clothes Immediately

Even if the quality of your clothing is top-notch, there may still be pulls and holes caused by wearing, washing, or everyday accidents. If you find a pull in your sweater, make sure you pull the strings back through the underside to prevent further problems. Keep around the supply of extra buttons and thread that came with the items in order to make repairs a snap. Mend clothing as soon as you notice that there’s a problem; this will help avoid making the problem worse and will keep you from succumbing to the temptation of buying something new to replace your damaged items. Also, you don’t want to accumulate a pile of “unwearable clothes” that will take time to attend to.

tips to care for your clothes, wardrobe

4. Skip the Dry Cleaning

In reality, people can spend a small fortune on weekly or monthly dry cleaning bills. While there are products now in the stores that claim to do the same kind of cleaning, they can be expensive in their own right and may not work as successfully as you hope. One of the easiest ways to avoid a dry cleaning bill is to purchase items that do not require dry cleaning in the first place. For items you may already have that require dry cleaning, you can hand wash these in cold water and let them air dry. For bigger ticket items like coats, it may be wiser to “invest” the money on their care to ensure they last longer: you may save money by delaying the need to replace these expensive items.

5. Purchase for Quality not Quantity

Sure it may seem justifiable to buy cheaper clothes in order to afford a bigger wardrobe. However, if you have a small clothing budget, it may be smarter to buy higher quality clothing that will last for a longer time. Look for items that fit well and those that are made from durable fabrics that will stand the test of time.

6. Think Functional First, Then Fashionable

When it comes to style, everyone wants to look fresh and up-to-date. It may be a more financially viable option to buy a few basic pieces and to avoid the temptation of following trends that may not last a season. Combine timeless basics with stylish accessories instead, and you’ll have a versatile wardrobe that should be suitable for any occasion, sans the expense.

7. Recycle Clothes You No Longer Need

All of your clothing can live on after they have been thrown out of your closet. Whether they turn into dust rags or get donated, clothing shouldn’t just be thrown out. Unrepairable clothes can be used for craft projects, donated to the local animal shelters, or cut up into cleaning rags. Charities and churches often collect clothing for the needy of the community. It would be a good idea to check around — there may be a women’s crisis center in your area whose residents would appreciate your offerings. Your used clothing will always have much use: you can earn money selling your clothes on consignment or host a yard sale to earn more cash for a fresh new wardrobe!

Image by C & H

If you enjoyed this post, you can get free regular updates through our RSS Feed, or you can have our latest posts delivered to your email inbox by supplying your address here. Your address will only be used for this purpose, and you can unsubscribe anytime.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kelly from Almost Frugal August 31, 2008 at 12:07 pm

This post has been included in the 141st Festival of Frugality at Almost Frugal, going live September 2, 2008. Please link back to the festival when you get a chance! (PS Thesis users unite!)

2 JT August 31, 2008 at 1:59 pm

Thanks Kelly! 🙂 Thanks too for the Thesis shout out! I shall link back soon.

3 Mydailydollars September 2, 2008 at 1:37 pm

These are great tips! I completely agree on skipping the dry cleaners. My husband bought a commerical steamer. While it didn’t seem like a frugal purchase at first, now I’m convinced. Our clothes look lovely; it’s quick and easy to use, and my neck doesn’t ache from bending over an ironing board!

4 JT September 2, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I believe that whatever you can do yourself will usually save you money. With dry cleaning, you’ll have to pay for the service, which is an ongoing expenditure similar to what you’d spend if you rent out the equipment, whereas if you buy your own cleaning utensils or tools, your cost will be that of the price of the equipment. If you amortize that cost, it’s usually much cheaper over the life of the tool.

5 Michelle September 3, 2008 at 7:27 pm

My decade-old skirts have been used to thread kitchen mittens. Cool. Anything can be used as anything these days. 🙂

6 RecycleCindy October 2, 2008 at 6:19 am

Great tips and I especially wanted to say that recycling and upcylcing clothes is a wonderful idea. Old sweaters can have the yarn reclaimed to create new crocheted or knitted projects. Old t-shirts can be used to make rag rugs or bags. Worn out jeans provide denim fabric that can be used in many different projects. There is a whole world out ideas out there for those old clothes.

7 hand dryers April 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm

This is good tip to air dry your clothes. I would also recommend that especially in summer because it would not take really long to dry clothes and there might be a massive saving on the clothes.

Leave a Comment

{ 9 trackbacks }