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How To Preserve Your Clothes

Taking good care of your wardrobe isn’t only a good idea for you, it’s good for the planet, too. According to the EPA, each year about 2,500,000,000 pounds of used, unwanted clothing end up in landfills, with the average U.S. citizen throwing away 70 pounds of clothing and textiles annually. (That’s a lot, especially considering many of those textiles are not biodegradable!) Ahead, tips that’ll help you pamper your pieces so they last you a lifetime.

Eliminate Dry Cleaning: Dry cleaning often uses chemicals that are harsh on your fabrics, leading to damage over time. Our solutions let you wash even items considered “dry clean” like silk, wool, and cashmere from home.

Try The Laundress Dry Cleaning Detox Kit

Use Gentler Fabric Solutions: Our plant-based products are free of unnecessary additives like dyes (detergent doesn’t need to be blue, people!), so they coddle your clothes as they clean—instead of stripping them.

Try The Laundress Starter Kit

Swap Bleach For Something Gentler: People think chlorine bleach is the only option for whitening and brightening their fabrics, but that’s just not the case. Chlorine bleach is also really rough on your fabrics and can degrade them over time. Instead, try our All-Purpose Bleach Alternative, an oxygen-powered brightening solution (so no chlorine bleach!) that’s safe to use on colors, too.

Handwash As Often As Your Time Allows: The washing machine is effective and convenient, but hand washing your clothes is by far the gentlest cleaning method. Follow our guide to handwashing every type of fabric.

And Use A Mesh-Washing Bag When You Can’t: If you’re going to use a washing machine to wash things like woolens, silk, bathing suits, lingerie, activewear, or anything with embellishments, it’s a good idea to throw them in a mesh washing bag first. It’ll protect the items from snagging in the drum of the machine.

Air Dry More: The dryer can wear down your items over time, fading colors and messing with their shapes and elasticity. Instead, try line drying or placing them on a flat surface like a drying rack or clean towel. To speed up the air-drying process, we like to lay our pieces flat on a dry towel, then roll both up like a sleeping bag to absorb excess moisture. Unroll and lay on a clean, dry towel or hang to dry. Here are some more reasons why we heart air-drying.

Store Your Items Properly: Make sure all items are freshly washed before storing them away for the season. This will prevent perfume, body products, body oils, food, and dirt from resurfacing later (they can be difficult to remove the longer they sit). It’s also important to pack clothes and textiles in a breathable fabric storage container or bag made of cotton or linen with a zipper closure to avoid yellowing and to keep dust out. Avoid storing in plastic or cardboard (which can attract bugs) and stow in a cool, dry, dark area to avoid mold, moths, fading, or deterioration.

Try The Laundress Canvas Large Zip Storage Bag, The Laundress Hanging Storage Bag