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Cleaning expert shares surprising ingredient that will keep your clothes fresh

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During the balmy summer days, we often find ourselves laundering our garments more frequently to maintain that crisp, fresh scent. However, the capricious British weather can thwart plans to air-dry laundry outdoors, and let’s face it, no one fancies cranking up the heating in July.

But fear not, for there are savvy strategies to extend the life of your cherished wardrobe pieces and keep them looking their best for longer.

The style mavens at Superdry have divulged their top tips and insider secrets for the meticulous care of your attire, particularly those precious delicate items you’d rather not subject to the rigours of frequent washing.

One key piece of advice for reducing your pile of washing is to adopt a smarter approach to laundry. The fashion gurus at Superdry advise: “Overwashing your clothes can lead to unnecessary stretching and wear. Instead, consider rotating the clothes you wear, allowing your garments ample time between uses.”

This clever tactic not only enhances the durability of your apparel but also invites you to reacquaint yourself with long-forgotten pieces at the back of your closet, curbing the impulse to splurge on new threads, reports the Mirror.

Moreover, they’ve revealed an unexpected household item that could be your secret weapon against persistent odours. The experts suggest: “For delicate items, some professionals in the costume industry go as far as recommending a gentle spritz of vodka to eliminate odour and help preserve the fabric’s integrity by avoiding unnecessary washing.

“This secret method freshens the garment without risking damage and is perfect for dry cleaning only items that cannot be washed in a machine.”

The experts did, however, add a note of caution, saying: “Not all fabrics react in the same way, so take care when applying any treatment. Alcohol may cause a colour change so always test on a small area of the garment first. And don’t hold the spray bottle too close you’re aiming for a gentle mist across the fabric surface.”

Other top tips recommended by the gurus at Superdry include:

Let nature do its work

Embrace the power of nature by skipping the dryer and opting for a clothesline or drying rack instead. This not only extends the life of your garments by reducing wear and tear from heat but also takes advantage of sunlight’s natural antimicrobial properties and its ability to act as a mild whitening agent.

By gently pulling garments into shape to remove creases before hanging them out or placing them on the drying rack and you’ll reduce the amount of ironing needed.

Make the most of cooler washes

Embrace the benefits of cooler wash cycles, which conserve energy, preserve the vibrant colours of your clothing, and reduce the chances of shrinkage. This tip is a great way to save even more money and massively reduces the chances of accidentally ruining your favourite outfit.

Always consult the washing instructions on the label for specific temperature recommendations for your clothes, as many delicate items will need to be hand-washed only.

Many washing machines now have ‘Hand Wash’ programmes which not only wash at a lower temperature but also agitate the garments less, with a gentler spin cycle for reduced creasing.

If you opt for traditional handwashing, always use a specialist detergent which will be kinder to your clothes and your hands. Rinse thoroughly to rinse residual detergent away, and squeeze firmly to remove excess water but never wring or twist as that can cause damage to the fabric or distort a garment’s shape.

That’s the spot

Prioritise spot cleaning to target stains and spills. If you spot a small mark or stain on your clothing item, try spot cleaning before washing it unnecessarily.

Using the right product for both the type of fabric and the type of stain will help you get the best results, but always follow the instructions and test on a small, out-of-the-way area.

Safeguard your delicate items, such as lingerie and knitwear, by washing them in mesh laundry bags, which provide an added layer of protection against stretching and snagging during the wash cycle. Washing clothes inside out can also be beneficial as it helps reduce friction and abrasion, prolonging garment lifespan and minimising damage.

Be extra careful when ironing

Always take care when ironing your clothes; this is an easy way to ruin your favourite item. Make sure to select the appropriate temperature setting and use a clean, damp pressing cloth for delicate fabrics to prevent heat damage and preserve garment quality.

Proper ironing techniques make your clothes look their best and contribute to their longevity, reducing the need for frequent replacements.

Professionals always iron items made from natural fibres like cotton and silk while they are still damp as it helps deal with creasing. You could also invest in a detachable Teflon sole plate to use on synthetic or delicate fabrics this diffuses the heat and prevents scorching or burning.

Bin your old wire hangers

Always store your clothes correctly to maintain their shape and condition. For example, knitwear should be folded and stored on a shelf instead of hanging to prevent stretching.

Another key thing to remember when storing your clothes is to make sure you use hangers that are designed to properly support the weight and shape of each garment. You should also always make use of the hanging loops that you find inside your clothes they’ve been added for a reason: to help keep garments in the right position when they’re on the hanger, supporting the weight and stopping fabrics from stretching and distorting.

Revive and thrive

The experts at Superdry reiterated the importance of being able to “mend and make do”. From reattaching buttons to darning holes, simple repairs can significantly reduce waste and promote a more sustainable approach to fashion consumption

Recent data also underscores the urgent need for sustainable fashion practices, with approximately 30 percent of unwanted clothes finding their way into UK landfills annually. This alarming trend equates to a staggering 300,000 tonnes of clothing disposed of in household rubbish bins each year.

Deborah Painting, head of quality and technical from Superdry, said: “The emphasis on sustainability in the fashion industry has grown significantly in recent years, reflecting a broader concern for personal environmental impact. These simple tips highlight a few easy ways to keep your favourite clothing items in good condition for longer, minimising the need for replacements.

“By incorporating simple strategies such as air drying, spot cleaning, and garment repair, individuals can actively contribute to mitigating fashion’s environmental impact. What’s more, caring for your clothes and extending their wear time helps to both save you money and keep your favourite items of clothing looking good for longer.”



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