How to Wash Clothing Correctly to Make It Last Longer

ResellingRevealed:  Nothing hurts worse than picking up a beautiful wool jacket at a thrift store, only to find out that the original owner threw it in the dryer and shrunk it.  Or a fleece that is pilly beyond belief.  We have even sent out pristine clothing, had customers try and wash it, and then return it after they ruined it.  Believe us, you don’t want to be the person that ruins your profits but literally washing them down the drain.  We get asked all the time, “Should I wash clothes before listing them on eBay?”  The answer is usually YES!  But only if you do it correctly…


When you purchase a new item of clothing, especially an expensvie piece of designer clothing, Dream Adventures is well aware that you want it to last.  We are the same way.  Why waste your money?  Let us help you get the most out of the clothing you already own with our Guide on How To Wash Cothing Correctly.

  • Follow the label’s instructions:  Check the label of the item before you wash it.  It is a great tool to guide you on what to do with the fabric.  Does it say dry-clean only?  If so–then you should dry clean the item to be on the safe side.  Does it say dry-clean recommended?  If so you are in luck because 9 times out of 10 you can wash it by hand.  
  • Sort, sort, sort:  Grouping like colors together is the number one rule.  Do you know rule number 2?  It is very important to wash like fabrics together.  If you break it down simply, think of there being three types of fabrics:  heavy (towels, denim, jeans, etc), delicates (fine items, bras, lingerie) and softs (t-shirts, polyester items, cotton, etc).  If an item is heavier, it will be more abrasive it is when brushing up and rubbing against fabrics in the washer.   Denim against denim will do little damage;  but if you have denim rubbing against soft cotton, the cotton will be broken down more quickly and will not last as long.
  • Don’t over wash:  By far reason number one for clothing not lasting is over washing.  Chronic over washing is a major issue.  Instead of tossing an item in the laundry after one wearing, remember that clothing can be re-worn several times, and should be.  Obviously if an item is smelly or dirty, it should be washed after one wearing.  But, trousers and pants can easily be worn 3 or 4 times before hitting the landry.  A top can go for at least 2 wears.  Denim jeans?  Aim for 3 wears before you put them in the dirty clothing pile.  A little tip to freshen up your clothing after a wear or two is to hang it to air out on padded hangers or hooks.  A little fresh air can rejuvenate any garment.  Getting yourself into the habit of several wears between washing will make your clothing last longer and create less laundry to do too.  Bonus!
  • Cold water works:  Washing with cold water is much easier on fabrics than warm or hot water washing.  A fabric’s color is retained more by washing it in cold water.  Hot water is typically used in whites (socks, underwear) and for towels.  That is fine, but wash everything else in cold water.  You will save your clothing and save on your hot water heating bill.  Bonus!
  • Proper prep:  Before you wash an item, zip uo the zipper,  secure buttons, tie up strings, and use a delicates bag for fine items like lingere and bras.  Taking these steps helps to  prevents damage from interaction. 
  • Be gentle:  Pick the most gentle washing cycle for each load.  Common sense says that the less twisting, tugging, spinning and pulling happens in a washer, the happier your fabrics will be.  Gentle treatment of fabric creates a longer life span.
  • Don’t over stuff:  Just because a washing machine boasts it can wash 22 pairs of jeans in one load, this is not a good idea.  Over stuffing your washer forces the fabrics to rub more which is a main cause of wear and abrasion.  Let them swim freely in the water and they will be happy and last longer.

Simple tips like this can help you get the most out of your designer clothing wardrobe.