9 Easy Cheats on How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

Who doesn’t want their favorite pair of jeans to last forever? Here are 9 awesome tips everyone needs to know right now on how to make your clothes last longer.

Your comfiest cool weather sweater, the pretty sundress or sexy little camisole that makes you feel like a million bucks – these are clothes we want to last forever. My favorite blue shirt has lasted 8 years and three pregnancies. My sister even “borrowed” it for one of her pregnancies. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite shirts. If I could go back in time and buy 10 of them, I would do it in a heartbeat. We all have that one item though right? Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have a few. 

With these simple tips for making your clothes last longer and investing in ENERGY STAR appliances, you can enjoy your favorite items for years to come.

how to make your clothes last longer

Tips to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

Give Them a Rest

It’s common sense to rotate your apparel and shoes but it’s easier said than done. It can be tempting to wear your favorite Thor t-shirt every day of the week, but your clothes need a rest to prevent them from wearing out.

Separate by Material, Not Just Color

Everyone knows to sort by colors, but just as importantly, you should also be sorting your laundry by material and fabric type as well. Rough denim should not be washed with a soft blouse. The same goes for hoodies and jackets with abrasive zippers. Ideally – jeans should be washed only with other denim when new, in case of bleeds. Well worn/washed jeans should be washed with things like jackets and hoodies, T-shirts, sweatpants or shirts, pull up shorts in another load, and delicates in yet another load. Another bonus to taking this extra step to sort is that clothing with similar materials also have similar drying times. This prevents some items from over drying while others remain damp. 

Use a Mesh Bag for Delicates

I started using mesh bags for my delicate undergarments a few years ago and definitely saw the difference in the longevity of my delicates. They’re also great for corralling those little items that tend to disappear in the wash – socks, baby items and headbands. 

How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

Monitor Water and Detergent

The easiest way to prevent clothes from fading or wearing out is to wash them with the coldest water possible, use the appropriate amount of water, and use less detergent.

Your washing machine can be a huge help in this endeavor. Most ENERGY STAR certified top-load machines use a water sensing system to avoid water waste (and waterlogged clothes). They also use sophisticated wash systems to cycle clothes through a mixture of water and detergent, allowing the clothes to be cleaned without using excess water or detergent.

Skip the Agitator

ENERGY STAR clothes washers use a variety of sophisticated cleaning methods that are gentler on your clothes. Front-load machines tumble clothes through a small amount of water instead of rubbing clothes against an agitator, while advanced top-load machines lift and tumble clothes through a reduced stream of water.

Plus, because these newer models are so gentle, many models can even safely clean silk, wool, and other hand-washables.

Wash Items Inside Out 

Turning your clothing inside out will prevent graphics from rubbing off and color from fading. (Not recommended for tough stains)

how to make your clothes last longer

Dry on Low Heat

I’m often guilty of washing the clothes I want to wear the next day but then forgetting to put them into the dryer. Inevitably about 15 minutes before I need to leave, I realize I need to speed dry my clothes so I use the highest setting possible and pray for a miracle. Unfortunately, drying your clothes with intense heat can cause them to fade and shrink. Heat also breaks down the elastic in your clothes so be sure to dry them on the appropriate settings. If your dryer has smart drying cycles, use them. The newest ENERGY STAR clothes dryers use less heat and sensor drying which reduces wear and tear on clothes from over-drying.

Read the Labels

What a novel idea, right? But really, when was the last time you actually read the care label on a new garment before tossing it in the wash. If you want your clothes to last, you have to read the care labels. If it says dry clean only, it really should only be dry cleaned. 

Don’t Overload the Washer

Stuffing your washer full of clothes may seem like the easiest way to power through those looming piles of laundry, but it’s actually working against you. Not only will your clothes not come clean, but they’re more likely to rub together more – creating extra wear and becoming waterlogged, which actually increases drying time. 

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What tips do you have to share to make clothes last longer?


Learn more about ENERGY STAR appliances on the Best Buy blog. The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.

16 thoughts on “9 Easy Cheats on How to Make Your Clothes Last Longer”

  1. These are great tips for doing the laundry! I think it’s really important that you take note of the detergent that you use.

  2. It’s so disappointing when your favorite pieces get ruined. These are great reminders for how to properly care for our clothing.

  3. I try to invest in better quality clothing rather than buying cheap things that will fall apart. These are great tips for helping my investment last longer.

  4. These are great tips! I think it’s really nice if we can make our clothes last longer. It’s great to be able to wear your favorite clothes often but then again, it’s important to give them a rest too so as no to ruin them.

  5. I have always owned “Top Loaders” they have all been Energy Star Compliant, but I am in the market for a new one and wanted to try a front loader this time around. I am considering Bosch, LG and Samsung and haven’t yet figured out which one.

  6. Having two girls who love their clothes and get upset when favorites get worn out, these are all great tips. I am washing more in cold water these days and line drying and am seeing better hold up of the clothes overall.

  7. I never knew a lot of those tips. Unfortunately I don’t have an Energy Star washer dryer to get the most efficient washing. I will try some of the others ideas when I do laundry.

  8. So many wonderful care suggestions! Clothing is expensive and I definitely try to get the most out of mine. Having an Energy Star washer and dryer set helps for sure!

  9. Thanks for these tips. I will try the tip of sorting according to fabric type too. That sure makes sense. Zippers can do damage to a blouse or a nice shirt.

  10. Thanks for these tips. I am guilty of overloading the washer. Laundry is my least favorite household task and I want to get it done the quickest. I will have to remind myself not to do that next time.

  11. My wife washes all of our clothes inside out – even the ones that don’t have printing on them. Since she started doing it, our clothes really have started lasting longer.

  12. These are great tips. One of the best ways to extend the life of your clothes is by using machines that aren’t so hard on them. AND these machines save so much money!

  13. Hey Jeana, great post! I always am trying to keep clothes last longer especially traveling wears down clothes. Some great tips, I will share them with my travelers. Thanks for sharing!


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