How To Keep Your Clothes Looking New

Tips for making your clothes look like new

1. Reduce the amount of detergent you use in the washing machine.
More doesn’t always mean better, especially when it comes to laundry detergent. Too much detergent can leave a powdery residue or dull sheen on your clothes. Best to use the very minimum recommended for your washing machine or, better yet, use detergent pods.

2. Keep pet hair in check.
If you have a cat or a dog in your home, you have pet hair on your clothes. However, too much pet hair can damage the fibers in your clothing and cause them to break down—a good reason to keep on top of brushing pet hair from your clothes or removing it with tape.

3. Wash dark clothing inside out.
Another tip for keeping your clothes looking newer longer is to wash your dark clothing inside out. This way the dye in the clothing will run onto the other side of the piece rather than washing down the drain.

4. Wash your clothes a second time without soap
Running your clothes through the wash cycle a second time without the soap will help get rid of any residual detergent and help your clothes last longer. You’ll be amazed at how much soap is still in the drum during this second “wash.”

How To Get Grease Stains Out Of Clothes

But don’t lose heart – your favorite shirt doesn’t need to be relegated to house-wearing only. Just follow these easy steps to eliminate those unseemly grease stains in no time!

The key: Dish soap
Out of all the cleaning and specially-designed stain-removing products on supermarket shelves, the thing that fights grease stains the best is common dish soap! Though you might be skeptical that something so ordinary could work on an extraordinarily difficult stain, trust us – it has a great chance of working. If you think about it, it isn’t so far-fetched; after all, dish detergent is designed to break down food and oils to keep your dishes clean, so why shouldn’t it also work on clothes?

Step 1: Get petroleum-based dish soap
These soaps work best for grease stains, so if you only use natural dish detergents, you will want to run to the store to get something like Dawn.

Step 2: Test it out
Though you shouldn’t have any trouble, it is best to test out your soap first to make sure it won’t discolor the fabric. Some have suggested selecting clear dish soaps, since you may have a color problem with blue or green detergents.

Step 3: Apply to stain
Rub in your dish soap on the stain, scrubbing hard, and let it sit for several minutes.

Step 4: Toss in the washer
The item is now ready to go in the washer. But, if your soap makes a lot of suds, you will want to rinse out the majority of the dish soap to protect your washing machine.

Step 5: Check before placing in dryer
After the cycle is over, pull out the item of clothing to see if the stain is gone. If not, repeat this process until you don’t see the grease. If it is especially persistent, soak the clothes for up to an hour after step 3 before throwing them back in the washer.

How To Get Clean Smelling Laundry Every Time

Unfortunately, washing machines aren’t magical – if you want your clothes to continue in their pristine state, you might have to adjust your washing habits just slightly.

Ever had your favorite shirt or workout top come out of the dryer smelling slightly off, no matter how many times you wash it? Athletic clothes in particular come out with a sour scent frequently, since they collect a lot of your sweat over time. Even the antimicrobial, high-quality workout products are not immune from getting smelly after many uses.

The first thing you should do is make sure that your washing machine is clean. If you frequently leave wet clothes in it overnight, there is a chance that it has a musty, mildew smell. To clean it out, fill the chamber with hot water and 2 cups of white vinegar, and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes. Then, run the machine on the regular wash cycle to let the solution flow through all the pipes. Now, you’re ready to treat your clothes.

Two options
There are two different paths you can take to solve your stinky clothes problem, depending on your preferences.

Option A: If you are someone that likes your clothes to smell flowery and fragrant, run your loads with your favorite detergent. For extra scent and softer feel, also use a scented fabric softener sheet when you throw them in the dryer. With a clean washing machine, this should be easy for all your moderately smelly clothes.

Option B: If you prefer your clothes to smell crisp and clean without any additional fragrances, then use the same solution you used to clean the washer. Water and white vinegar coupled with a scentless detergent should help you eliminate any foul odors which have accumulated.

How To Clean The American Flag

However often you raise the red, white, and blue, your flag may be getting dirty. Flying a soiled flag hardly conveys the message appropriate to it, so you’ll need to clean it. The U.S. Flag Code says, “The life of your flag depends on your care,” so here are some suggestions for treating it honorably.

Normal Washing
If your outdoor flag is only slightly dirty, you can simply get a wet washcloth and wipe it down. Add some liquid laundry detergent to battle through the dirt or tree sap stuck on it. If the whole thing needs a good wash, then you can put it in your washing machine without damaging it. Be sure to use only cold water, and wash on a gentle setting. It’s not recommended to use a dryer since that may cause damage or wrinkle the material, so it is best to hang dry it. (The U.S. Flag Code recommends dry-cleaning indoor or parade flags.)

For Stained Flags
For tougher spots, you’ll want to create a solution made from equal parts water and a gentle stain-removing product. Apply this to the flag using only a clean cloth, and let it sit for a while until the solution sets in. You might need something a little more heavy-duty. If so, fill a container or tub with an oxygen-based bleach mixed with water and submerge the flag overnight. Then, begin your washing process described above.

Mind the Material
American flags can be made out of several different materials, so be sure to check the tag to understand the needs of the different fabrics. If you don’t pay close attention to this, you could shrink the flag or stretch it out so that it is misshapen and unusable per the U.S. Flag Code.

Vintage, old flags require more care than a normal nylon or polyester one. It is best to take these sorts of valuable flags to professional restorers or conservators for any necessary cleaning or repairs. Flags with additional adornments like gold tassels will also require special care.

How to Use Laundry Detergent Correctly

What if you learned that you could increase the lifespan of your washing machine, preserve the quality of your clothes, and save yourself a little cash in the process? You’d be crazy not to listen, right? Well, this isn’t just a fanciful thought: by making one small change in your laundry habits, you can enjoy all of these benefits.

It’s really simple: cut back on the detergent! In just four steps, you can make your laundry practices significantly more efficient and effective.

  1. Select a type of detergent. There are three main forms of detergent: self-contained packets powder, and liquid. Figure out which one is best for your machine by consulting the manual. Typically, high-efficiency (HE) washers require a special type of detergent, since regular ones will damage the machine and cause it to smell musty. Otherwise, you will have a choice, so pick your favorite!
  2. Gauge your load size. The amount of detergent you need is directly related to the size of your load. If you throw in the same amount of detergent for every load, your clothes likely have a soapy film on them and will wear out faster. A good rule of thumb for estimating your load size: a quarter full is small, half-full is medium, and full is large.
  3. Calculate how much detergent you need. Check your detergent’s packaging to see how much is recommended for each load size. Make sure you also measure the soap correctly—for instance, not mistaking teaspoons for tablespoons. More soap does not mean your clothes will be any cleaner, and in fact, it could degrade them rapidly.
  4. Administer detergent properly. Frontloading washers and HE washers are simple to use; throw in the clothes, add detergent on top, and you are good to go. Top-loaders are a little different. For best results, let the drum fill with water first, then pour in the detergent, and finally add the clothes. This is so that the detergent can be evenly distributed before the clothes are thrown in.

These four steps can really make a difference for you. Detergent can be expensive, so this is how you can make it last longer. You will probably notice the difference for your clothes and machine as well! If you’ve been using too much detergent for a long time, then you might first need to clean out your machine thoroughly. This is simple, too—just run an empty load and add 3/4 cup of white vinegar to the hot water.

How to Remove Grass Stains

One of the most resilient types of stains is grass stains. And they are easy to come by, especially for children. They might have been sliding all over a soccer field or playing with a dog in your yard, rolling around on the ground. But, children aren’t the only ones with grass stains – adults can easily pick them up as well when playing in a softball league or re-sodding the front lawn. Whatever you’ve been up to in life, chances are you’ve been confronted with your fair share of grass stains and need a foolproof method of getting them out.

Why grass is so tough

You might be wondering why grass is so hard to get out of your clothes in the first place. It isn’t a colorful liquid-like juice that could soak and dry in clothing, so why does it tend to stick around? The components of grass, when they come into close contact with clothing, act almost like a dye. The pigments of grass actually bond with the fibers in your clothing, essentially dyeing them a
different color.

Grass stain removal techniques

You can’t simply throw grass-stained clothes in the washer and dryer and hope it’ll do the trick. But, fortunately, there are many products and substances readily available that can knock the grass stain out for good.

  • Liquid or powder detergent containing enzymes, bleach, or both (Tide or Biz works great)
  • Bleach combined with hydrogen peroxide and cold water
  • White vinegar and warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Molasses
  • Amyl acetate (also known as banana oil)

Whichever of the above that you have on hand to use, the process is about the same. Take whatever solution you have and apply it directly to the stain, working it into the fabric gently. You can use a toothbrush to apply the substance; just be sure not to rub too hard, since you could rub the stain in even deeper. After letting the clothes sit for several minutes (15-30 is a good rule of thumb), rinse them with water and wash them normally. If the stain isn’t completely gone, repeat the same steps or try to use a different solution until there is no more green.

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