5 simple hacks to make clothes last longer

Find out how to extend the life of your clothes – and reduce your eco impact – with a few simple changes to your laundry routine.

1. Before you wash, zip

Ever unloaded your wash only to find your delicates snagged, ripped or tangled? Zips, buttons and chunky embellishments could well be to blame.

Before you load the machine take a few minutes to zip up zips, button up buttons, fasten any velcro and turn your clothes inside out. That way, any hard parts are less likely to catch on other pieces of clothing or the machine drum.

For added protection, wash delicates in a laundry bag – or a good, old-fashioned pillow case!


A close up of the zip on a pair of blue jeans

2. Don’t tumble, air dry

Tumble drying is energy-intensive, expensive and can wear out your clothes over time. Air drying uses zero energy, is completely free and can even help tackle stains.

Some people swear that hanging whites in direct sunshine can work wonders on biological stains – dirty nappies in particular.


Colourful washing on a washing line above green grass.

3. Full-load it

The more you wash clothes, the more you’ll wear them out, so try and wait until they really need it.

Wait until you’ve got a full load. Make sure you don’t cram too much in, or you risk damaging your clothes and machine, plus the load may not wash or rinse properly.

Unsure what a full load looks like? According to Bosch, we’re talking about roughly ¾ of the drum.


Red and pink clothes hanging out of a washing machine with its door open

4. Banish light, damp… and moths

Extending the life of your clothes isn’t just about how you wash and dry them – it’s about savvy storage too.

As well as keeping out any light, which can fade colours faster, ensure clothes are completely dry before putting them away.

Clothes-eating moths are another issue. With some evidence that numbers are rising in the UK, it’s worth doing some prevention work.

Try adding a bit of lavender before you close the wardrobe door to put off the moths.


A field of lavender

5. Know when to fold

Currently stick everything on a hanger? If you want your clothes to last, you may want to reorganise.

Those in the know say that jumpers should always be folded to keep them in good nick.

If you’re pushed for space, check out the KonMari folding method. And for clothes you do hang, invest in decent hangers to avoid them becoming misshapen or snagged.


A colourful stack of folded laundry

Fancy a few more last-longer tips? Our friends at Love Your Clothes have lots more advice to help keep your clothes looking great!