Today we're going to tackle a local black hole: your closet.
Wash And Care.
Nearly every article of clothing you own has a little tag—usually the itchy one that you cut off in a fit of temper—with instructions on it for proper care. These tags aren't for show: Washing and drying your clothes as instructed will help them retain their appearance and last longer.
If your tag has a row of symbols, not words, don't fret; they're not alien hieroglyphics. Here's what you need to know:
Even when we're on our best, most cautious behavior, clothes sometimes need first aid. High heels get worn down, suede gets damaged, jewelry breaks, and, in the winter, we get salt marks all over our nice leather boots. Of course, it's not the LearnVest way to keep throwing out clothing, so we bring you tricks for easy, simple, and inexpensive clothing repair that can save hundreds of dollars over the long run. Click on the slide show to learn more.
Dry Clean Only.
Although we try to overlook the "dry clean only" tags on our favorite clothes, the cost of looking sharp is steep. We could easily blow $50 on a few blouses and dresses (five blouses at $6 each, plus two dresses at $12 apiece). If we did that once per month, it would come out to over $600 each year. Sometimes it's necessary, but many times it's not. Try these tips that you can do at home, and lower your dry cleaning bill:
When you're packing for a trip, wrap clothes in plastic (the kind you brought home with your dry cleaning) to avoid wrinkles.
Only dry clean items like wool coats once per year. Between wears, use a garment brush to get rid of surface dirt.
Spot-clean stains with an instant stain remover stick. To remove stray odors and daily dirt from lighter pieces like slacks and blouses, use products like Dryel or Woolite's Dry Cleaner's Secret.
- Print the wash guides. Hang them near your laundry supplies
- Schedule a time on your calendar to tackle your repair list. Repair at least one item of clothing this weekend.
- View the LV tips for easy DIY clothing fixes. Make a list of clothing repairs you need to do.