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    Posted on Mar 3, 2016

    15 Clothing Hacks That Actually Work

    Spoiler: There's no way to get rid of sweat stains, sorry.

    Rebecca Hendin / Thinkstock / BuzzFeed

    There's a lot of conflicting advice about how to care for your clothes.

    Pure Wow/

    Can't I just shove the sweater in my chest of drawers?

    And some of it seems...unnecessary.

    FOX/ New Girl

    There are four more steps in that sweater folding tutorial btw.

    So we decided to ask the experts all our stupid questions.

    We spoke to the cleaning experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute and Tony Glenville, fashion expert and course leader at London College of Fashion, UAL.

    1. Do hangers really affect your clothes?

    2. What does "dry clean only" mean?

    3. And how often do I need to dry-clean items?

    4. Can you ever really get rid of sweat stains?

    American Horror Story / FOX

    Short answer: No. Long answer: You can give it a shot. Longer answer: Prevention is better than cure.

    "Sweat stains will often still leave a ring when washed or dry cleaned, so to be honest it's often best to jettison them. If you are prone to perspiring, old-fashioned flat dress shields fixed in with safety pins (or in fact a fine cotton handkerchief folded and pinned as they did in the old days) works wonders. " – Tony Glenville

    "For older, yellowed sweat stains, try the methods below, but be prepared for limited success.

    "Non-washable fabrics: For light soiling dab with a solution of white vinegar (15ml vinegar to 250ml warm water) to help to clean and deodorise the area; however, this may also cause watermarks. Dry-cleaning is a better option.

    "Washable fabrics: For cotton, immerse in an enzyme-based pre-soaking agent. Scrub affected areas with a nailbrush, and then machine-wash with a biological detergent, adding an in-wash stain remover to the load. For stubborn stains, rub with a solution made up of half glycerine and half warm water, and leave for an hour before washing as previously described. Unfortunately, nothing works very well on silk and wool, but with light staining, you may have some success with the glycerine method described for cotton." – Good Housekeeping Institute

    5. What about using aspirin and lemon juice?

    Flickr: catrocketship / Via Creative Commons

    You could try one of these more unusual methods, but it's unlikely that you'll get rid of the stain entirely.

    "Aspirin: Use this one on white cotton shirts. Take two soluble, white, uncoated aspirin and dissolve them in half a mugful of water. Apply to the stained area and leave to soak for a couple of hours. Rub a little liquid detergent into the stain, and then wash as normal.

    "Meat tenderiser: Not as mad as you might think when you consider that perspiration is a protein-based stain and meat tenderiser works by breaking down proteins! Dampen the stained area with water and apply half a teaspoon of tenderiser powder. Allow to stand for 30 minutes, and then wash as normal.

    "Lemon juice: Squeeze the juice from a lemon and add an equal amount of water to it. Apply to the stained area and scrub in well with a nailbrush. Place in a sunny area and allow to dry – the lemon juice and sunlight are both good bleaching agents and will help fade the stain. Follow by washing as normal." – Good Housekeeping Institute

    6. How do I remove a curry stain?

    7. Does lavender really keep moths away?

    The key to keeping moths at bay is vigilance. Use cedar and lavender spray, and also keep your wardrobe dust-free.

    "Before putting clothes away, air them thoroughly overnight. Moths are particularly fond of natural fibres, such as wool and silk, and are attracted to sweat and dirt, so to stop them feasting on your favourite jumper use cedar and lavender spray in wardrobes and drawers as a natural repellent. Vacuum the insides of your cupboard and drawers regularly. Don't cram your wardrobe and drawers. Keep clothes well ventilated – air should be able to circulate freely to help moisture evaporate. Use Pack-Mate Anti Mould Flat Vac Bags to compactly stow away your winter wardrobe." – Good Housekeeping Institute

    8. What do I do if I rip something?

    My Little Pony

    Try to fix it! If it's ripped on a seam, or if the hem is loose, then it's pretty easy.

    "If the garment is ripped on a seam and there's plenty of room, take it in a bit. It's also worth taking the garment to a local dry cleaner to see if they can give it a new lease of life. Alternatively, there's a company called British Invisible Mending that may be able to professionally fix the damage.

    "For a loose hem, use iron-on hemming tape (£2, or fabric glue (Bostik Fabric Glue, £1.80, Garments fraying at the ends? Try Fray Check, (£3.85,, a quick-fix liquid that strengthens and binds fabrics to prevent them from fraying further." – Good Housekeeping Institute

    "Rips can be darned in some fabrics but make sure you don't feel conscious of the mending depending on where it is, and how well it is repaired. Invisible menders do still exist and should be hunted down and used." – Tony Glenville

    9. Should I shave my jumpers to stop bobbling?

    10. How can I save a wool jumper that has shrunk in the wash?

    Parks and Recreation / NBC

    Short answer: You can't.

    "Once the damage has been done to the fibres, there's very little chance of restoring it. The only suggestion would be to thoroughly soak the pullover in tepid water, add fabric softener, leave for 15-20 minutes, then start gently squeezing the pullover making sure the water and the fabric softener cover the full garment. Lift out of the water after approximately 30 minutes and then put into tepid water without fabric softener. Then, by gently squeezing, try and get all the fabric softener out of the pullover. After that just allow to drain, don't squeeze as the weight of the water might help to pull the pullover back into size. Best thoughts would be on a hanger and pulling gently back into shape, then softly dry on a towel." – Good Housekeeping Institute

    "No. Once wool has been heated and has matted or shrunk it's time to give it to a size-zero person or a child." – Tony Glenville

    11. Does a pinch of salt in your wash really stop colours fading?

    "Salt is a useful natural remedy for setting a dye and maintaining vibrancy, so a pinch in your wash of colours isn't a bad idea. However, if any of the garments have a tannin-based stain (red wine, coffee, tea, cola, etc.) then the salt can set the tannin stain and make it impossible to remove." – Good Housekeeping Institute

    12. Are garment bags worth it for everyday wear?

    30 Rock / NBC

    "No. It's often difficult to find stuff and unless you have a picture on the outside you keep unzipping them to check the contents. Also some garment bags actually crush clothes. Fibres and threads need air and space to resume their original elasticity, so shaking and hanging is good for them." – Tony Glenville

    13. Is a tumble dryer really damaging for your clothes?

    14. Is it worth colouring in bleach marks with a Sharpie?

    15. Does ironing really help your clothes to last longer?

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