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24 Ways To Make Your Clothes Last So Much Longer

You're too fabulous to spend all your disposable income on new threads!

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2. Line dry items as needed and hang up and air out relatively clean garments you've worn *once* to wear again without washing.

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Even following the care instructions can take a toll on fabrics! Basically, just wash your stuff that gets soiled.

Don't have a clothesline? Get a gargantuan rust-proof drying rack from Amazon for $37.95.

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3. Spritz some Scotchgard on prized possessions made of suede or fabric to protect them from the elements.

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Promising review: "I got this for some suede boots and this stuff works! I applied two coats to my boots and just took them out in the snow a couple weeks ago. My shoes came back looking fresh, clean, and DRY. No complaints here. Will use on any future suede shoe purchases." —Juggy S.

Get them from Amazon: suede and nubuck protector for $9.69 or two cans of fabric protector for $20.44.

5. Carry a Tide To Go pen because a stain is always easier to erase if you tackle it ASAP.

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Nothing's sadder than tossing a perfectly good shirt because you can see the shadow of a stain.

Promising review: "This stuff is unreal. It got coffee drip stains out of my bright-white good, fancy lacy tank top that I wear for work. They weren't enormous stains, just drips, but there were several drips and they were at the neckline and some were in the lace. They would have ruined the white tank top except I had just purchased this pack of Tide To Go. It saved my tank top. It's saved white pants. It's saved a really nice dress. The moral here isn't that I'm sometimes a slob. It's that this stuff does work. Coffee, jam, egg wash, V-8, and a couple of other things I think my kids have removed. I haven't tried it on blood yet but I'm eager to." —AthenaisMedomai

Get them from Amazon for $9.89.

6. Freeze your ~new~ tights so they'll be less likely to run (if you're not going for the Jenny gone bad Gossip Girl look).

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That's right. Bust those bad boys out of the package, dampen them with water, and then pop them in a freezer-safe ziplock bag. This frigid technique will make them far less likely to run!

7. Hate the idea of frozen tights? Organize them in sandwich bags to avoid in-drawer snares (and shorten your morning routine).

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

This *may* sound meticulous, but it's easily done while you're binge-watching the latest thing on Netflix. I recently did this in an afternoon while assessing which tights are still wearable from last year. I just used some cheap, thin sandwich bags I already had and cut up a junk mail envelope to write the labels on a slip of paper I stuck inside each bag. Now I can tell the opaque-black tights from the opaque black–control top tights. (It's an issue, folks.)

Get a 90-pack of Ziploc sandwich bags from Amazon for $7.28.

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8. Get scrappy when it comes to making small shoe repairs. A tube of heavy-duty glue is basically your new BFF.

Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed / Via instagram.com

Find you a bottle that will work on everything. Then buy one for home and another for work. This formulation (in new packaging) bonds leather, cork, paper, cardboard, wood, chipboard, fabric, metal, ceramic, rubber, and hard plastics like Plexiglas, polycarbonate, polystyrene and PVC. It'll get the job done, like it did here on a pair of my flats that lost a metal cap toe and I repaired at work one day.

Get it from Amazon for $3.89.

9. Reinforce any loose buttons on outerwear now to avoid having the middle button on your best coat going MIA in the middle of the day.

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Let's be honest, we don't all hold onto those extra buttons in tiny plastic bags when we cut off the tags on a new coat. But as you dig your outerwear out of the depths of the closet this season, give each piece a once-over for loose buttons, both inside and outside of the garment. Buying a new coat because the most-obvious button can get expensive. Watch an explainer on sewing a button on YouTube here.

Get this blazer from Forever 21 for $48.

10. Teach yourself how to make basic alterations with a beginner's sewing guide and simple sewing kit so that pile of clothes in your laundry room you need to take to the tailor disappears.

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The combined cost of this guide and kit will pay for itself if you have a few garment repairs you were going to take to the dry cleaner or tailor anyway.

Get them from Amazon: book for $8.87 and kit for $8.95

And check out our sewing hacks you should know here.

11. Detest sewing? Invest in some fabric glue for righting fallen hems and other clothes-ruining mishaps.

amazon.com, amazon.com

Promising review: "Know how to sew? I sure don't. A brand-new shirt sprung a hole after only one wash, and obviously it couldn't be returned at that point. This stuff was the answer. It's a little tricky to work with the adhesive as it gets wispy, almost spiderweb-like as you dab it around, but other than that it dried quickly enough and did not stain. I wore the shirt several hours later with no issues. Thank god for this stuff, because I will likely never pick up a needle and don't really plan to." —Eve ill

Get it from Amazon for $6.97.

12. Hand wash your bras! Once a week! But if you're too lazy for that, at least wash them in a special lingerie cage to help keep their shape.

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Promising review: "I can put two bras in the bag, and the fabric and construction look like they will stand up to many washes. There is a feature to prevent the zip tab from working itself open or getting broken. I have a large cup size and they fit without the underwire getting bent." —Shirl

Get a three-pack from Amazon for $12.45.

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13. And store your bras correctly (aka upright) so they'll keep their form.

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Seriously, never invert the cups!

Promising review: "I was skeptical of how these would work, to be honest. But I had a big drawerful of Victoria's Secret bras that are a sizable Investment and want them to stay nice. The system was quite simple but also quite brilliant. I never imagined my bras being neatly stored upright in the drawer but they are now nice and neat looking, beautiful, and organized. I will probably buy a couple more for a few extras that I have. Great quality, worth the cost, and very clever." —Steamingirlie

Get it from The Container Store for $29.99.

14. Swap out any broken underwires with a pack of replacements because sometimes the bra's still fine, but the underwire is not.

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Promising review: "No need to chuck your bra when the bone breaks! These have saved me so much money! My bone always snaps right in the middle. Rather than pitching the whole thing (who are we kidding — theses things are expensive!), I just slid the broken bone out, made a new little incision in the placket and slid the new one in. I didn't even sew it shut. The coating on the tip makes them stay put once you get them in place. The only downside I could see was the replacement bone was about 1 inch shorter than the one I replaced. I suppose I could go up a cup size, but it honestly didn't bother me once it was in place. I may experiment next time with the next cup size up to see. The bone is very strong, not flimsy at all. I am so impressed with this product." —dcrossman

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $3.54+ (available in several sizes).

15. Toss your other delicates (think lingerie, activewear, baby clothes, etc.) in a mesh laundry bag for a gentler wash cycle.

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Promising review: "These are absolutely worth the money. My washing machine has been putting small holes in my clothes. I looked around and found these. The big bags are a great size for two to four items depending on their size. The small are good for a few very small things or one. All my clothes are whole and intact." —Jenny 81

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $7.87 (available in two size combos).

16. Put your shoes out of the reach of your four-legged friends' paws with an over-the-door rack. Maybe Porkchop doesn't intend to ruin your footwear, but those new sneaks look so tasty.

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Even if you don't have pets, storing them up and off the floor will decrease damage and help lengthen their lifespan.

Promising review: "I finally decided to stop storing all my shoes in their original boxes and got this. It was easy to assemble. I had to do a little shifting around of the rods to make it lay straight. But now I have a closet again!" —Danny Moody

Get it from Amazon for $20.48.

17. Keep an eye on your ~investment footwear~ so you can get it resoled in plenty of time and get even more wear out of it.

Elizabeth Lilly / Via instagram.com

It's not worth bothering on $20 shoes, but it's def worth considering if you spent more than $100 on them. Get yourself an even better deal at your local cobbler by taking more than one pair of shoes at a time. (I shelled out about $350 for these Loeffler Randall booties that I've had resoled twice for about $40 each time. So yes, I've shelled out lots of money on them but I adore them.)

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18. Skip a wash and freshen up non-soiled garments with a fabric steamer for a gentler clean.

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I'm not saying that I've pulled a dress out of my dirty clothes hamper that's been in there for two weeks, steamed it, and then wore it to a fancy-schmancy fashion event. Oh wait, that's exactly what I'm saying. It helps with weird smells, too!

Promising review: "I've been traveling a lot all over the country for interviews, and wanted something that I could use to remove wrinkles and creases from my suits and shirts, especially because I don't have time to get them dry cleaned or professionally pressed. Well let me tell you, this little thing is amazing." —SSS

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

19. Swap out your typical fabric softener for wool balls to prevent buildup on your clothing and washing machine. Plus, they speed up drying time!

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Promising review: "I love these! My clothes are nicely fluffed, have less wrinkles, and are so soft! I was initially concerned that they would make too much noise, as I have used rubber dryer balls that made a terrible racket. Although they do bonk around, it is not terribly loud, and with a very full dryer, barely noticeable. No more liquid fabric softener or sheets, and no more buildup on my laundry!" —Sarah Bence

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $16.95.

20. And de-gunk your washing machine on the reg by tossing in an Affresh tab so your clothes'll get clean on the first try instead of taking an even bigger toll in a second cycle.

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Promising review: "I have been using bleach to clean my machine for some time, but decided to give this a try a few months ago. My very first clean with Affresh left me surprised and delighted for not only did it clean my machine, it eliminated the nasty smell that always transferred to my clothes thanks to a build up of mold I didn't even know about. Every month now, I toss a tablet into the drum and let it work its magic. Now, my machine is cleaner than ever, and my clothes always smell wonderfully fresh. I highly recommend this to everyone." —Kelli Crawford

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $10.78.

21. Stifle footwear-killing smells thanks to bamboo charcoal deodorizers that won't compromise your shoes' material. (They're also good for diaper-pail smells?!)

amazon.com

Promising review: "I put two of the purifying bags inside the diaper pail under the refill bag. The diapers smell after my baby eats solid food. Although the diaper pail locks the odor from emitting to the nursery room, inside the pail stinks. After I put the purifying bags for two days, the pail smells much better now. Hope there will be no odor left in a few days." —Annabeth

Get a six-pack from Amazon for $19.99.

22. Regularly polish your leather pieces using a thrifty (but effective!) sponge so they'll look new for longer.

amazon.com

Promising review: "The shine lasts for quite some time and doesn't require too much shoe shine to really take effect. Quality. Worth every dollar." —Toby Larone

Get it from Amazon for $5.60.

23. Cover up knicks, bleach stains, and other light spots on black items with a black Sharpie because times are tough, but your clothes don't have to look it.

amazon.com

So it's a totally off-label use for these permanent markers, BUT it's an easy way to cover up a dot of a bleach stain on your favorite black T-shirt.

Get a two-pack of black Sharpies from Amazon for $2.97.

24. And turn your jeans inside out before washing them to help prevent fading from water and detergent.

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Don't bother freezing them. According to experts cited in much longer explainers on Smithsonian, Esquire, and sooo many other places, it doesn't really kill as much bacteria as people claim. The practice also does zilch for ridding your denim of its buildup of dirt, skin, odors, and the like. Yes, washing them breaks down the material and lightens the dye. BUT, so do all the gross things that collect on your denim! Even if you feel like you can't win in the jeans-cleaning debate, for the love of god turn your denim inside out before you wash it. (And of course, none of this counts for raw denim. That is a whole other monster.)

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