As a lazy person, I am always on the look out for hacks, so I thought you will be too. Especially for something that you deal with every day – clothes! If you have 4 people in the house that amounts to so many clothes – this, only a person who deals with laundry will know. So any hack will be welcome; am I wrong?
Are you ready for some tricks that make dressing or caring for clothes easier or more effective? Most of the hacks below are for cleaning or maintaining garments, which can extend their lifespan and save you lots of time and energy.
Apply white vinegar to remove underarm stains
Acetic acid in vinegar dissolves the stain and neutralizes the smell of sweat. Apply the vinegar on the underarm stains before washing to remove the discoloration. Do use this caution with delicate fabrics or valuable garments. Read the detailed post for more tips on removing sweat smell.
An Eraser can be used to remove scuff marks from shoes.
When you have school kids at home, you can collect all used erasers in varying sizes and shapes and keep them in a box in your laundry room – this is what I do.
The common eraser that is used for removing pencil marks from paper, can also be used to remove scuffmarks from shoes. Before using the eraser, clean your shoes from loose dirt or debris. Gently rub the scuff marks with a circular motion.
Freeze jeans in a plastic bag to freshen them up between washes.
The first time I heard this, I was choked. How can I keep jeans in my freezer! But desperate situations call for desperate actions.
If you want to freshen up your jeans without touching water, this is one hack you can try. If your jeans are stained, spot-clean the stain before storing them in the fridge. Tightly seal the plastic bag where you have placed the jeans, removing all air from the inside. Place the bag in the freezer for at least a few hours or overnight. Keeping it in the freezer kills bacteria and reduces bad smells. The slight dampness makes it feel fresh. After taking it out, hang it to dry and iron it.
Use a wrinkle release spray to freshen up linen clothes
Linen clothes look very elegant and many people claim that the wrinkles on them makes them look more dignified. I don’t know about that. So for all those who think like me, Use a small wrinkle release spray on your wrinkled linen blouse. Ta-da—
Do not spray closer than 10 inches. And do it lightly, sparingly. Read more on using spray starch here.
Place swimwear on a drying rack to dry
This is to keep the elasticity in swimwear, intact. If your swimwear is made of spandex (it probably is) do not dry in full sunlight. Sunlight also damages the elastic fibers, even more than hanging them to dry. The elastic fibers disintegrate….
Collar stays help to keep shirt collars crisp.
Collar stays are small, flat, and rigid strips of material, that are inserted into the collars of dress shirts.. They are made of plastic, metal, or even stiffened fabric. You can buy them in shops and they are a god send if you have shirts with limp collars.
Dress shirts usually have small pockets on the underside of the collar points to insert the stays. They give structure and support to the collar ends. The shirt looks all the more professional and polished.
Hang jeans by the belt loops to avoid creasing.
If you do not like the fold lines that jeans develop when you fold them after a wear and you do not want to iron, just hang them by the belt loops.
Hang leather jackets in a cool, dry place to prevent them from drying out and prevent wrinkles.
Leather can become moldy, or stiff, lose its natural oils, and develop cracks or creases if it is stored in a damp or very sunlit area. So choosing a cool but dry area is essential. High humidity in damp areas can make it look horrible with patches all over. Folding leather for a long time also leaves fold lines and cracks. Read more on leather care here.
Hang clothing in the bathroom after a hot shower to remove wrinkles.
This is supposed to be a hack to remove wrinkles from garments, without ironing.
Do this just after you have taken a hot shower. It works like this – the hot water of the shower will create steam and the resulting humidity will help relax the silk fibers (or any thin material) and remove wrinkles. You have to hang the clothing without bunching it up. Close the bathroom door for the maximum effect.
Hang skirts with clips to avoid creasing at the waistband.
Iron clothes inside-out to prevent fabric shine.
Some fabrics are more prone to this shine than others – nylon and polyester always develop shine when high heat is used when ironing. And if you are ironing fabrics with texture, the surface can get altered from high heat. So ironing them inside out makes sense. Buttons, zippers, or other embellishments like vinyl prints can also get damaged from the front.
Keep clothes in place with clothing tape
Read more about using clothing tape here.
Keep a sewing kit handy for quick repairs.
You can keep one small sewing kit with bare essentials like a needle and thread and some neutral colored buttons in your car or bag for quick clothing repairs on the road.
Keep a spare button attached to the inside of shirts.
Keep a travel-size steamer for wrinkle-free clothes on the go.
Clothes can get all wrinkled inside suitcases or bags. If you have a compact steamer with you, you can quickly refresh your clothing instantly. The steam relaxes and releases wrinkles from fabrics, in half the time it takes you to iron.
Keep dark and light-colored clothing separated to avoid color bleeding.
Mix a solution of water and vinegar to remove salt stains from winter boots.
Make your own DIY homemade fabric freshener
Add a few drops of Lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus oils to cornstarch powder and keep inside a small jar. Shake from time to time. Use when needed – sprinkle this mixture where there is odor, such as underarms, collars, or socks. Shake off immediately. Do not use on dark-colored clothes, delicate or dry-clean-only garments.
Not getting into your Jeans? Spray water
Use a pressing cloth when ironing silk.
Place a fabric softener sheet in your shoe closet to keep them smelling fresh.
Place a piece of chalk in your closet to absorb excess moisture and prevent mildew.
Place a piece of white bread inside bags and shoe bags to absorb musty odors.
The bread acts as a natural odor absorber. Placing it in cupboards with or inside bags and shoes will remove the bad musty smell. Use plain bread- not one with seeds, nuts, or any added flavorings. Leave the bread in place overnight.
Place cedar blocks in your closet to deter moths and insects.
Cedarwood is supposed to be a natural repellent to pests, including moths, silverfish, and other insects that may cause damage to your clothes and fabrics. It is kept inside cupboards just as it is. Use 100% natural cedar blocks only.
Rub a dryer sheet on clothing to eliminate static cling.
Dryer sheets contain special chemicals that help reduce static electricity. It effectively reduces the likelihood of clothes clinging together or sticking to your body.
Place shoes in shoeboxes to prevent dust accumulation.
You can keep a photo of the pair on the outside for easy identification. Use the original shoe boxes or ones with ventilation holes.
Roll clothes instead of folding them to maximize space in your suitcase.
Roll your clothes to form compact bundles that can then be stacked and organised inside your luggage. This method allows you to fit more items than you normally could. Rolling also results in less creasing compared to folded clothes. The sharp folds when you fold clothes are not there when you roll. Also, it is easier to see and access individual clothes without making a mess of the rest of your packing.
Secure bra straps to prevent them from slipping with a paperclip.
Splash blood stained clothes with salt water
Spray a mixture of water and vodka on clothes to freshen them up without washing.
Mix equal parts of water and vodka and store in a spray bottle. Spray on high-odor areas like underarms, collars, and cuffs. Leave for sometime for the neutralizer to work. The unpleasant smell will be gone with this hack.
Store delicate clothes in mesh laundry bags to protect them from snags.
By snags, I mean small threads or fibers that get caught or pulled out from the fabric when you use clothing. For very delicate fabrics, this can appear even in storage. So using soft mesh bags, they will stay protected inside.
Store handbags stuffed with tissue paper to maintain their shape.
Handbags, especially those made of soft or flexible materials, can lose their shape when not in use. So if you stuff it with something, (white paper, tissue) when stored they will maintain their looks, without fold lines, creases etc.
Store jewelry in ziplock bags to prevent tarnishing.
Jewelry made of silver or brass can turn a dull color after some time.This is because the metals react with the surrounding air and moisture. The discolored look is not nice, and you have to throw them away. If you reduce the exposure by storing the jewelry in airtight bags like ziplock bags, you can prevent this.
Store scarves on a hanger to prevent wrinkles.
Store shoes with rolled-up magazines inside to maintain their shape.
Store necklaces in egg cartons to prevent tangling.
Store winter clothes in vacuum-sealed bags to save space.
Inside a vacumm bag, the air is removed, compressing the clothing inside. This creates a tight seal for the clothing that prevents air and moisture from entering. You can keep your winter clothes safe from dust, mold, mildew, and pests during the months they are not in use – and it all takes up very little space.
To prevent jewelry from tarnishing use clear nailpolish
Jewelry made of metals is prone to tarnish – however careful you are in storing them. Moisture, sweat, or harsh chemicals from your makeup, etc can speed up the process. Apply a thin and even coat of clear nail polish (or two) over the entire surface of your jewelry. This forms a barrier, and the tarnishing will not have a head start. Apply as and when it wears off.
Tuck jeans into boots for a sleek look.
Use a clear nail polish top coat to reinforce buttons and prevent them from falling off.
Use a lint roller or fabric brush to remove pet hair from clothing.
Use a shaver to remove fuzz and pills from knitwear.
Use a hair straightener to iron collars and cuffs.
If you do not have an iron or steam and want a stiff collar, in an emergency, use your hair straightener. You can use it on your hems too.
Use a hairdryer to loosen tight shoes
Use a pumice stone to remove pilling from sweaters and knitwear.
Use a razor blade to remove paint stains from clothing.
Use baby wipes to remove deodorant marks from clothing.
Use a suede brush to remove stains from suede shoes.
Use eraser to remove makeup stains from clothing.
Use baby powder to remove oil stains from clothing.
When you sprinkle baby powder on grease stains it helps to absorb the oil before washing. You can use cornstarch the same way.
Use clear nail polish to stop runs in stockings.
You can use clear nail polish to stop runs in stockings or tights or pantyhoses from getting worse.
Use adhesive hem tape for a no-sew hem.
Use vinegar to make your own DIY clothes deodorizer spray
Mix water, vinegar, and essential oils to make this spray and sprintz on your clothes to remove bad odor.
Wear a belt to cinch oversized tops and dresses.
Buy a white shirt, black pants, jeans and neutral color tops for a basic wardrobe.
Wear a half-cami under tops to add an extra layer without bulk.
You can wear cami slips under sheer blouses, low cut tops for coverage.
Wear an undershirt to protect clothing from sweat stains.
Wear nude-colored underwear under white clothing to avoid visibility.
Nude-colored underwear closely matches your natural skin tone, making it less visible under white clothing. Wear any other color, even white, and it will be visible through white. Try it!
Wear shapewear under fitted dresses for a smoother silhouette.
Shapewear smoothens out any lumps, bumps, or lines, of your body and gives you a streamlined and polished look. You can wear shapewear that targets specific problem areas of the body – tummy, waist, hips, thighs, and buttocks.