Problem: You love your clothes, but they just don't last long enough. Yes, you love to shop for new clothing, but you'd also love to keep your favorite frocks looking their best, for as long as possible. We have the fixes for your biggest clothing problems.
The Problem: Dingy Whites
Believe it or not, many mixed-color garments, like white sport socks with blue trim, can be whitened safely by using chlorine bleach. Follow label directions, spot-testing the bleach first, then add just the recommended amount. Don't use chlorine bleach on any item whose label clearly cautions against it.
Learn how to remove stains from anything using bleach
The Problem: Faded Blacks
Just as whites don't stay white, black clothing often fades to, well, off-black. This happens because the excess dye that's put on when the fabric is made so it looks really black in the store wears off quickly. Add to that a trace amount of chlorine in wash water and soon you're seeing gray. While there's no fix-it once it's happened, for new items, use detergents with anti-fade formulas. They contain ingredients that tie up chlorine ions in the water so colors stay true.
We tested the best steam washers and dryers
The Problem: Spotted Silk
Blast away water spots on silk and wool with a gentle steam burst from your iron. Hold it above, not directly on, the fabric.
Refresh and revive your clothing
The Problem: Wrinkled "No-Iron" Knits
Even knits, that are supposed to be easy care (read: less work) can emerge from the dryer wrinkled and unpresentable. To avoid this, make sure neither the washer nor dryer is overloaded - cramming sets in creases, so never double up dryer loads. Also, choose a slower spin speed on the washer (so wrinkles on clothes aren't whipped in) and a lower dryer temperature, and remove items promptly when the dryer stops tumbling (clothes that are left to settle will also crease).
Never iron again
The Problem: Scuffed Leather
Touch up worn spots and scuffs on leather shoes and bags with a matching permanent marker. Buff well with a paper towel to remove excess that might rub off.
Learn how to care for your leather
TELL US: Do you have secrets to making your clothes last longer?
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