The moment we bring home a new dress, we want to cherish and keep it safe forever. But there are risks and dangers crouching behind every corner, waiting for the right moment to fade our fabrics or tear holes in the most embarrassing of places. These clothing villains lurk in our washing machines and hide in our coffee cups. Constant vigilance and a little bit of stain removal knowledge can help us defeat these villains and help us deal with surprise attacks.
It’s a little known fact that the most dangerous time for clothes is between 7 and 10 in the morning: coffee time. A jolt on the train or sprint for the bus could land you with a splash of coffee burning into your smart dress or work trousers.
That’s why you need to be armed with a basic knowledge of stain removal. Depending on the offending substance, you may need to deploy different tactics. But for most stains, treat them as quickly as you can, use mild cleaning agents and throw it in the washing machine the moment you get home.
This sneaky little villain is one you often don’t notice yourself until someone else points it out. You’ve been cycling in your favourite jeans, sit down and before you know it your friends can no longer look you in the eye. You don’t know why until one brave soul taps you on the shoulder and says, “you might want to get those fixed.” You look down and see it: the dreaded hole.
Whether you’ve been pushing it hard on the pull up bars in your new gym kit, have a faulty washing machine or have been caught out by a rogue nail, holes happen. Depending on the scale of the attack, you can get it repaired at your local dry cleaners or learn to patch them up yourself with a thread and needle. Holes don’t have to end up with your favourite jumper in the bin.
Remember how vivid and bright that red dress used to be when you first wore it? The one that embodied all your hopes for the future? Well, now it’s faded and washed out, resembling a nauseating shade of salmon. How did this happen? How did things get so bad without you even realising it? This confidence-sapping villain is one of the worst of all.
Once your clothes are faded, it’s difficult to get that vibrancy back, which is why prevention is better than a cure. That means carefully following the laundry instructions on the label, turning your clothes inside out before they go into the washing machine and sparing them the assault of the tumble dryer.
But there are other ways of prolonging the life of faded fabrics. If your clothes are black (one of my many reasons why the colour is our classic ally), boxes of black dye are commonly sold at art stores. So if your black skinnies are going grey, zap them back to black in no time. Using the right laundry detergent (one designed for coloured clothes) and knowing top stain removal tricks that won’t fade your fabrics are all part of the battle too.
Protecting your clothes against the most common causes of damage is easier than you think. With a little bit of care and a few basic skills, you can save your clothes from the waste bin whenever catastrophe strikes.