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These essentials products will help make your clothes last longer

These household products will help make cherished clothing last longer

Looking to cut the costs of buying clothes, or believe in adopting sustainable practices when it comes to fashion?

It starts with caring for your existing wardrobe and prolonging its longevity.

Here are some products that could lengthen the lifespan of your favourite shirt or lingerie pieces.

Fabric conditioner or softeners

Fabric conditioners reduce friction between fibres, which creates less static cling. This helps reduce wear and tear, and helps preserve the longevity of your favourite clothing.

Flair fabric conditioners have anti-bacterial and deodorising benefits, and a "Scent Release Technology" is said to release fragrance for up to 12 hours during contact with body heat and moisture.

Just avoid using fabric conditioners on athletic gear - they leave behind a coating that can build up on moisture-wicking performance fabric. It affects the ability of the fabric to wick moisture away, and water will not break down the gunk or penetrate the fabric properly.

Mothball alternatives

Sure, the classic naphthalene mothballs do the trick of keeping bugs and moths from chomping on your clothing, but they also leave a pungent smell and can be hazardous when inhaled at certain levels.

For a natural and better-smelling alternative, consider cedar chips or pouches of lavender that also deter moths as well.

Garment steamer

It comes as no surprise that steamers are a great addition to any household. They can be used for delicate fabrics such as silk, and they will not burn or cause unintended creasing.

On top of that, they work to kill bacteria so you can freshen briefly worn clothes instead of throwing them in the wash - which, essentially, saves time and helps them last longer. The only drawback is that they cannot be used to press creases or iron collars.

Laundry mesh bags

If you have a mixed laundry load, get mesh laundry bags to protect delicate fabrics in the wash. And while bras and bralettes should preferably be handwashed, rounded or cylindrical bags also help ensure they do not go out of shape in the washer.

Lingerie wash

And speaking of lingerie, you do not want to be throwing delicate lacy pieces in the washer.

Check out Soak, a no-rinse wash with an eco-friendly formula that will clean and refresh your favourite lingerie without the need to rinse them. All you have to do is place your pieces in a small tub with some Soak wash, squeeze and lay flat to dry.

It is also suitable for use on soft sweaters, baby clothes, quilts, swimwear and workout wear.

Automated drying system

Drying your clothes during the rainy season can be a pain, so a dryer may be the first option that comes to mind when it comes to drying your clothes indoors. But with a rough tumbling action and the possibility of over-drying clothes, dryers also have a reputation for degrading fabrics.

You may want to consider IUIGA's Smart Automated Laundry System ($699 to $1,199) instead.

It has five drying zones, with rods specially designed for various types of laundry, from quilts to smaller clothing items, pillows and underwear.

A Power Drying technology dries clothes with a constant temperature and helps prevent wrinkles, while a strong Air Drying cooling system speeds up drying time and removes odours.

Plus, you can look forward to fresh laundry free of germs and mites since it both sterilises and disinfects.

To operate it, there is a remote control to adjust height or choose various functions.

Laundry boosters for sweaty items

If you lead an active lifestyle, then you should invest in some special sportswear detergent to get rid of any foul smell.

Alternatively, for a more affordable option, you can try using white vinegar.

It has natural odour eliminating properties and all you need is to add a cup to the fabric conditioner compartment of your machine.

You can also try adding a cup of baking soda, which does the job just as well while brightening your clothes.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly (www.womensweekly.com.sg).

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