The Lifespan of Clothes: When to Clean, Repair, or Replace

A variety of colorful and patterned garments hanging on a rack in a clothing store, showcasing different textures and styles, from denim to floral prints.

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Everyone has that one item of clothing they can’t imagine living without. Whether it’s tied to sweet memories or you just love the buttery feeling that only comes with lots of wear, it’s important to know how to make it last. Clothing can be made from many different fabrics, and cleaning techniques vary greatly. At OXXO Cleaners That Care, we’re here to help you clean and repair your clothing to keep it looking its best. Let’s look at what you can do to prolong the lifespan of your favorite pieces, and how to tell when it’s time to replace them.

Understanding the Lifespan of Different Fabrics 

Clothing comes in a wide range of fabric types that are made from different fibers and materials. The type of fabric that your shirt or dress is made from can greatly affect its lifespan. Here are some common fabric types and how long they typically last:

  • Cotton: Breathable and incredibly durable, cotton lasts for decades, and it just gets softer with time.
  • Wool: Wool is warm and insulating, and with proper cleaning and care, it can last for a very, very long time.
  • Silk: Luxurious and smooth, silk is delicate because it’s very thin. It is, however, very strong and long-lasting. With proper care, it can last for several decades.
  • Synthetics: Synthetic fabric is known for being affordable and fun, but it doesn’t compare in terms of durability and quality. With quality cleaning and care, you can keep your synthetics looking great for years.
  • Lenin: Made from the base of a flax-plant, lenin is one of the strongest and most durable materials. It’s also buttery soft and breathable against your skin.

Each type of fabric must be cleaned differently. Wool and silk, for example, are very different fabrics and must be washed following strict instructions in order to keep them looking their best (and to avoid shrinkage.)

The Role of Regular Cleaning 

Most garments have a care label tucked away that provides instructions for cleaning. It’s very important to follow these steps carefully so that your sweater comes out of the wash the same way it went in. Professional cleaning companies are experts at caring for a variety of fabric types, and we make it our mission to thoroughly wash your garments without harming them in any way.

There are many misconceptions about over-cleaning clothing. Many people believe that they should avoid washing their garments for as long as possible to prevent signs of wear and tear. Although it is true that you can damage your clothing by washing them incorrectly, the right cleaning methods are designed to keep fabric from deteriorating. In fact, avoiding proper cleaning can actually shorten the lifespan of your clothes. 

Repairing Clothes: When and How to Do it

Over time, your clothing may need to be repaired. Buttons come loose, seams pull apart, and minor tears may appear. When this happens, it’s no excuse to toss your favorite hoodie or pair of jeans. Instead, make simple repairs so your clothing lasts longer.

Some basic DIY repairs include:

  • Replacing buttons
  • Reinforcing a seam by hand
  • Replacing a drawstring
  • Patching a hole

Professional tailors can tackle issues like hemming pants, replacing zippers, and tailoring clothing to fit you properly. It’s up to you to decide whether your garment is worth the repairs, but you’ll want to consider factors like the cost, the size of the problem, and how sentimental the item is to you.

Deciding When to Replace Clothing

Sometimes an item of clothing is just beyond repair—but how do you know when it’s time to replace it? Fast fashion has made a major impact on the environment, and an alarming amount of clothing is making its way into landfills each year. Because of this—and the money you’ll save—it’s best to repair and prolong the life of your clothing for as long as possible.

If your clothing is ripped in a spot that’s hard to cover or if the fabric is so worn that it’s beginning to fall apart, it may be best to purchase something new. If your clothes have some life left in them, but you’re ready to get rid of them, consider donating them to nonprofits or selling them online, but if they’re irreparable, they still may have a purpose. 

Worn-out clothing can be repurposed into new items like purses, headbands, and even blankets and quilts. If your pieces are especially worn and tattered, consider using them as rags for cleaning. That way, you can feel good about keeping clothing out of landfills and using them for as long as possible.

Extending Your Wardrobe’s Lifespan 

There are several tips you can follow to keep your clothing looking its best and lasting for years. First, buy quality pieces. Skip fast fashion and synthetic pieces that are made without longevity in mind. Instead, pick items that are made from high-quality and durable fabrics that will surely stand the test of time.

Next, store your clothing in a cool and dry place. Mold and mildew can wreak havoc on your favorite pieces, leaving your wardrobe in ruins.  While we’re on the subject of storage, always fold heavy sweaters and store them on shelves to avoid stretching. Purchase quality hangers for your shirts, dresses, and pants to help your clothing hold its shape while it’s in the closet. 

Rotating your clothing can also make them last longer. Once you have a nice collection of pieces, it’s easy to wear them less often, which prolongs the lifespan of your entire wardrobe.

Prolong the Lifespan of Your Clothing With OXXO Cleaners That Care

Your wardrobe is a reflection of your personality, and we’re here to help you look your best. At OXXO Cleaners That Care, we have the knowledge and equipment to effectively clean all types of clothing while respecting its authentic qualities. We know how easy it is to get attached to your favorite pieces, and we’re honored to be your trusted professional cleaning company.

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