Looking for simple laundry tips to help your clothes last longer? Here are 14 simple tips you can use today.

Have you always wondered how to keep your clothes looking great? These tips may surprise you. They’ll help you care for your clothing properly so they last longer. Check them out here.

This is the twins and me right after church on Sunday.

There are so many things I love about this picture.

The twins.

The twins.

(Did I mention the twins?)

That they are standing on the porch and home for the summer.

And this dress.

It’s actually a top and a skirt from Target that I’ve worn several times and love so much. I wish you could have seen it several hours earlier. It was wrinkled and crinkled and we were running later and I didn’t have time to steam it or iron it.

And then?

I remembered this tip I had just seen from Babs on Instagram.

It worked like a charm.

So today I thought it would be fun to talk about laundry.

And clothes.

And how to take care of them.

Here are 14 laundry tips to help your clothes last longer.

(total aside: I’m really writing this for the twins to take to their apartment next year—so if you have a college student this would be the perfect post to send to them.)

14 Laundry Tips to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

1. Add a Tide pen to your purse (or purses)

This is the tip that has saved many an outfit.

I’m just messy.

I’m going too fast and talking too much and getting it all on my clothes.

The key with stains is you want to treat them right away. I found this set of three Tide pens so I”m always at the ever ready. Make sure to add a little water when you use it. I’ve found this makes it work better.

I put one in the car, one in my purse and one in my traveling bag.

I’ve already used them more times than I can count.

2. Soak the stain in water overnight

This is my BEST tip for getting rid of stains.

I mix up a little paste of detergent (whichever detergent you have on hand) and rub it into the stain.

If the stain is really stubborn (and the fabric has a lot of ridges), sometimes I use an old toothbrush to rub the detergent paste in. Then I put the garment with the stain into a bowl of water and let it soak overnight.

Then wash as usual.

3. Don’t dry stains

I know this is Captain Obvious of stain removal, but I wanted to put it here just in case.

If you use tip number 2 and you wash the shirt or the dress or the pants and the stain doesn’t come out?


Drying it is like setting the stain.

Instead, repeat step 2 and try to get the stain out again.

laundry tips for delicates

14 Laundry Tips To Help Clothes Last Longer

4. For really tough stains Fels-Naptha really works

I discovered Fels-Naptha when Zack played baseball.

I could NOT keep those white pants clean.

And then another mom told me about Fels-Naptha. It’s totally old school and comes in a bar. Best stain purchase you will ever make.

Every laundry room needs one.

Use the end of the bar and rub it into the stain and wash as normal.

5. Use the sprayer at a self-service car wash for baseball pants

If you are a baseball mom or know someone who plays baseball, this tip is gold.

We would take our white pants to the local car wash with hand-held sprayers and rub Fels-Naptha into the stains and lay the pants on the ground.

And then?

We’d spray them clean.

The power of the sprayer at the car wash was the best fix for baseball dirt.

6. Simple laundry tip for oil stains

All stains are not created equal.

And oil?

Specifically, salad dressing oil is one of the worst.

If you have an oil spill, for the best chance of success, you want to act as quickly as possible.

Blue Dawn Detergent is your friend.

Rub it into the stain with a brush like this to get the stain out of all the fibers and immediately wash per washing instructions.

7. Pay attention to fabric care labels

This has saved me with many a garment.

The fabric care labels are there for a reason.

If it says to wash in cold, wash in cold. If it says “delicate” and “don’t dry” make sure to follow the instructions.

Your clothes will last so much longer if you just follow the care instructions.

8. Wear something twice without washing

Someone gave me this advice and just between us?

It was hard to follow.

I felt like if I wore it once? It had to be washed.

But truly? If you wore it and there aren’t any stains and you didn’t run a mile in it or climb a mountain?

It can probably go back into your closet for one more wear.

Clothes actually last so much longer if you don’t wash them as often.

Quick tip: I have everything folded perfectly in my closet using this handy tool. I use it and love it all the time.

9. Use mesh lingerie bags

This is the best tip ever. I never knew about these before someone else told me about these bags.

It started when I snagged a sweater with the hook on the back of my bra.

(total aside: you should always hook these together before washing.)

But lingerie lasts so much longer if you use these bags to wash them. It prevents everything from being stretched out or getting tangled up together and ripping.

Protect your unmentionables (as my grandma used to call them) in the wash with lingerie bags.

laundry tips and ideas

14 Laundry Tips to Make Your Clothes Last Longer

10. Don’t dry everything

I don’t dry half of what I wash.

Here’s what I dry:

  • jeans
  • pants
  • sweatshirts
  • older pajamas
  • velour clothing
  • acrylic (on low heat)

Here’s what I don’t dry:

  • sweaters
  • blouses with ruffles
  • swimsuits
  • tops with embellishments
  • shoes
  • tights
  • wool (never ever ever)

I love a drying rack that pulls out like this.

Many times, I’ll also lay a towel on top of the washer and dryer and lay the clothes flat to dry.

11. Use less detergent

ESPECIALLY if you have a front loader.

I know this seems counterintuitive, but using less detergent is actually better.

If there’s too much soap, it can bubble up and those bubbles get trapped in the clothes and leave a sticky mess.

Most detergents now are so high-powered that you just need a small amount.

12. Turn dark-colored clothes inside out

One of the easiest laundry tips, I’ve found to reduce fading is to turn dark clothes inside out.

Especially black pants and shirts.

Turning them inside out reduces the friction on the front of the fabric and puts all the friction on the inside instead (that no one will ever see).

12. Simple laundry tip to reduce wrinkles

The easiest laundry tip? Always remove your clothes from the dryer as soon as possible.

This prevents wrinkles from setting in and clothes looking frumpy.

I also have stopped ironing and started using a steamer instead. It saves SO MUCH time.

Instead of going back and forth with the iron, the steamer just swipes over the top of the shirt or blouse or dress and all the wrinkles disappear.

This is the steamer I have and love.

laundry tips

14. Keep track

One last tip that isn’t so much a laundry tip as a life tip.

Whenever we run out of something in the laundry room or butler’s pantry (they are the same room).

We just write it on this little craft paper roll.

It’s so easy to rip off and take to the grocery store.

They don’t make this one anymore, but I found a similar one here.

I hope this post inspired you today.

(Twinnies I’m talking to you).

Taking care of the clothes you have and making them last longer is so rewarding.

And now?

Can you help the twins and I out?

What is your favorite laundry tip?

Let’s discuss in the comments below. 🙂

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  1. Image for Kris Kris

    Ooh, good ones! Speaking of old school, I use Lestoil on oil stains--it even gets out old ones! The odor is strong so you may have to run something through twice (I never dry clothes I wash which have oil stains--if it doesn't come out the first time the dryer will set the stains). A friend told me years ago that if you get chocolate on your clothes, use milk to get the stain out. I don't know why it works but it does, especially if the stain doesn't sit for a long time. And ... Downy wrinkle release spray can be a quick solution to wrinkly problems. I have a travel size one and that is truly handy when we aren't at home. I'm sure everyone knows the trick of putting the wrinkled item in the dryer with a damp cloth for a few minutes to steam out the wrinkles but it's worth repeating. Happy laundering!

  2. Image for Karen K Karen K

    Two laundry tips for mishaps away from home: 1. Baby wipes have miraculous powers! I found that the ones with lanolin in them will "erase" almost any fresh stain. 2. In a pinch, the enzymes in your saliva will break down a food "splash"- but be aware of your surroundings before trying this one. ;)

  3. Image for Vicki Vicki

    Love the way you present tips for laundry. I house most of the tips but have never heard of Fellsnaptha. I will be trying this for sure. I also love the ruffled blouse it makes your outfit special where is it available? Of course your smile makes my day. You and your daughters look amazing enjoy your summer together.

  4. Image for Lori Lori

    Fels Naptha soap is the best! I used it all the time on my girl’s baby clothes to get formula stains out. It also will get out stains from my husband’s clothes, after he washes and dries them himself (and didn’t tell me they were stained). We always wash in tap cold water and dry on low-medium temp, so that may help.

  5. Image for Maria Killam Maria Killam

    I learned the best tip looking for new machines this week and that is that liquid laundry detergent is 75% water and that's why our clothes smell if we don't pull them out almost immediately to dry and that's why the machine smells. Wow I wish I'd known the powder trick before!

    1. Image for Ann C Ann C

      I think you may have misunderstood the salesperson. It’s the wetness of the items from washing and rinsing that can spoil if left to sit long. If they aren’t fully dry and left in dryer they will also spoil. Girls with long thick hair that don’t take the extra effort in making sure their hair is dry can also have that smell in their hair. The new front loaders will smell if you don’t leave the door open so it can dry out also. I’ve never heard anyone blame the detergent. Altho it is true that you are paying for water when you buy liquid detergent. I switched to TruEarth! Laundry sheets! Biodegradable! No big bottles or powders that make me sneeze. They work easily and well and much less packaging.

  6. Image for Julie Mumpower Julie Mumpower

    Feels Naptha soap is great for taking care of those perspiration stains (you know, the yellow armpit stains) from your husband’s t-shirts or workout clothes. You and your twins are so cute!! Thanks always for the great advice!

  7. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Three beautiful young ladies all dressed in beautiful clothes, on a beautiful Sunday at a beautiful house. No other words need said. Thank you as always. Enjoy your family.

  8. Image for Sharon Sharon

    You know I totally forgot about Fels-Naptha! My Mom always had this on hand but I don't think I really knew what she used it for at the time. Had two older brothers so I'm sure she made good use of it. My Dad wore a dress white shirt every day so I'm sure she used it on his collars. We never sent anything to the cleaners. Mom did everything. I will be getting some of this very soon. Thanks so much for the reminder. I too love the picture of you and your sweet twins. I know you are so happy to have them home for the summer. Have fun and be blessed, Sharon

  9. Image for Katerina Katerina

    for oil stains when we are entertaining, the very first aid is to use salt. It will attract most of the oil or sauce and reduce the mark. I have tried it many times and it works. Afterwords I will always wash this part of the cloth with dishwasher.

  10. Image for Ann in Atlanta Ann in Atlanta

    Since I have boys and they love to wash ALL.THE.THINGS together (i.e., they NEVER separate darks and lights), my fave go-to that I have passed along to them is to always have Shout Color Catcher sheets on hand. They come in a box like dryer sheets and you toss one in the wash, especially if you have newer clothes that haven't been washed several times already and may shed color - you know, like the navy shirt that might streak blue stains on the other clothes in the load? Life saver!

  11. Image for Paula Paula

    I've been keeping a bar of Fels-Naptha on the shelf in my laundry room for years. Another great tip for oil stains is to use baby powder or rub with white chalk. The powder/chalk helps to absorb the oil and removes the stain every time!

  12. Image for Elena MacDermant Elena MacDermant

    I hate pairing everyone's socks. Save the plastic tops from a gallon of milk. Put an X In it with an exactp knife. Take off your worn socks and put them through that X. Throw into the washer, then dryer and they are ready to go into the drawer. Worked like a charm for my family of 5. AND THE BEST...NO MORE MISSING SOCK!

  13. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Beautiful picture of the 3 of you! Enjoy the summer with them, it goes by so fast before their back in college again. Great laundry tips, I forgot all about the Fels Naphtha Soap. I use hairspray for ink stains. Just spray hairspray on the ink spot and wash in cold water as soon as possible.

  14. Image for julia m marshall julia m marshall

    Hi KariAnne! We must be sisters from a different mother! I just wrote my Fun Friday Finds and the topic is Laundry room essentials! So funny! Great job today on the email Mastermind. Some of it was definitely over my head... Have a great weekend! XO, Julie

  15. Image for Peg Peg

    My laundry tip is to shake shake shake the items your putting in the dryer!! Give those towels, jeans, pillowcases a few good thwaps!!! xoxo

  16. Image for Susan Susan

    This was a great post with Laundry tips. My favorite tip was the Fels Naptha bar. Fifty years ago, as a young married gal my Mom told me about it and I have used it ever since. My husband played baseball 6 days a week and I’ve seen that Fels bar remove every single stain he could get. Followed by a son who played baseball all the way from a little guy through college! Great removing grimy black socks that return to being white, with a soft brush and some elbow grease. I will never be without this product and I buy 12 at a time!!

  17. Image for sondra spencer sondra spencer

    Beautiful women! Good tips! I use Shout Color catchers in lots of my loads of colored clothing. It catches the dyes that release from the fabrics and can sometimes discolor the other items in the load. Happy summer!

  18. Image for Rosanna Rosanna

    Hydrogen peroxide works great on blood, grapejuice, tomato, etc stains. The bubbling/ foaming action "lifts it out". This tip was shared with us by a first responder..


    I have been doing laundry for 60 years and the best trick I have learned is to only fluff clothes in dryer. I mean 4 or 5 minutes max and begin hanging up clothes on good hangers while finger pressing fronts of shirts etc. Stretching seams also works well. Keep dryer running. Grab and turn dryer back on, finger press, hang and air dry. Saves electricity and no need to iron if you catch your clothes and the right time. You will soon figure out what needs to be removed quickly and what can have a few more minutes. I never dry bras and often hang sheets and towels outside, weather permitting. If you like your towels soft, dry completely. I kind of like the roughness of the towel on my skin. Personal preference.

  20. Image for Trish Hanson Trish Hanson

    Fels Naptha is great for getting body odor smells out of sheets and pillow cases. Even though he always showers before bed, his pillow cases always end up with body odor. I tried everything, including the fragrance pellets, vinegar, oxy etc. Nothing worked. Then a friend told me about this soap and it has been à game changer! I use a cheese grater to grate the whole bar and keep it in an airtight jar. Add about a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup to the wash and no more smells!

  21. Image for Trish Trish

    Fels Naptha is great for getting body odor smells out of sheets and pillow cases. Even though he always showers before bed, his pillow cases always end up with body odor. I tried everything, including the fragrance pellets, vinegar, oxy etc. Nothing worked. Then a friend told me about this soap and it has been à game changer! I use a cheese grater to grate the whole bar and keep it in an airtight jar. Add about a 1/4 to a 1/2 cup to the wash and no more smells!

  22. Image for Dianne Dianne

    I’ve missed following you for awhile and first thing I see is this great post! Learned a few tips that even an oldie like me didn’t know! I never dry any type of underwear it workout clothes and my other clothes dry 15 minutes then I remove quite a few to hang up and leave the rest in the dryer. Wish I had a big laundry room like you do!! Also Tide powder is the best. Use about 1/8 cup and lasts forever. Liquid is terrible for machines.

  23. Image for Diane Diane

    Thanks for all of your great tips and info Karianne! I have been following you for a long time....My favorite tip is to pre-treat with Spray-n-Wash Stain stick if I cannot wash the garment right then. I also tie a loose knot in an item near the stain prior to tossing it in the laundry bin so as not to overlook the stain if I plan to wash at a later time--I use a bit of laundry detergent and friction right at the site prior to starting the load. (I also tie a knot prior to taking items to the cleaners to insure stains aren't missed!)

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