Part of what I aim to do at Coach House Kids is to extend the life of clothing. Sometimes clothing comes in that shows a lot of wear, and that doesn't necessarily mean that they are destined for the reject pile. There are some easy things that you can do to freshen up clothes that show wear.
Fabric with pills is one of the most obvious signs that an item has seen a lot of wear. In many cases, a fabric shaver can help remove these pills, helping both the appearance and the feel of clothes. I have been using the Conair Fabric Shaver for years, and it makes everything from polyester blend hoodies to cotton t-shirts feel and look like new again.
The most commonly stained area I see on clothing is the neck area, and that usually means it's one of a few things: spit-up, milk or formula, or food. For all of these, my go-to stain remover is the Buncha Farmers Stain Stick. It takes a little bit of elbow grease, but this stick and some warm water will lift most of the common baby stains. Of course, there are some stains that are just not removable. For example, banana, once it's been washed and dried, will just never come out. Believe me, I've tried.
Rips and tears are a harder thing to deal with, since they take a bit of time and skill to deal with. I will often go into things like jackets and make simple repairs to seams, but things like holes in the knees of pants... well, I haven't quite figured out a solution that matches my sewing skill level yet. One thing I would love to see more of is visible mending - especially on kids clothing, this is an adorable way to add some extra lifespan, durability, and whimsy to clothing. I'm working on learning this skill, but of course, this is a lot of work!
Items that have been in storage for a long time can get that musty basement smell. Usually a standard cycle in the washing machine will remove this, but for stubborn odours (and also those times when you've forgotten to move laundry and it's sat in the washer for days), Borax is the best, especially somewhere like Orillia where we have really, really hard water. Borax is a laundry booster that removes musty smells well without covering them up with other fragrance. I won't include a link because Amazon doesn't have a good price on it, but it can be found in most grocery store detergent aisles.
Overall, anything we can do use what we have instead of buying new is a great way to help out our budgets and the environment. Clothing doesn't have to be disposable - a well-made item can last through a lot of kids, with a little help to keep it in wearable condition. Do you have any tips to keep clothing looking new? Share them in the comments!
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