8 Apparel Tools That Will Keep Your Clothing Looking New

When you invest a nice amount of money into your wardrobe, you want to try your hardest to protect your investment by keeping your pieces in tip-top shape. For instance, when you spend a month’s worth of rent on a leather jacket, you want to make sure it’s properly taken care of. These eight tools will easily keep your clothes in perfect shape for years to come.

1. Shoehorn and shoetree

A shoehorn

A shoehorn will keep your shoes in good condition. | J.Crew

Sure, a shoehorn makes putting on a stiff dress shoe much easier, but it also prevents you from crushing the heels of your shoes while trying to lodge your foot inside. A shoehorn will help to hold open the back of your shoes while comfortably sliding in your feet. Once you remove your shoes for the day, place a shoetree inside when you’re not wearing them so that you can preserve the shoe’s shape. This handy tool also stops the leather from creasing.

2. Mesh laundry bags

man doing his laundry

Mesh laundry bags are very useful. | iStock.com

Want to prolong the life of your delicates? Get a mesh laundry bag to protect your clothing from any damage, even if you’re washing them on the delicate cycle. Simply place the items into the bag, throw it into the washer and you won’t have to worry about any snags, rips, or tangled clothes.

3. Sweater stone 

Sweater stone

Sweater stones are a must. | The Laundress

No matter what season, don’t forget to care for your sweaters. Fold them rather than hang them to maintain the shape of the sweater. You can also prolong the life and look of your sweaters by lightly rubbing a sweater stone over them. A gritty pumice stone will pick up the extra fabric but won’t hurt the surface of your sweater.

4. Carry a stain remover stick

Tide To Go | Walmart

Tide To Go always comes in handy. | Walmart

Point blank: The earlier you catch a stain, the better the odds you’ll be able to fully get it out of your clothes, like that dreaded ink or coffee stain. Carry a stain remover stick like Tide To Go so you can be prepared for anything. Though it won’t work for really big stains, it’s great on the the small coffee spills or other unexpected small spills that you encounter throughout the day. Sometimes it’s those little ones that really destroy the look of your clothes.

5. Scotchgard for your whites

Fabric protector

Scotchgard is great for protecting from future stains. | Scotchgard

One of the best ways to keep your whites white is to protect them before you wear them. If you’re someone who’s prone to spills but also has an affinity for white clothing, try spraying your white pieces with Scotchgard, from your sneakers to your dress shirts, to protect from future stains.

It only takes a couple of seconds to apply and dries instantly, making it a lot easier to wipe off that ketchup stain when it happens.

6. Get a drying rack

Suits drying outdoors

Drying racks keep your clothes fitting nicely. | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Many of you already know this, but placing your clothing in hot water and/or a hot dryer will shrink your clothes in most cases, depending upon the fabric. If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or an outdoor space, buy a clothesline and allow your clothes to air dry instead. Depending on the weather, you can dry your clothes pretty quickly outdoors, but if you live in an apartment building, consider buying a collapsible or foldable clothes-drying rack, which is the ideal way to air dry your clothes in small spaces.

Another tip: Never put your white jeans into the drier. Always air dry them on your drying rack to maintain the pigment of the jeans so they stay crisp and white.

7. Keep a bluing liquid on hand

Liquid bluing

Liquid bluing will keep your whites white. | Mast General Store

If you usually use bleach on your whites, you may not realize this but using it can actually make your whites yellow over time. Using simple color theory, this means that your whites will stay whiter with a bluing agent to restore them to their original bright whiteness. It’s just a small step that will keep your white clothes fresh and bright overall.

8. Lastly, utilize your reading abilities

Clothes folded in a drawer

Pay attention to any special instructions for washing your clothes. | iStock.com

Paying attention to laundering instructions is probably one of the single most important things you can do when trying to maintain your clothes over time. So many of us ignore the tags found in our clothing, and these tags give you laundering instructions that are designed to ensure the garment stays in great shape. Additionally, if you’re the kind of person who hates to hand-wash their clothes, be sure to avoid purchasing clothing that requires any special care instructions. Even if the item in question was a sale item but is a dry-clean-only garment, not only will you probably ignore the proper care instructions and ruin the item, if you do dry-clean it, you’ll end up spending more money on the item in the long run.