The average adult ruins one or two items of clothing a year, and 600,000 wreck up to nine, a new survey has found; men also tend to destroy pricier pieces than women. But a few simple rules can save your wardrobe, says Jerry Pozniak of upscale dry cleaners Jeeves NY. Here are some tips for keeping clothes fresh.
CHECK THE TAG
Read the garment’s care label—seriously, read it— and follow it. “That’s key,” says Pozniak.
DON'T GET ALL DIY
Don’t attempt your own serious-stain removal: “Many people ruin clothes that way.”
SAVE YOUR SHIRT
If you accidentally machine-wash a dry-clean item, don’t toss it in the dryer. “That’ll shrink it; air-dry it instead.”
BUY A BETTER BLEACH
Use oxygenating bleach (OxiClean, Clorox 2)—“It’s gentler than chlorine.” If you do use chlorine, pour only the recommended amount, to avoid fiber degradation.
DON'T BE A HERO
Take the words “dry-clean only” seriously, Pozniak says. “Otherwise you may end up with a sweater that could fit a 2-year-old.”