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10 Ways to Better Clean Your Clothes and Make Fabrics Last Longer

Skip the fancy products in your laundry room and choose natural alternatives that’ll make your clothes sparkle. Check out these simple, cost-effective tricks for getting your clothes cleaner.

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Photo: Shutterstock

Pretreat Stains

The best way - and the easiest - way to tackle stains is to immediately soak the items in cold water before laundering. Fill up the sink, and allow the clothing to sit for an hour before washing. For tougher discolorations, such as stains that didn’t come out during previous launderings, apply detergent, or a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution directly to the stain and allow it to set in before putting it in the wash. Learn more about pre-treating stains in this video.

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Photo: Emily Fazio ©

Try Homemade and Natural Detergents

Natural laundry soap is great for washing fibers such as cotton and silk, and many homemade detergents are excellent for everyday use. Our favorite (shown above) is 1 grated Ivory soap bar mixed with 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of Borax. We also think you’ll go wild for all-natural DIY lemon detergent pods.

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Cure Lingering Odors or Residues

For those hard-to-kill smells (we’re looking at you, pile of mildew-y towels and gym clothes), add a half-cup of baking soda to the wash cycle along with your normal detergent. The extra boost of absorbency will get rid of odors and residues left in clothing.

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Photo: PureWash

Install a Laundry Oxidization System

Purify your water as it enters the washer. An oxidization system not only helps to reduce or eliminate the amount of detergent you need to include in your wash, but it reduces the effects of hard water on your clothing. The conditioned water is great at lifting stains and soil from clothing, and items come out smelling, quite simply, unscented and perfectly clean. While there’s an upfront investment, the return is substantial.

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