This Is How You Make Your Clothes Last Forever Ft. The Laundress

The ultimate guide for clean, at-home laundering.

By: Dani

If you’ve been reading on GOCO long enough, then you already know that your wardrobe should not be disposable; it should be a collection of thoughtfully curated pieces that each, in some way, bring joy, function, and inspiration to your life. But here’s what we didn’t mention: in order for those principles we talked about to work for you – buy less, wear more – you have to treat your wardrobe with respect and care. That way, when you spend money on *forever* pieces, you can actually have them for a really long time. Because don’t you hate when you do laundry or send your clothes to the dry cleaners, and they get ruined in the wash? Especially your go-to white t-shirts! These always seem to never be the same after a couple of washes, right? Well, we’ve got an idea for you: do it yourself. Because if you want it done right, that’s just what you gotta to do.

There are a few brands that totally wow us. We truly love and believe in all of the brands we feature here on GOCO, but some are extra special. The Laundress is one of those brands. The fact that they’re founded in NYC just makes it even more special. Every product they makes is completely non-toxic and cruelty-free, which is why they’re our go-to for our laundering. Let’s go, guys. Get excited about doing laundry!

The technique: how to hand-wash

Hand washing is an art that is greatly underwhelmed, but it’s not as antiquated as you may think. It’s so important that you take proper care of your clothes so that you can extend the life expectancy of your go-to (and expensive) pieces. Meaning, don’t just toss them in the hamper after you wear them, then chuck them in the washer/dryer and expect them to last you, oh say, more than six months in their original pristine condition.

Another plus? If you live in The City like us, chances you you don’t have a washer/dryer unit in your actual apartment. So hand-washing can be the economical option too. We are legit into this, can you tell? It really does make a difference in the life-expectancy of your clothes, which means less waste + more money to use for traveling and expensive candles.


Getting started

In order to do a good hand-wash you’ll need to have an over-sized plastic wash bin of some sort. The Laundress’ Wash Tub Basin works great because it’s large enough for more hefty items. First you’ll want to fill your bucket with water – the temperature will depend on what you’re washing. If you are cleansing dedicates, always use cold water. For everything else, use warm to hot water.

A cap full of any of the detergents in the range is enough, but if you’re like us (irreverent and a little lazy), no measurement is required for pristine washing. (We don’t measure anything when we cook either; baking is another story though.) Just use your own discretion judging based off of how many items you are washing and how thick the material of each piece is, but keep in mind the formula of all The Laundress’ products are highly concentrated so a little actually does go a long way. The detergents don’t come in the biggest bottle (if you’re used to using brands like Tide or Gain), but trust, you will have it for a while before you have to restock.


Condition after you wash

Just like when after you shampoo your hair you condition it to bring back the softness and smoothness, the same applies to your clothes. This is a crucial step in maintaining the high-quality feel in your more expensive items. The bonus: with The Laundress’ products, conditioning means even more non-toxic fragrance being infused into your clothes.


Don’t over rinse

General rule of thumb, you only need to rinse out excess water. And trust us, these detergents smell so good you’ll want to make sure you don’t wash away all of the fragrance. Our favorite is the Signature scent ($20.50), although we’re dying to try the Le Labo Santal 33 and Rose scents. BTW, notes are lily of the valley, jasmine with sweet musk, sandalwood, and a touch of citrus.


Never ring out your clothes

Big no-no. The last thing you want to do is stretch out your clothes and cause them to loose all shape. Instead, make a “dough-ball” and, using both hands, press the water out of the item until all of the excess water is drained.


Air dry when you can

Don’t just throw your favorite clothes in the dryer. Since we don’t have a lot of space, what we tend to do is hang our clothes in the bathroom on the shower rod. If we’re drying sweaters or any other sensitive knitwear we lay out a few towels on the floor, set the piece on top and let the water soak up the excess water over time (takes about 8 hours to get completely dry).

How to remove (stubborn) stains and smells

With The Laundress, there’s two ways you can go about removing stains: the Wash & Stain Bar, ($6) or the Stain Solution, ($18). Ever since the first time we tried it, we can’t live without the Wash & Stain Bar. It’s the perfect spot treatment and only takes minimal effort before you literally see the stain lifting before your eyes. Such a satisfying feeling! We use it all the time as a on-the-spot stain remover when we get a little stain on our white duvet covers or sheets and don’t necessarily want to throw them in the wash. The fact that it’s completely non-toxic and vegetable-based makes it even better. Both are also amazing at removing those dreadful (and gross) pit stains. With the solution, you simply pour a tiny bit to the stained area, let sit for about ten minutes, then either hand-wash or throw it in the washer. SN: did you know that it’s not sweat that actually stains the armpits if your tops, but it’s the aluminum in most deodorants? Another reason to try a natural deodorant.

If you’re hand-washing an item that is stained, always let the piece pre-soak for at least 10 minutes before washing and rinsing. Trust us, this makes a big difference. And the more you let it soak, the less you have to scrub the stained spot, which is always better your the life-span of your clothes.

Preserve your clothes between washes

If you’re a true minimalist like us and get the significance of a uniform you understand the need to be able to wear your clothes multiple times before washing them. And even if you have no interest in having a minimal wardrobe, the whole wear once-wash, wear again-wash routine isn’t doing you any favors. Especially for your knitwear and denim. The Fabric Fresh refresher spray, ($16) really helps. it removes an subtle odors and we find it also prevents them. Also, a good thing is you’re like us and just like your clothes to smell good when you slip into them.


Don’t forget to shop our top picks from The Laundress below. If you found this post helpful, it would mean a lot to us if you shared it :). Please take a moment and click below to share to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

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**FTC: this post is NOT sponsored by The Laundress; we just really like their stuff. Products were purchased with our own money.

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