Meg over at Faking Good Breeding recently posted an entry about taking care of shoes, clothing, and accessories and shared her Mr. Clean magic eraser epiphany with readers. I'm a big fan of her blog, and it was interesting to read some of her and her readers' tips for keeping things looking as good as possible. I contributed a comment to her comments section, but her blog post also inspired me to share some of my favourite tips for taking care of stuff I own.
Let jackets, coats, and sweaters air out. These items of clothing are usually worn on top of something and made of materials that might get distressed from overwashing. If I've worn a cardigan or blazer, I put it on a hanger when I get home and hang it on one of my dresser handles instead of stuffing it back in the closet right away or folding it up. That way any odours the material may have soaked up (food, cigarette smoke, etc.) have a chance to leave the fabric, and I don't have to wash them as much.
Use a real lint brush. I'm talking about a lint brush with a fabric pad that feels a bit like car upholstery. In my experience, these brushes are the best at picking up small bits of dust and lint and hair. Unlike lint brushes that use adhesives, the fabric-pad lint brushes don't lose their "stickiness" and can be used for years to come. The one I have comes from Daiso and was only $2.
Get a sweater shaver. Sweater shavers are like razors for your clothes. They remove unwanted pilling and fuzziness and instantly make your stuff look newer. I first found out about them when I was about fifteen, but it took another six years before I found one at London Drugs for about $15.
Find an effective leather cleaner. I have a pair of beige Nine West platform slides that I love to wear with dark jeans. Eventually, however, I started getting blue marks on my slides where the dye from my jeans rubbed off on the leather. I found an awesome leather shoe cleaner (again, $2 from Daiso...God I love that place!), dabbed some on a paper towel, and rubbed it into the leather. The blue came off after about two minutes.
Make a "clothes maintenance kit" for yourself. When I buy a new coat or blazer, there's usually a little baggie attached that contains spare buttons or matching yarn in case the piece of clothing has to be repaired later on. I keep all of those baggies in an old chocolate tin with my sweater shaver and some safety pins in case I need to do some quick upkeep. When I need sewing supplies, I borrow them from my mom, but if you put together a clothes maintenance kit for yourself, I highly recommend getting a small sewing kit and a pair of scissors from the dollar store as well.