Most articles of clothing including t-shirts look their best when they are brand new. Keeping the look of new clothing is one of the biggest struggles of clothing care. There are some washing and drying techniques that make clothing wear out far quicker than if the clothing is treated with other washing and drying techniques.
One of the harshest things that can be done to laundry is to use an electric drier. These age clothing faster than just about anything else that can be done to it. To keep clothing looking newer for far longer, use other drying techniques if possible. Using a dryer does make clothing feel softer but it strips it of many of the fibers of the clothing. If you’ve ever noticed the lint that comes out of a dryer lint trap, you’ve seen where those fibers end up. That lint is largely small particles of the clothing that was dried in the machine.
If you want to bypass the dryer, using an old-fashioned drying line can dry clothing quickly and without wearing out the fabric. If you have bright colors drying, be sure to put the line in the shade. Bright sunlight can cause colors to fade more quickly. This will make the drying process take longer, but the clothing will eventually dry in the fresh air.
Another way to keep t-shirts and clothing looking newer longer is to use cold water to wash the clothes. Hot water is a harsh way to wash clothes and can lead to fading of the colors and for the fabric to ball up into the pills that can form on cotton. Use cold water whenever possible to wash your clothing. There are times when clothing is so dirty or has so many odors that washing it in cold water won’t solve the problems. In those cases, try warm water instead of hot. You might also try alternating between using cold water and hot water on each load of laundry. This cuts in half the number of times that the clothing is washed in hot water while still giving it a deep cleaning every other time.
Harsh detergents are another problem with keeping clothing looking new. The detergents that we use may be effective, but they can also cause some damage to clothing and fade the colors. Using the gentlest detergents possible, that still get out the dirt and odor, will keep the clothing looking better. If the clothing is not getting clean by using a gentler detergent, try a pre-treatment regimen first before using the gentler detergent.
If possible, don’t use bleach to clean the clothes. There are of course times when only bleach will remove a stain. But, on everyday loads, don’t include bleach in the wash. It causes fabric to wear thin far more quickly than a regular detergent. After just a few washes in bleach, a thin fabric may develop holes. If you do use bleach, use it as a spot-treatment if possible instead of adding it to the wash.