When it comes to clothes, they sure don’t make ’em like they used to. Or maybe I’m just tough on clothes. Whatever the reason, it seems like my clothes are constantly wearing out – and they all seem to go at the same time. Anyone else have that problem? Well, contrary to popular belief, a scuff, tear, or stain is not the end for a piece of clothing. Whether it’s a sweater, leather boots, tights, or anything else, you can usually give it a new lease on life with a simple repair. The environment will thank you for keeping perfectly good clothes out of the landfill, and you’ll save money by reducing the number of replacement items you have to purchase.
These tips can also enable you scoop up great deals on slightly damaged clothing in stores, or cute items in thrift shops that have seen a little more wear than you’d like – you’ll have to tools to make them look like new. The best part? The tools you need to make a lot of basic repairs are most likely already in your home. What are you waiting for?
Tips for Stains
1. Remove armpit discoloration with lemon juice or baking soda
Mix lemon juice and water and scrub at those discolored armpit stains. For really tough stains, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and scrub it into the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then throw the garment in the wash as normal. Learn more here!
2. Get rid of deodorant marks with the foam from a dry cleaning hanger
The soft foam removes the deodorant easily. Check out tip four here for more info.
3. Shaving cream kills foundation stains
A lot of girls get unsightly foundation stains around the collar of shirts, from taking shirts off before you’ve washed your face. I always seem to also get foundation on myself when I’m applying it. (And I’ve known girls to quite literally rub off on guys, leaving brownish foundation smudges from cuddling.) However it got there, you can easily remove these stains – check out this article.
4. Lipstick stains bow before hairspray
Another kind of makeup I can’t put on without getting some on myself. We’ve all been there – even guys get lipstick marks on their clothes from girls (see above). The good news is, there’s an easy way to remove those colorful marks with hairspray. Check it out!
5. Dishwashing liquid removes grease from clothing
Dishwashing liquid is actually gentle enough to use on your clothes. Look at tip 18 for the details.
6. Freeze chewing gum off your jeans
Check out WikiHow’s guide to learn how to freeze gum, making it easier to remove, plus some backups if that doesn’t work.
Tips for Wrinkles
7. Make your own wrinkle-release spray
With a clever blend of vinegar, water, and hair conditioner, this homemade wrinkle release spray will help you quickly remove stubborn wrinkles without washing.
8. Safely iron sweaters and other delicates
It’s so frustrating when your favorite sweater is wrinkly and you know you can’t iron it. But now you can, with this easy tutorial!
Tips for Scuffs, Watermarks, and Damaged Leather
Check out tips 10-15 to learn more – much love to Cosmo for these great shoe repair tips.
9. Use a nail file to remove dirt from suede
Just start buffing away!
10. A toothbrush dipped in vinegar removes water stains from leather boots
Again, just start gently brushing the stained area until the damage is repaired. This tip is good for water/snow marks, as well as salt stains!
11. Swab on petroleum jelly to repair scuffed patent leather
Dip a q-tip or cotton ball in petroleum jelly and apply to the scuffed area.
12. Repair leather with lotion
This works especially well for leather shoes, but I’ve seen people give leather bags and even jackets a fresh shine with lotion.
13. Revitalize patent leather’s shine with glass cleaner
One case where “put some Windex on it” is actually accurate.
Tips for Snags and Runs
14. Fix a snagged sweater by hand
It’s actually really easy – as long as no threads are broken, you can pull the snag into place with this technique.
15. Use clear nail polish to stop a run in your tights
If you apply just a dot of clear nail polish before the run really gets going, you can get at least a couple more wears out of a pair of tights.
16. Cover an underwire that’s poking out
You can use moleskin if you have it, but even using a normal bandaid can give you some relief, and allow you to keep wearing the bra.
17. Paint clear nail polish over a button that’s threatening to come undone
At some point, you should probably learn how to sew on a button. But in the meantime, a dot of clear nail polish will get you through.
Tips for Broken Hardware
18. Fix a sticky zipper with wax or petroleum jelly
Just dab a little bit on the sticky area with a q-tip or cotton ball, and the zipper should slide more easily.
19. Fix a broken drawstring
It’s a major pet peeve of mine when I lose a drawstring in my sweatpants or hoodie. But this easy technique can help you fish the string back out.
20. Tighten up sunglasses with clear nail polish
If you don’t have one of those tiny screwdrivers to fix your sunglasses, you can dab a bit of clear nail polish on to keep them functional.