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20 Genius Hacks To Repair Damaged Clothing

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20 Genius Hacks To Repair Damaged Clothing

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!

    Photo by Beijing, Good Eats

    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.

    Clothing Deodorant
      Photo from Cosmopolitan

      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.

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      Clothing Shaving Cream
        Photo from Cosmopolitan

        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!

        Clothing Hairspray
          Photo by Roposo

          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.

          Clothing Dishwashing Liquid
            Photo from Cosmopolitan

            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.

            Clothing Freezer Jeans
              Photo by Her Campus

              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.

              Clothing Wrinkle Spray
                Photo by One Good Thing

                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!

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                Clothing Ironing
                  Photo by wikiHow

                  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!

                  Clothing Nail File
                    Photo by Cosmopolitan

                    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!

                    Clothing Vinegar
                      Photo by Cosmopolitan

                      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.

                      Clothing Petroleum Jelly
                        Photo by Cosmopolitan

                        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.

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                        Clothing Lotion
                          Photo by Cosmopolitan

                          13. Revitalize patent leather’s shine with glass cleaner

                          One case where “put some Windex on it” is actually accurate.

                          Clothing Windex
                            Photo by Cosmopolitan

                            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.

                            Clothing Snag
                              Photo by wikiHow

                              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.

                              Clothing Tights
                                Photo by Cosmopolitan

                                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.

                                Clothing Bra
                                  Photo by Cosmopolitan

                                  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.

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                                  Clothing Button
                                    Photo by Cosmopolitan

                                    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.

                                    Clothing Zipper
                                      Photo by Cosmopolitan

                                      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.

                                      Clothing Drawstring
                                        Photo by No More Money on Clothes or Shoes Challenge

                                        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.

                                        Clothing Sunglasses
                                          Photo by Cosmopolitan

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                                          Andrea Lotz

                                          Andrea is a passionate writer who shares everyday lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                          Last Updated on August 12, 2021

                                          Learn How To Make Coffee 38 Different Ways With This Stunning Guide

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                                          If you make your own coffee in the morning, chances are you’re only making the same boring kind everyday. Now it’s time to put an end to the cynical habit and turn you into an instant coffee connoisseur.

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