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20 Genius Hacks To Repair Damaged Clothing

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

                                          More by this author

                                          Andrea Lotz

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

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                                          Last Updated on November 9, 2020

                                          10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                          10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                                          Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                                          Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                                          Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                                          If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                                          Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                                          1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                                          Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                                          Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                                          Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                                          2. No Motivation

                                          Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                                          This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                                          If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                                          3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                                          Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                                          A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                                          A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                                          The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                                          4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                                          One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                                          We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                                          Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                                          You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                                          5. Upward Comparisons

                                          Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                                          The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                                          These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                                          Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                                          6. No Alternative

                                          This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                                          Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                                          Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                                          Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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                                          7. Stress

                                          As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                                          When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                                          We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                                          If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                                          8. Sense of Failure

                                          People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                                          Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                                          Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                                          If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                                          9. The Need to Be All-New

                                          People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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                                          These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                                          10. Force of Habit

                                          Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                                          Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                                          These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                                          There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                                          More on Breaking Bad Habits

                                          Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                                          [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                                          [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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