6 summer detergents to give your clothes a boost
Looking to wear a summer dress or short-sleeved shirt to a barbecue, but it’s wrinkled and smells musty? Well, you can restore those warm clothes in no time with a few tricks. Here are six money-saving laundry hacks that are guaranteed to bring all your summer favorites back to life!
Restore faded colors with this rinse.
Take out your red summer dress to find it dimmer than you remember? “Detergent residue and hard water fade over time,” says seamstress Bonnie Fisher. The fix: Mix 1⁄2 cup of white vinegar and 1⁄2 cup of salt, pour into the washer, then toss in your clothes and wash cold. “Vinegar and salt break down minerals that settle on clothes, leaving behind brighter colors.”
Also smart: To brighten whites, avoid bleach, as it can make yellowing worse by reacting with proteins that cause discoloration. Instead, add 1⁄2 cup of baking soda at your expense (with your usual detergent). According to Fisher, “It removes yellowing agents and restores whiteness. »
Eliminate musty odors with a vodka spray.
Clothes put away for winter can get moldy, from everything from dust and dander to mildew, says stylist Erica Ball. “Fortunately, a simple vodka mix will kill the odors.” Simply mix equal parts water and vodka in a spray bottle and spray the garment. Let it dry and voila, the odors will be gone. This spray also works on sandals that may not smell so fresh after being put away for the winter.
Also smart: When storing clothes for next season, consider storing them with a little activated charcoal. Simply place the charcoal in an old pair of stockings and tie the ends. This “bag” will absorb moisture and odors like a sponge.
Defeat wrinkles with an “ice bath”.
Natural fibers like silk, linen and cotton tend to wrinkle, especially when folded for months. No need to get out your iron, says dry cleaning expert Jonathon Reckles. “Just toss the wrinkled clothes in the dryer and add a few ice cubes. As they melt, the cubes release steam which relaxes the pleats. No ice cream on hand? Create the same effect by adding a damp towel in the dryer.
Also smart: Create your own wrinkle reducer: In a spray bottle, mix one cup of water and one tablespoon of fabric softener. Hang clothes and spray – fabric softener relaxes fibers and lifts wrinkles.
Replace a button easily.
Twist ties on buns are actually wardrobe-saving wonders, says Fisher. “If you’ve lost a button, just strip the fastener down to the wire, then thread it through the buttonholes to hold the shirt closed.” The wire is so thin no one will notice, but it’s strong enough to hold the opening together.
Peel off a stubborn zipper.
Sometimes a zipper just needs a little help to slide over the teeth more easily: just rub a candlestick, bar soap or beeswax on it. The slippery, waxy residue will zip it up again in no time.
Elevate sagging bra straps.
Few things are as annoying as bra straps that don’t stay in place. The fix: Secure a paper clip around one strap near the middle of your back, then wrap the other strap in the clip. This stretches them so that they stay in place!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First for women.