It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon with nothing to do. Bored to distraction you finally attempt a quick clean up of your domicile. You wash the dishes and empty the trash before finally scooting around the bedroom for lost socks and sweat-stained t-shirts. You throw the clothes in the washing machine, set it to spin, wait a few hours and withdraw your nice, clean load.

But for some reason you’re not getting that refreshing boost from your garments anymore. Your socks are wearing thin, your white shirts are looking grey and your sweaters appear three years older than they actually are.

So you ask yourself, “Why on earth do my clothes always look shabby compared to everyone elses?” The reason is probably simple – you aren’t taking care of your garments the way you should be.

In an effort to help solve your freshness woes, I present my eight step guide to revitalizing and protecting your clothes:

1. Read the instructions. You know those annoying tags every garment in your wardrobe has? Well, they’re there for a reason. Most guys don’t think twice about throwing their stuff into the washer and hoping for the best; washing on the wrong cycle can warp and shrink garments, fade colours and shred threads. Print out this excellent guide to decode those unusual hieroglyphics on the label.

2. Follow the manufacturer’s advice. “Turn inside out before cleaning” isn’t so much a fortune cookie fable as a sound piece of advice from the very people that designed the garment. “Dry clean only” garments should be treated as such.

3. Don’t go detergent crazy. Too much fabric softener or washing powder will artificially weaken the fibers in your favorite garments; only use the dose as recommended on the back of the pack.

4. Don’t procrastinate. If you leave clothing squashed together in the washer/dryer it’ll be harder to iron out the creases when you finally get around to emptying the drum – the more vigorous the heat and pressure, the more damage the fibers experience.

5. Store garments correctly. Belts should be unbuckled and pullovers placed on the appropriate hangers. Everything will last longer and look better if you do as incorrect storage misshapens items the most.

6. Wash your washing machine. You may find your washer smells a little funky if you don’t wash using hot temperatures. If you consistently wash below 40 degrees Celsius, you can stop mildew/mould smells by rinsing the machine through on a hot cycle to kill any bacteria breeding on your cold, eco-cycles.

7. Treat stains when they happen. Don’t let stains dry on – treat them early with simple household remedies to save using abrasive chemical removers once they’ve buried themselves deep on to the fabric.

8. Bury musty odors. If you store clothes for a long time before wearing they’re bound to lose their freshness; try airing them out in the dryer with an appropriately fragranced laundry sheet.

Can you add to this list? Leave a comment or suggestion below if you want to share your top tip on the topic.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

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