Quick fixes for damaged clothes

Quick fixes for damaged clothes

It happens. Clothes get smelly and stained, zippers break down. But before you toss them, try these simple fixes to freshen them up.

Quick fixes for damaged clothes
Quick fixes for damaged clothes

Serve musty clothes a cocktail

What do you do when you pull out an outfit to wear but are hit with a musty odour? Pour a little vodka (unflavoured, please) into a spray bottle and lightly mist the outfit. The alcohol kills the odourous bacteria without adding an unwanted smell of its own.

Appliqués save the day

When a garment is beyond repair because of holes or stains, you don’t necessarily have to shop for a new one. Consider hiding the damage with appliqués. They not only hide problem areas, they also provide a decorative look. Most appliqués are iron-on these days, so you won’t even need to sew.

Rid sweaters of pills

Pilling can ruin an otherwise perfect sweater. Use a razor or an electric shaver to cut the fuzzy pills off, taking care not to make a hole in the weave. Other handy de-pilling tools you can use include emery boards, pumice stones and the rough side of a piece of two-sided fastener. With any of these, rub lightly in one direction until the pills disengage.

Keep the zip in zippers

Stuck zipper? Try these tricks.

  • Take a closer look at the teeth. If they show lint or dirt between them, brush the teeth with dry toothbrush bristles, then rub them lightly with the stub of a beeswax candle. The zipper should now glide smoothly on its waxed track.
  • If a zipper has too much zip and comes undone on its own (usually at the most embarrassing moments), use a cotton swab to coat the teeth with hairspray after you’ve donned the garment and zipped the zipper. Hairspray will hold both sides of the zipper together just enough to keep them from coming apart.

You’ll feel better knowing you’ve saved your favourite sweater or business suit from the trash — and you’ll be surprised how much better they will look on you, too.

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