Green Living For Dummies
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You can live green by extending the life of your clothes. Following a few simple rules can make your clothes last longer and help you spend less money on replacements, energy, and detergents.

Although there are laundry detergents that help fabrics last longer, these detergents often cost more than most regular detergents, the idea being that if you're spending less on clothes, you have more money for detergent.

There are better ways to get your clothes to last longer — and it doesn't cost a penny more. In fact, it not only saves time and money, but it also reduces energy and water consumption and the use of petroleum-based detergent products. Here are some tips:

  • Stop washing all clothes after one wearing. Your jeans saw only three hours of action this weekend at the movies? Unless you spilled popcorn butter all over yourself, keep them out of the laundry hamper.

  • Hang up recently worn items in a place where they can "breathe." A couple hours turned inside-out in an open area (or outside) will air out that "worn" odor.

  • When you wash, use cold water. It's the hot water that weakens fibers and robs clothing of color.

  • Skip bleach, as well as detergents that contain bleach. Sure, it's harsh on dirt — but it's also harsh on fabric.

  • Skip the dryer whenever possible. Hang clothes on a line indoors or, when the weather cooperates, under the bacteria-killing powers of the sun.

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