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22 DIY Secrets to Save Your Ruined Clothing

catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
September 05, 2016 · 2.8k Views

It’s hard to part with a favorite shirt because an accidental spill has rendered it no longer wearable. But does this really mean the end? A simple answer is no. When faced with snags, stains, and shrinkage, people will do whatever it takes to save their most beloved articles of clothing. Here are 22 DIY hacks and tricks you can use to fix ruined clothes.

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  1. Armpit stains

    Source: thekrazycouponlady.com
    Armpit stains are no longer a death sentence for you favorite t-shirts. Use a mixture of lemon juice and water to rub out those embarrassing marks. For tougher stains, make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub the mixture on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. Give a thorough rinse before washing. (via Cosmopolitan)
  2. Felted sweater patches to cover holes

    Source: marthastewart.com
    Use this trick when a favorite cardigan starts getting holes. The patches not only cover wear and tear, but they will also give your old cardigan a stylish update. (via Martha Stewart).
  3. Deodorant marks

    Source: cosmopolitan.com
    Deodorant marks are one of those wardrobe blips that are usually noticed just as you head out the door. Rather than frantically look for something else to where, rub the foam cover of a dry cleaner hanger over the mark and it should disappear. Nylon pantyhose work well too.(via Cosmopolitan
  4. Oil stains

    Source: popsguar.com
    You look down and notice that some salad dressing has splashed on your blouse. Try rubbing white chalk on the spots and then wash as usual. The chalk will work to soak up the oil. (via Budget101.com)
  5. Tackle the toughest stains

    Source: tierneycyanne.com
    If you have little ones who like to get their hands (and clothes) dirty, this tip is for you. Make a solution mixing hydrogen peroxide, Dawn dishwashing soap, and baking soda, and then scrub it on the stain using a brush, and let sit for 1 hour. Follow up by washing as usual. (via My Life in Pink and Green).
  6. Lipstick stains

    Source: realsimple.com
    You pick up the dress you wore last night dancing and realized there is smudge of lipstick on it. Don’t panic. Spray the tarnished area with hairspray, wait for a few minutes, and then blot the stain before washing. Do not use this method on dry-clean only clothes. (via Cosmopolitan)
  7. Fix a shrunken shirt

    Source: roseandfig.com
    No one enjoys wearing an uncomfortably tight shirt that shrunk in the dryer. Instead of giving the shrunken shirt to a petite friend, treat it with this garment saving method calls for only hair conditioner and water. (via The Huffington Post)
  8. Foundation stains 

    Source: cosmopolitan.it
    Makeup is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to staining clothes. The next time you find foundation on a shirt, apply a squirt of shaving cream on the smudge before washing. (via Cosmopolitan)
  9. Fix a loose button

    Source: cinyus.com
    You are late for work and the shirt you just put on has a button that is hanging by only a thread. There’s no time to pull out the sewing kit. Solve this potential wardrobe malfunction by quickly adding a swipe of clear nail polish over the button to hold it in place. It works on small screws like those found on your sunglasses, too. (via Minq)
  10. Dirt on suede shoes

    Source: thekrazykouponlady.com
    Dirt loves to make an appearance more often than not on your suede shoes. Keep a nail file handy to buff annoying dirt marks right out. (via Cosmopolitan)
  11. Water stains on leather boots

    Source: lockerdome.com
    If you live in a city and have to walk around in the winter, then you know all too well that water can wreak havoc on leather boots. Get rid of those unsightly water stains by rubbing them with a soft-bristled toothbrush that has been dipped in white vinegar. (via Cosmopolitan)
  12. Rethread a drawstring

    Source: imgur.com
    It’s a serious task to try and get the drawstring of your favorite sweatpants back on track. Getting rid of them is out of the question. Try this sweatpants saving method, which uses a straw and stapler. Simply thread the drawstring into the straw, staple it and push it through the waistband. (via LifeHacker)
  13. Eliminate sneaker odor

    Source: wikihow.jp
    This little trick comes to you straight from the gym locker room. After working out, sprinkle baking soda in your shoes to absorb moisture and eliminate odor. (via Cosmopolitan)
  14. Shine your shoes

    Source: cosmopolitan.com
    Windex isn’t just for cleaning windows. Spray a little glass cleaner on your patent leather shoes and they will shine like new. (via Cosmopolitan)
  15. Remove red wine

    Source: wikihow.com
    Perhaps the most dreaded spill of them all is red wine. The goal is to “lift” the red wine off the fibers, doing so as quickly as possible. First dab with paper towels to absorb as much liquid as you can. Then pour club soda on the stained area and follow up with salt. Click here for more methods on removing red wine stains.
  16. Stop a pantyhose run in its tracks

    Source: buzzfeed.com
    This DIY clothing hack has been around for a while. Use clear nail polish to stop a pantyhose run from being anymore embarrassing. (via Cosmopolitan)
  17. Scuffs on patent leather

    Source: brightside.me
    Scuffs can totally ruin the polished look of patent leather. The next time you find a mark on your shoes or bag, fix the situation by rubbing it with a cotton swab and petroleum jelly. (via Cosmopolitan)
  18. Fix dull leather shoes

    Source: blacklapel.com
    Give those dull leather shoes sitting in the back of your closet a second chance. Just dab a towel with a little lotion and gently rub the leather. (via Cosmopolitan)
  19. Repair a pulled thread

    Source: cosmopolitan.com
    While your first urge is to pull a hanging thread, DON’T! Instead, pull the fabric surrounding the thread, alternating around the sides. Keep doing this and the stray thread will eventually pull back into place. (via Cosmopolitan)
  20. Loosen a stuck zipper

    Source: uk.pinterest.com
    Instead of fighting a stuck zipper, apply petroleum jelly to a cotton swab and rub on the hardware.  (via Cosmopolitan)
  21. Remove pilling from sweaters

    Source: lovelybike.blogspot.com
    Pilling on a garment will make it look frumpy. Fix the problem by using a razor to cut the pilling and then follow with a lint roller to remove any excess material. (via What The Flicka)
  22. Use booze eliminate strong odors

    Source: brightside.me

    You can use vodka for more than just making a martini. Vodka comes in handy when you want to wear a shirt but didn’t have time to wash it. Spray a little vodka on the garment and let it dry – the alcohol will kill odor-causing bacteria. (via Cosmopolitan)


catherinemurphy profile picture
Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.

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