Taking Care of You Stuff

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Live & Learn with Linda

I can still remember my mom’s reminders to “take care of your things!”   And it seems that what that meant kicked in right about when I actually started having to PAY for y own stuff!  And now that I’m the mom, giving the very same lecture, it’s not only a money-saving need but also the fact that I have some real favorite items now that I want to use for a long time.

Here are some key tips for some of this season’s faves that’ll keep them looking good as new for longer.   Plus, keep in mind that it’s best to store things clean – so even if you freshen your items just before you pack them up for the season – you’ll reap the benefits.

Here are the top tips I learned:

Faux Fur

NEVER apply heat to faux fur – not a clothes dryer, not a hair dryer.  It’ll literally make those little synthetic hairs ball up like a sheep.  Not good.  Always let it air dry.

The best tool to keep your faux fur looking it’s best is a good old pet slicker brush.  Just brush through regularly or it you spill something and it works wonders.  A great trick!


We all love our suede.  And with suede, despite the fact that it’s a winter fabric and often is in a circumstance to get wet, try to avoid water – it won’t ruin it – it’ll just change the nap.  If it does get wet, simply blot with a white paper towel or white towel.  Don’t take to it with a hair dryer or it might leave that part stiff and different.

Just like brushing faux fur, suede likes a good brushing too.  In fact, simply brushing suede is the best “cleaning” you can do.  You can buy a suede brush, but I learned that a simple nailbrush you can buy in any drugstore has the same firmness and works great.  Brush in the direction of the nap and it’ll remove residue, some oils and also any dirt.

If you have a small scuff or dried dirt try this trick.  Use a clean pencil eraser to remove it without scratching the leather.

Patent Leather

Keeping patent leather clean and shiny is as close as your bathroom.  Most expensive commercial patent leather cleaners have mineral oil in them.  So, if you happen to have that – go ahead and use it.  If not, simply grab your jar of petroleum jelly and with a white cloth apply some as a cleaner and polish.  Buff to remove the residue and it’ll look really great.  Always test a small area first however to make sure.

Cashmere and Wools

I’ve lost more than a few sweaters to moths!  One favorite sweater dress in particular over a couple of summer months in the back of my closet.

Moths don’t actually do the eating, they lay the larvae and that’s what does the munching.  So your clothes become a nesting ground for a baby moth picnic – YUCH!

Easy prevention can help.  Cedar works well but it can be expensive.  Give this a shot – lavender is a natural moth repellent so grab some lavender essential oils at any natural market (like Sprouts) and pour a little on some cotton balls in a small bowl.  Simply set that in your closet – refresh as needed and you’ll not only set out a “Not Welcome” sign for the pests, but also add a lovely fragrance to the closet.


Try to always store your sweaters flat not hanging and wash according to directions.  But hand washing is the best bet here.  Hand wash, lay on a towel and roll up to absorb moisture and lay flat to dry.

Also, if you want to avoid the stretch of a wet sweater, consider measuring some key parts, like sleeve length, to make sure you can shape it back into the right dimensions.

And very importantly, clean those sweaters before packing away so when you pull them out next year they’re good as new.

Live and Learn.