With the kids back to school and school uniforms making up a large % of back to school costs, we wanted to share some of our tried and tested tips on caring for school uniforms to make them last longer.
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My top tip on caring for school uniforms would be to get the kids to change as soon as they come home. Apart from being more comfortable, it avoids the possibility of spills at dinner, rips and tears from play and keeps school uniforms fresher for longer.
If they have after-school activities or play dates, simply pack a change of clothes and teach them to fold their school uniform neatly in the bag!
As soon as my kids come home on a Friday afternoon everything goes in the wash and out on the clothes line. There is nothing worse than a plaintive cry on Sunday evening bemoaning that fact that their school uniform is not clean or they forgot to add their PE gear to the wash. It is now second nature for my girls to gather all school uniform items and add the to the wash basket on Fridays.
The following tips are really just common sense, but no harm reminding you of them.
- Check the care labels on all items before you wash them. Some items like jumpers will require a cooler wash than cotton shirts.
- Separate darks from whites, again this may seem obvious, and while it can be tempting to just throw everything in together, as the school year rolls on, you will notice the difference if you don’t separate.
- Use the correct detergent too. Some have bleach and are suitable for lighter colours, some have built in fabric conditioner and others are best used on darker garments.
- Wash anything with a school crest of embroidery inside out, this will help to keep them from catching or fraying.
- And finally, check care labels for ironing. Not everything will be suitable for ironing and strong heat could damage delicate fabrics.
It will extend the life of your school uniforms if you take care when washing them.
A Place for Everything
If your house is anything like mine, the floor, bed or back of a chair are favourite “hanging spots” for clothes, both clean and dirty. From an early age it is great to teach your kids to hang their school uniform up after each wear. This is more likely to happen if they have a dedicated spot, and you don’t do it for them tempting and all as that may be.
Same goes for schools shoes, coats and school bags. If each member of the family has their own place to leave these items you not only get them used to putting items away, but it saves stress on busy mornings searching for missing items.
Looking After School Shoes
Most schools these days have a policy of black or brown school shoes. Just like school uniforms, getting children to change out of these as soon as they come home will help keep them in great shape.
On wet days, stuff them with newspaper to soak any excess moisture and to help keep their shape. Polish them on a Friday evening once all the uniforms are in the wash, this adds an extra layer of protection and keeps them looking smart.
Whether you buy labels, or use a laundry pen it is essential to label every piece of their school uniform, from coats, hats and scarves to trousers, skirts, shirts and cardigans and PE gear to towels and togs used for swimming lessons.
Everyone in school wears the same thing so it is inevitable that there will be mix ups, especially on play-dates or PE days. By labelling your school uniform items you at least have a chance of getting lost items back.
A Few Clever Tricks for Caring for School Uniforms
- Check the buttons on your child’s school uniform. If you feel some are not holding as well as they should, add a few extra stitches before the button falls off.
- Soak any stains before you wash items. I often use wash up detergent on stains and it works a treat.
- Get school coats and blazers dry cleaned a few times a year. This really will extend the life of these items.
- Finally, if you have a choice between white or coloured socks/tights/shirts/PE tops, always opt for coloured. No matter how well you look after your whites, they will discolour.
I hope these tips on caring for school uniforms to make the last longer have been helpful. If you have any others, please do share them in the comments box below.