YOU'VE just forked out what feels like a small fortune kitting out the kids with a brand new uniform and in that obligatory first day of term photo, they always look so smart.

However, barely weeks later there are grass stains on their trousers, it seems the colour on the jumper has faded already and there's a button missing on their shirt.

In fact, before you know it, you're shelling out AGAIN for replacement garments, and tearing your hair out in frustration.

Thankfully there are some very simple, affordable ways to keep uniforms in good nick, and if you start now there's more chance you'll save yourself forking out on new clothes – which is better for you and the environment.

Here, Laundryheap founder and laundry expert Deyan Dimitrov shares his five top tips to ensure your kids' school uniform stays smart all year round.

First things first, just make sure you're stocked up on the one secret ingredient Deyan swears by – white vinegar…


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Swap fabric conditioner… for vinegar

Using too much fabric softener can actually cause materials to fade and feel rough as residues build-up on your children’s uniforms.

A great homemade alternative to softener is white vinegar.

This can be bought cheaply from a supermarket or even found in the back of your kitchen cupboard.

It works exactly the same as softener, whilst also removing any unwanted stains and odours.

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Don’t worry about the acidic smell of the vinegar itself – this will neutralise as your clothes rinse in the washing machine!

Make your own stain remover

School stains can be easily remedied at little or no cost if you consider making your own stain remover.

Take two thirds of a cup of baking soda and mix this with half a cup of white vinegar.

Apply the paste to any stains and scrub them thoroughly with a damp cloth or microfibre towel.

After five minutes, rinse with cold water and the stain should have disappeared.

If the stain is persistent, the paste can be left for an additional 10 minutes.

This will ensure that it penetrates the fibres of the fabric.

Wash items at a lower temperature

In order to take care of your child’s school uniform, make sure to wash it in different batches according to each item’s colour and required machine wash cycle.

A hot wash can cause some fibres to shrink, stretch or become dull.

Therefore, a lower heat will prolong a fabric’s lifespan and save you money in the long run. 

Don’t overfill your washing machine

Be careful not to put too much laundry in your machine, as running one big load of washing instead of several smaller cycles can actually damage your school clothing.

An overfilled washing drum can cause fabrics to push up against one another, overall increasing friction and creating tears in your children’s school uniform.

I would advise to generally fill your machine to two thirds of its capacity, as this will give uniforms enough room to spin properly. 

Avoid tumble drying 

Excessive periods of tumble drying can also damage your clothes.

I would recommend popping your clothes out to air dry, either on a washing line or on a flat and aired surface.

This will prevent jumpers or tights from stretching and shirts from creasing, whilst also helping to lower your electricity bills. 

However, if you're lacking time and are going to tumble dry, use this simple trick using ice cubes to help ensure you don't need to iron afterwards.

Get resourceful

If your child quickly outgrows their uniform as the school year progresses, avoid buying brand new replacements.

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Instead, take these down to your local tailor and they’ll be able to adjust the clothes accordingly.

Likewise, if you fancy a challenge, you could opt to repair any faulty buttons or seam-tears yourself, instead of chucking the uniform away. 

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