Boy and girl in school uniform.

How to make school uniforms last longer

School uniforms come in for some heavy wear, so here are our tips to keep them looking fresh term after term.

Washing right

How you wash and dry clothes is the key to making them last longer.

  • Different fabrics behave in different ways when they’re being washed, ironed or dried, so always check the label.
  • Wash clothes at 30oC – this will help your clothes last longer and saves energy.
  • Only tumble dry if you have to – line-drying helps clothes last.
  • Whiten shirts by line drying them out of doors – the sun will make them dazzle.

Find more washing tips and laundry lifesavers in our Care and repair section.

Swot up on stains

Here’s how to get rid of some of the most common stains your children can come home with.

  • Ink: spray with hairspray, then blot with a paper towel. Biro stains can be removed by soaking in a little milk.
  • Mud: pre-soak the clothes as soon as possible in a bucket of cold water with 3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda. Leave for at least an hour, then wash with a biological powder and line-dry.
  • Crayon: if the crayon is soft, freeze the fabric to harden the crayon, and then scrape off the excess. Place the stain between clean paper towels and press with a warm iron to transfer the stain to the paper towels. Repeat as needed. Pre-treat with a prewash stain remover. Blot and let dry.
  • Grass: dab with methylated spirits and allow to dry, then wash as normal.
  • Chewing gum: put the clothes in the freezer. Once the gum is hard and brittle it can easily be scraped off with a knife.

Repairs and alterations

It’s annoying when a school shirt loses a button or a hem starts to become unfurled. Rather than replacing it, you could try to repair it. It’s easier than you think.

Are the school clothes too big, or too small? Have them altered and they’ll look good as new. Some alterations, like letting down or shortening a hemline, are easy to do yourself.

From quick fixes to clothing alterations, try our video guides to the basic repair tricks.