IT can feel like buying and washing your kids' school uniforms is a vicious and never-ending cycle.

But while you can't do anything about the super-human speed they seem to grow, you can make their clothes last longer with a little expert help.

Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at online discounts platform WeThrift says: “School uniforms are costly enough and the last thing parents want to do is buy their child another pair of trousers because the one they have currently is torn and frayed due to washing or wear and tear. 

“That said, when it comes to washing clothes, there are simple steps that parents can take to ensure that their kid’s uniform stays in good condition.” 

Load your washing machine correctly 

We're often in a rush and it's always tempting to shove as many clothes as possible into the wash at the same time – but try not to.

Nick says: "Cramming your washing machine with clothes will do no favours to your kid’s school uniform.

"When a machine is overloaded, clothes will rub against each other and this will lead to damage.

"Overloading your machine could also mean that your clothes won’t wash properly, as they need plenty of room to move around in the drum. 

"For the best results, there has to be a sufficient amount of water for the detergent to dissolve in, as well as enough space for your clothes to move around.

"The general rule of thumb is to fill the drum no more than three quarters of the way full to protect your clothes from friction and damage."

Limit the amount of detergent you use – and use baking soda 

It can be hard to gauge how much detergent to use, but using more doesn't equal a better clean.

Nick says: "Using a large amount of detergent could make your kid’s school uniform stiff and dull-looking.

"Try using half the recommended amount of detergent, as well as half a cup of baking soda and this will act as a detergent booster.

"Doing this will limit your home carbon footprint, and not to mention preserve the condition of your kids' uniform."

Wash dark clothes inside out 

Fading is another issue parents can face, especially with darker items, like trousers.

To avoid this, Nick advises: "To prevent these items from fading, try washing them inside out.

"This simple trick will help preserve their colour and keep them looking new for much longer."

Don’t forget to lower the heat 

Not only is lowering the heat of your wash good for the environment, but it can help make clothing last longer too.

Nick says: "For any kind of wash you do, it’s important to lower the heat.

"This is because hot water can shrink, stretch and permanently set stains on certain kinds of fabric.

"So, it’s important to follow the label instructions on your child’s clothing correctly and select the right settings on your washing machine." 

Use a fabrics shaver 

If you're one for handy gadgets, a clothes shaver could be.a life saver when it comes to sharpening up the appearance of your child's uniform – particularly if they've acquired those little bobbles under the arms of their jumper.

Nick says: "When it comes to giving your child’s school uniform a good sweep, be sure to use a fabric shaver and not a lint brush.

"A fabric shaver is easy-to-use, less time consuming and is designed to safely handle a wide range of fabric."

Remove stains manually 

Instead of relying on the washing machine to remove stains, some experts advise to treat them manually.

Nick says: "The first step is to rinse the stain thoroughly in cold water and then soak your garment in hot water with some laundry detergent.

"If you have it, add a little ammonia to the mixture as well.

"Allow your child’s clothing to soak in the mixture for 30 to 60 minutes – you may even want to leave it overnight if you’re dealing with a very stubborn stain."

Wash their uniform less frequently 

Depending on your child, this one may not always be possible – but another way to ensure clothes last longer is of course not over-washing.

Nick adds: "Unless your child’s uniform is visibly dirty or has an unpleasant odour to it, their clothes may just benefit from being washed less.

"It’s understandable to want their clothes to stay fresh, but it’s important to know that constantly washing your child’s jumper will drain its colour and make it more stretchy.

"Not to mention, washing less frequently will be beneficial for the environment, save you money on your water bills and increase the lifespan of your children’s school uniform."

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