· Bright Ideas · 25 Quick And Clever Solutions For Your Clothing Catastrophes

25 Quick And Clever Solutions For Your Clothing Catastrophes

Clothing Catastrophes

Shrunken sweaters, static cling, deodorant marks, scuffed shoes… I could go on and on! There’s a nearly endless list of wardrobe malfunctions and clothing catastrophes that like to crop up from time to time to cause chaos. But before you throw in the towel and burn the offending piece of clothing, stop! Take a break, as well as a few deep breaths, and read this post first. :-) There’s almost ALWAYS a cure for what ails you and your clothing, and today I’ll be sharing a couple dozen of them!

So without further ado, here are 25 ways to fix common clothing catastrophes and wardrobe malfunctions. (And if you have a clothing fix that isn’t listed here, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section!)

Related:  8 Clever Clothing Hacks That Will Help You Beat The Heat

25 Solutions To Common Clothing Catastrophes

Clothing Catastrophes

1. Stains

If you’re in need of an all-purpose stain remover for everyday clothing stains, look no further! My very favorite stain remover is one you can make right in your own home! I’ve used it to remove all kinds of different stains, and it hasn’t failed me yet!

Related: How To Make My Ultimate Stain Remover Spray

Clothing Catastrophes

2. Buttons

Dab a bit of white glue on the threads of the buttons on your dress shirts. This will help prevent the threads from fraying, and will keep your buttons on longer. If you don’t have any white glue, clear nail polish works just as well!

Clothing Catastrophes

3. Zipper Fix

If you have a pair of pants with a zipper that just won’t stay up, here’s an easy fix. Attach a key ring onto the edge of the zipper, then pull the zipper up and hook the key ring around the button of the pants. The key ring will keep the zipper in place! (You could also use a paperclip if you don’t have a key ring to spare.)

4. Static Cling

To get rid of static cling, spray the inside of your clothing with a light layer of hair spray. Another option is to run the long side of a wire hanger over the outside and inside of your clothing, or you can rub your clothes down with a dryer sheet!

Clothing Catastrophes

5. Shrinking

Accidentally shrink a favorite piece of clothing? Follow the link below to learn my favorite trick for “unshrinking” clothes. It’s easier than you’d think!

Related: How To Unshrink Your Clothes In 3 Simple Steps

Clothing Catastrophes

6. Wrinkles

No time to drag out an iron and ironing board to fix a wrinkled shirt? A straightening iron works perfectly for smoothing out collar creases and minor wrinkles. It also fits between shirt buttons nicely! You can look perfectly pressed, even when you’re pressed for time. (Another option is to make my simple homemade wrinkle release spray! Check it out at the link below.)

Related: Homemade Wrinkle Release Spray

Clothing Catastrophes

7. Leather Shoes

Use the inside of a banana peel to erase scuffs on your leather shoes, then buff them to a shine with a paper towel. To erase water stains on leather shoes, use a toothbrush dipped in white vinegar. (For more tips on caring for leather shoes, check out the post below!)

Related: How To Clean And Care For Leather Shoes

Clothing Catastrophes

8. Too-Tight Shoes

Use a hair dryer to help you stretch out a pair of too-tight shoes. Pull on a pair of thick socks, then put the tight shoes on too. Point your hair dryer at the shoes for a minute or two, then keep the shoes on until they cool off.

Clothing Catastrophes

9. Glasses

Whether you’re wearing reading glasses or sunglasses, it’s really annoying to have them slipping off your face! Just grab your trusty hot glue gun to add some extra grip. Apply a line of hot glue to the inside of each arm of your glasses, near the back where they rest above your ears. When the glue dries, the glue will add some extra grip and keep them from sliding. (And you can peel the hot glue off whenever you want without damaging your frames.)

Clothing Catastrophes

10. Sweat Stains

Because of the proteins present in your sweat, sweat stains on your clothing can be tricky to remove. But with the right ingredients and method, it’s easier than you’d think! Check out my post on removing sweat stains from clothing by following the link below. (And to help prevent sweat stains in the first place, spray the underarms of your shirts with lemon juice before you wash them.)

Related: How To Remove Sweat Stains The Easy Way

Clothing Catastrophes

11. Shoe Polish

Remove scuffs and add serious shine to your favorite boots with my homemade shoe polish. It contains all-natural beeswax, which also helps to repel water and mud! Learn how to make it by following the link below.

Related: How To Make Your Own Beeswax Boot Polish

Clothing Catastrophes

12. Dingy Whites

Are your whites not so white anymore? My favorite method for whitening whites is surprisingly simple, and incredibly effective – much more effective than just using bleach! Get all the details from the post below.

Related: Make Your Own “Miracle” Laundry Whitening Solution

Clothing Catastrophes

13. Pilling

I wrote a whole post about ways to get rid of pesky pilling on sweaters and other clothing. Check it out at the link below!

Related: How To Save Your Sweaters From Pesky Pilling

Clothing Catastrophes

14. Sneakers

Clean the hard surfaces of dirty sneakers with a magic eraser. It’s an easy way to make shoes look brand new!

Clothing Catastrophes

15. Suede

You can clean dirt off of suede shoes with a

, stale bread crust or pencil eraser. For more detailed instructions on how to clean and care for suede, read the post below.

Related: How To Clean Suede

Clothing Catastrophes

16. Hems

Hold up the hem of your pants or skirt in an emergency using paper clips. For a more permanent solution, check out this post about how to hem jeans while still keeping the original hem.

Clothing Catastrophes

17. Pantyhose

Use clear nail polish to stop a run in a pair of pantyhose. You can also prevent the run in the first place by spraying pantyhose with a bit of hair spray before wearing them.

Clothing Catastrophes

18. Ink Stains

Ink stains don’t have to be a death sentence for your clothes. You just need to know what stain removal methods work best on ink! Get the details below.

Related: How To Remove Ink Stains From Clothing With No Effort

Clothing Catastrophes

19. Bleeding Denim

A new pair of jeans can quickly become a nuisance if the dye starts transferring to your hands, furniture, and other clothes. Use the methods in the post below to lock the dye into your denim and stop the messy dye transfer.

Related: How To Stop Denim Dye From Bleeding

Clothing Catastrophes

20. Stuck Zipper

To keep zippers from sticking (or to loosen one that’s already stuck), lightly rub the zipper’s teeth with a small piece of wax paper. The wax from the paper will help the zipper move smoothly, and reduce the chances of it getting stuck again.

Clothing Catastrophes

21. Extra Grip

If you need a bit of extra grip to power through a slippery trail (or just to get across an icy parking lot), grab a zip tie! Loop the zip tie around the toe of your shoe, with the fastener facing down towards the ground. Clip the excess length, and the clasp will give you that extra traction you’re looking for.

Clothing Catastrophes

22. Ring Around The Collar

Apply cream of tartar directly to stains around shirt collars. Dampen the collar area with water, sprinkle with cream of tartar, then rub the powder into the stain. Launder as usual.

Clothing Catastrophes

23. Treating Stains In A Pinch

Club soda is well known for its stain-removing abilities. Dab club soda onto a stain with a clean cloth to help absorb the stain before washing the item.

Related: 10 Ways That Club Soda Is The Ultimate Folk Remedy

Clothing Catastrophes

24. Deodorant Marks

Wipe away deodorant stains with an old pair of panty hose, without leaving tissue bits behind.

Clothing Catastrophes

25. Keep Clothes Fresh

Hang a bag of chalk in your closets to keep your clothes smelling fresh. Chalk is excellent at absorbing moisture and odor.

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • One tip that wasn’t mentioned. I’ve used the skinny hair elastics before with my pants. Loop it on the buttonhole stitched part of Jeans flaps. Great for if I’m having one of my “fat” days. I’ve also used the Alcohol tip for ink spots on clothes. Just put a white washcloth or old rag between layers so ink doesn’t bleed through to the other side.

  • Hey Jillee,
    Do you also have a product that will cover a spot thats looks like it has been bleached? Both my coworker and I have a slacks that have these spots on the legs, but don’t use bleach. Any ideas?

  • Another use for hot glue…….. If I have rings that are too large, especially in winter, I dip the back side in clear hot glue. This makes the rings fit better. It doesn’t show badly, won’t harm the ring, and can be peeled off if you don’t need it later. I haven’t tried it with costume rings, so not sure about the finish on those.

  • These are all great tips! I’m confused on one, though.

    I’m not clear on how dabbing Elmer’s glue onto a button will help keep it on longer/keep the threads from fraying. Elmer/s (school glue) is washable. The minute the shirt is washed, there goes the button protection.

    Clear nail polish would last through several washings, yes, but not the glue…

  • Jillee,
    Thanks for all the wonderful helps and hints. I wonder if you have suggestions for making dingy rayon, nylon, etc white undies bright again. I’ve been careless about separating these from colored clothes and now they are so drab and yucky. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

  • rubbing alcohol works just fine for removing ink on fabric… no poisonous aerosol hair spray fumes needed! save the planet and do not use aerosols.

  • Thank you!!! I will be trying some of the other hints, but I have just paid to have 4 pairs of jeans hemmed and they are still to long – the tailor pinned them, not me. That hint is going on my closet wall – since I retired I rarely wear anything other than jeans and a shirt. I think I know most of the tricks of the trade at 70, but you always manage to find some new things. Again, you have my heartfelt thanks!!!

  • Thank you for these tips.

    However, I wonder if anyone else is having the same problem as I for the last week or so a garbled sound on the site. I’ve tried switching the sound off on the video, which doesn’t even appear to be running, but it is very annoying. Anyone got any ideas?

  • Hi Jill another trick for removing static from your clothes especially when you get out of the car is to rub lotion on your clothes……static disappears, and we ladies all keep some sort of lotion in our cars right?

  • Rather than using white school glue or nail polish to keep button threads from loosening, I like to put a dot of super glue on the thread. Seems like the Elmer’s glue and the nail polish can be laundered away too easily.

  • I’m having trouble getting perspiration odor out of my partner’s dress shirts. So far, the best technique is to wash them in vinegar and baking soda, added to the wash detergent. Is there a better way? His shirts are expensive and I want them to last as long as possible.

    • I found that treating the stains/underarm area with ammonia (buy in the cleaner aisle at your supermarket) to be very effective. I used it full strength, just pouring it on, allowing to sit for 15 minutes, then washing as usual. Not only did it remove the odor, it also removed the yellow stain from his favorite white shirt.

  • Jillie, where did you get those leopard print sneakers that I saw in this post?? I have to have a pair as I’m obsessed with all things leopard!!
    And also I do have something sticky on a pair of black pants, not sure if its gum or what. But I’ve washed the pants not knowing that there was something sticky to it. Can it be fixed somehow??

  • My husband and I were “professional” chaperones for our children’s choirs and bands back when they were in school. I would always carry a small stapler and a black Sharpie in my purse for last minute hem uh-ohs. I have literally stood back stage and stapled hems as the girls walked out on stage. Simply staple the hem with the bar side of the staple on the inside of the dress and the teeth side out. This prevents the staple from catching in hose. Then I would touch the black Sharpie to the shiny teeth showing on the outside of the dress and off they would go.

  • To remove grease stains from washable clothes, rub the spot with a dry bar or regular Dove soap. Rub soap into spot well and then wash as usual with regular laundry detergent.

  • I keep a tide stain pen and shout wipes in my purse for on the go stains.Walmart is the only place that seems to carry these. Also baby wipes take out a lot of stains.

  • We seem to be getting white marks on our clothes . I’m not sure if it’s a bleach mark or from my teenagers acne medicine. Any solutions ?


    • i’ve heard the acne medicine will leave marks on towels, pillowcases etc so it could be true for the clothes. wash his/her’s separately to avoid and see if this is causing.

    • It’s the benzoyl peroxide which is a common ingredient in acne medicines. It’s basically a bleach. My grandson ruined all my tools and wash cloths with it. To prevent it from happening again I bought white towels and wash cloths for him to use. Works great as long as he doesn’t grab the colored ones to dry his face and hands on(which unfortunately he still does occasionally – and it only takes one time to ruin a towel)

    • Try facial soap; it does a great job of getting mascara off my white washcloths. Decades ago, a department store clerk taught me to get customers’ makeup off clothing with a cotton ball lightly moistened and rubbed across a bar of plain WHITE soap, then gently rubbed across the makeup stain.

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