|Photo, Paris, by my friend Sara|
|THE PROBLEM||THE FIX|
Water stained leather
Spray with equal parts vinegar and water and rub until the stain is gone. Alternately, carefully dampen the entire shoe, starting from the spot and working outward.
Soiled leather clothing
Handwash gently in cold water with moisturizing soap, such as Aleppo. Rinse with a bit of vinegar. Roll in a towel, gently squeeze, and dry flat. Never put in the dryer.
Rub a bar of soap, olive or coconut oil, crayon, graphite pencil, wax, or chapstick up and down both sides of the zipper to grease. Follow by cleaning with vinegar and a soft cloth.
Moleskin won't prevent it from popping out again, so sew whip stitches over the hole or patch on a piece of felt or old t-shirt. You may wish to remove the wire entirely.
Attach one end to a safety pin and feed it through. You can also try looping the string through a pen's pocket clip before rethreading, leading with the tip of the pen.
Sagging or color fading
Use a capful of vinegar in the rinse cycle. You can also wash items inside out, but this may affect cleaning. Add 1/2 cup salt in wash cycle to fix dye.
Broken zipper pull
Replace with a key ring, strip of fabric, or beaded pull. You may need to replace the slider entirely or remove it with pliers before sliding it back onto the teeth.
Ring around the collar
I know how to remove it (baking soda) but the only preventive thing I can think of is spot-cleaning. Or sew old t-shirt strips to the inside collar.
Fuzzy lint balls
Carefully use a pumice stone, sweater stone, sweater brush, or razor. Try to use a safety razor instead of a disposable, which can clog and pull up more wool.
Buff with the inside of a banana peel or a tiny bit of coconut or olive oil and a soft, lint-free cloth. They won't go rancid if you clean shoes regularly.
Scuffed or dirty suede
Scrub gently with stale bread or baking soda and an old toothbrush. I should ask Daphné how safe my shoe ideas are first, because they might be really terrible.
Put big socks on, then wear them to bed or around the house. The frozen water or hairdryer tricks never worked for me. Many shoe stores stretch even patent leather pairs for free via machine.
Use an ice cube to remove gum from clothing. To clean patent leather, spray with vinegar and wipe with a lint-free cloth. Click here to remove salt stains and here for a zero waste stain removal chart.
Wear no-show socks and tights or use moleskin on the inside of straps and heels. I sometimes put old strips of fabric along the ankles instead of moleskin.
Washing seemed to stop shedding on my furriest sweater. Alternately, place them in the freezer in a cloth bag overnight, then shake them out, or freeze dry outside like the Greenlanders.
Never cut the snag. Turn the garment inside out and use a crochet hook or blunt needle to push the snag back into the fabric, weaving it between threads.
Put them in the freezer first- I feel like this makes them last way longer, but maybe it's not a real thing. Wear no-show socks over tights to reduce strain on the seams. Rub a bar of soap over runs as soon as they start. Any sticky substance, like sugar water or jam, apparently helps too. If you eventually develop runs in two pairs of pantyhose, cut off the holey legs for tawashi. Take one of the remaining pantyhose legs and feed it through the hole of the other pair. Scarlett Johansson's stylist once said they save the waists on the shot pantyhose and use them like Spanx.
The easiest way I know to prevent little t-shirt holes is to tuck them in, or reinforce the waist with interfacing. For darning and hand sewing tutorials, click here. For zero-waste ways to extend the life span of other clothes and accessories, click here. My favorite guide on fixing clothes is the aptly-titled and wonderfully illustrated Fix Your Clothes by Raleigh Briggs.