By Jacqui Paterson.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the girls can ruin their school uniforms, or how much it adds up when you’re constantly having to replace items.

Which is why I was thrilled to work with Korbond over this summer to create a series of back-to-school and uniform care videos (check the rest of them out on the KORBOND YOU TUBE CHANNEL).

I figured I wasn’t the only mum battling this problem, so have compiled some of my most useful Korbond tips to make school uniforms last longer. I’ve also asked some of my favourite Mum bloggers to reveal their handiest hacks (you might want to bookmark this, as there are some brilliant ideas here):

SCHOOL UNIFORMS: Carol from The Parent Panel recommends wearing dresses or pinafores rather than skirts, to protect the white shirts underneath. Similarly, Rachel, from The Little Pip, has the clever idea of layering a fitted long-sleeved top under a short-sleeved school shirt. ‘Less likeliood of grubby and frayed cuffs,’ she explains.

‘I buy trousers & skirts a bit on the long side, then hem them up,’ says Claire, from Big Family, Big Fun (which is actually one of the tips on our hemming video). ‘I also let down natural hems to eke out their life, especially towards the end of the school year, and repair any rips or lost buttons.’

(FYI: if you want to follow Claire’s great ‘make do and mend’ example, check out the Korbond Care and Repair range, which includes sewing kits to fix wonky buttons, and iron-on mender to fix rips and holes – you can pick it up from all major supermarkets and on-line retailers.)

If your school has uniform colour options avoid white where possible, is the advice both from Jenny, from Midwife and Life, and Emma, from Farmer’s Wife and Mummy.

‘If you have a choice between coloured or white polo shirts, go for the coloured, as they last so much longer,’ Jenny says. ‘And buy a size bigger.’

‘I bought white socks in a frenzy before my daughter started reception,’ Emma reveals. ‘BIG mistake, as it turned out they could wear grey or burgundy too. It was worth it to go out and buy more socks, as the coloured ones make my life much easier.’

Try not to tumble dry cardigans or jumpers, says Jo from Conflab Corner, to prevent them shrinking or getting twisted out of shape.

In a similar vein, Big Sis is terrible for leaving tissues in her pockets and her cardigans come out of the dryer covered in fluff and dust. That’s when the Korbond lint roller is my lifesaver – I even keep a mini one in the glove box to pick up loose hairs before we rush into school.

And if you want to avoid missing jumpers, coats and cardigans (these are the most commonly lost items, as they’re removed the most often) make sure you label EVERYTHING! It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people forget this simple task. I’m a big fan of the simple laundry pen, and Korbond do a great range of iron-on name labels – find out more HERE.

AVOID AND ELIMINATE STAINS: ‘Use hand sanitiser on ink stains – you just rub a small amount into the stain, dab with kitchen roll and wash as usual,’ says Angela, from Adventures in Webster Land.

‘When they’re on their last legs, soak white tops in soda crystals (you can pick them up from most supermarkets) to give them an extra lease on life,’ reveals Beth, from Twinderelmo.

‘Put some neat bio detergent on a tough stain, and leave it soak before putting it in the wash,’ Steph, from Hello Baby Blog recommends. ‘It always works a treat. ‘

Hannah from The Simple Things has a cheap and eco-friendly way to tackle stains: ‘Hanging whites outside helps as the sun naturally bleaches them,’ she reveals.

And if it sounds too good to be true, Clare from Clare’s Little Tots also swears by this old-fashioned remedy: ‘I’ve tried so many stain removers on white tops but the most effective has been hanging then outside and watching those stains disappear,’ she says. ‘It doesn’t even need to be sunny; this advice was life changing for me.’ 

‘Make sure children change when they get home,’ suggests Emma, from Emma and 3. ‘It means less wears on the clothes, and prevents them from getting grubby with dinner stains.’

Clare, AKA: Emmy’s Mummy, reminds us not to overlook the washing machine itself: ‘Empty the filter, wipe the rims and put it through a maintenance wash; it’s hard to keep clothes clean if your appliance isn’t.’

Extra tip: add a cup of white vinegar to the drum or powder drawer to remove odours.

SIMPLE SHOE CARE: Quality leather shoes are expensive, but it’s worth investing a bit more at the start of the year to ensure they last, recommends Jaymee, The Mum Diaries. ‘Otherwise you end up spending more in the long run.’

Cherry, from The Newby Tribe, has a particularly clever shoe trick: ‘I always buy my daughter patent shoes, then paint the toes with clear nail varnish. We’ve not had one scuff all year.’ Genius! 

Also, you don’t want to have for fork out for a new pair because one mysteriously goes walkabout, so make sure you clearly label BOTH your child’s shoes (Korbond shoe labels are a quick and easy way to do that, find out more on the ‘how-to’ video HERE).

KORBOND HACKS: Think the products from the back-to-school range can only be used for, well, school? Think again! Here are some of the clever alternative uses I’ve found for our Korbond products…

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