A couple of years ago, my clothes dryer needed some maintenance. I had workers come and replace the heating element and main bearing.
When they opened it up, dozens and dozens of buttons fell out. I’ve lost many buttons from my shirts over the years and there they all were! I resolved to do something about it.
I decided to change how I did my laundry. I’ve always turned printed t-shirts inside out to preserve the inked design. Now, for my button-down shirts, I do the same. I button them up completely and turn them inside out before putting them in the wash. I also invert the cuffs and collar.
It takes a little extra work to prep the shirts for the laundry. When they come out of the dryer, I turn them right side out and unbutton them.
It’s been a roaring success. In the two years since I started this, I haven’t lost a single button in my laundry. I wear a lot of button down shirts, especially in cold weather, and I know that the effort at prevention is worth it.
Image origin buttons by bptakoma. Image license
Earlier, the heating unit in my clothes dryer went out. When the workers came to repair it, they took out the dryer drum and scattered dozens of lost buttons across the floor.
I resolved not to lose any more shirt buttons.
My solution is a little labor intensive, but so far it’s been working. I button up all of the shirt buttons and then turn the shirt inside out.
When the shirt is dry, I turn it right side out, unbutton a couple of top buttons and hang it in the closet.
By buttoning all of the buttons, the force on each individual button is reduced. By turning the shirt inside out, the buttons won’t be pulled by the other clothes in the dryer.
A middle step happens when I transfer the clothes from the washer to the dryer.
Instead of throwing all of the clothes, towels and wash clothes into the dryer as a big mass, I take them one at a time and shake them out. It lets me see when there are loose threads and might help them dry a little more evenly.