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Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal asked me to write up a post on dry-cleaning.Like most Americans, he’s clueless about when he should pay someone else to clean his clothes, and like most of us, he’d rather not pay at all.
Here’s a quick, helpful guide for to save some cash and keep your clothes looking spiffy:
Check the tag. Goes without saying, but if the tag says “Dry Clean Only,” obey it or else.
If it says “Dry Clean,” take that to mean this is the recommended cleaning method, writes Nykia Spradley in Real Simple.
Hand-wash sweaters, especially cashmere. We can almost envision the eggnog fails on Christmas sweaters this year, but resist the urge to have cleaner blast out the stain—the chemicals they use tend to shorten knitwear’s lifespan, notes AskMen.
Instead, hand-wash cashmere and camel hair garments using “a fine washable soap,” advises the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute. When finished washing, lay your sweater flat on a table to dry.
Don’t pull a Mr. Krasny and launder your dress shirts every week. These items can take the beating (unless they’re truly soiled) and overdoing it will fray the linens.
Instead, toss them in the machine wash and hang them out to dry, using a collar stay to keep that in place. When washing, turn the shirt inside-out to minimize possible damage, and set the cycle to “Delicate.”
If you’re bent on having the shirts dry-cleaned, however, ask the cleaner to have them hand-ironed, not pressed, and hold the starch, says AskMen. You should do this every few weeks.
colourful, patterned silks go to the cleaner; hand-wash light-coloured silks yourself. Use a gentle cleanser like Woolite and cold water to ease out the stain, then press (don’t twist or wring!) the fabric to dry. Hang it indoors and away from the sun. Avoid the iron at all costs.
Dry-clean suits once per season, treating spots by hand. Similar to dress shirts, overdoing it will ruin the fabric and run up costs. I’ve found mild soap (like Ivory) and a touch of warm water do the job.
Check for details, like embroidery, lace trim, or beads. Before tossing items with these in the machine wash, check that they’re sewn on so they don’t loosen or fall off. Mesh laundry bags can be a smart way to keep these items safe, or try spot-treating them by hand.
Tell us: How do you keep your clothes clean between seasons? Share your tips in the comments.
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