You love your dry-clean-only clothes, but not the price tag that comes with regular specialty cleaning. But, what can you do, when you have a closet full of delicate fabrics and no specialty cleaning equipment at home? We’re glad you asked! The following are a few tips for those of us who enjoy wearing silk, rayon, and more, but hate lugging our clothes to the cleaners every week.
Start with an easy piece.
It’s normal to feel nervous about “dry cleaning” at home. So, start your process with an item of clothing that isn’t of crucial importance, like a dress shirt or pair of pants crafted from a common material, like polyester. Now is not the time to try out a new cleaning method in your expensive suit!
Perfect your hand washing.
To start hand washing, fill the sink (or tub if you have a lot of clothes) with cold water and place your clothes in. Grab a laundry bar and use it to rub your clothes until suds start to appear. Take out one item of clothing at a time and rub the problem areas with your laundry bar (pay extra attention to areas where you sweat such as the armpits and collar). When you’re done scrubbing, let the garment soak while you tackle another piece. When you’re finished, rinse all of your clothes thoroughly in cold water.
Try the washing machine.
Before using the washing machine, make sure to separate your darks, colors, and whites, so colors don’t bleed on each other. Wash your “dry clean only” clothes in cold water with a gentle yet heavy-duty detergent. Try Woolite brand detergents for an extra-special wash that provides TLC to fine fabrics. If you have cashmere or wool clothing items to dry clean at home, Conroy recommends using a wool and cashmere shampoo.
Let sit to air dry.
Air drying may not be necessary for your piece, but you can’t deny that it’s a fail-safe way to dry anything you’ve recently washed. Purchase an inexpensive drying rack, or hang an old-fashioned line and allow your pieces to sit, undisturbed, until ready to hang in your closet.
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