Following just these few simple procedures will greatly extend the life of your fine cotton shirts as well as insuring cleanliness and a neat appearance. Proper technique requires a two-day cycle.
On the first day, you'll need a bar of Octagon Bar Soap, available from your local grocer, and a fingernail brush. Wet the Collar (Step 1), Collar Band, Cuffs, and underarm area. Rub with the bar soap on the underarm area and inside Cuffs until a bit of lather develops. Rub also on the Inside Collar Band and the seam where it joins with the Collar (Step 2). Then, on the Collar Band and inside Cuffs, scrub the dirt ring gently with the fingernail brush (Step 3a) until you begin to see the ring leaving. Alternatively, you can use the collar itself as a brush by briskly rubbing (Step 3b) the collar band against itself.
Check the remainder of the shirt for spots or soil. If any are found, rub with the brown soap as above. If any stain is found which does not remove with the Octagon Soap, see the Stain Removal Guide at the end of this page.
Finally, roll up the wet, soapy shirt and leave overnight in a plastic bag in order that it will remain moist.
The following day, machine wash as follows:
Warm Water in Summer if Very Soiled
Cold Water the rest of the time
Warm Water Only if Very Soiled
Cold water the rest of the time
Cold water all of the time
After testing many detergents, Tide Unscented Original Powder has been found to offer the best results for fine cotton shirts. After cycle is complete, tumble dry on 'No Heat' setting until shirts are just damp. Or, if you have the facilities, line dry outside until just damp. Hang on a white plastic hanger.
"¢Do not use bleach! Do not use starch! Do not use fabric softeners!
"¢Allowing the shirt to soak overnight reduces the amount of scrubbing needed to remove soil, therefore reducing wear. The longer it is permitted to soak, the better the results
"¢Sleeves tend to tangle in the washer, reducing the ability of the soak cycles to remove detergent. Adding a couple of white towels to small loads will help to reduce this problem. If soap remains in the shirt, it will brown when pressed. Wash again without detergent if you suspect this to be the case
That's really all there is to it. Or, you can send them out.