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Washing & drycleaning question

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
fHello, I have three items that are labeled 'dry clean only', and I have doubts to whether or not this is true. Keep in mind I wouldn't be putting these in the washing machine, but rather I'd handwash them with gentle soap. 1) slacks, in 70% Polyester and 30% viscose. These have some stains on them, so I'd like to be able to hand-wash them and give 'em the Oxy-Clean treatment. 2) Dress shirt, in 100% Polyester (I know, I know, but it doesn't feel like poly. 3) Dress shirt, in 80% cotton, 15% nylon, 5% spandex. Also, I have some suits that could use a cleaning. No rush, though. I've never been to a drycleaner before, but what should I look for? a) I've heard that you should look for places that do in-house rather than send the garments out. There are also both standard cleaners (1-Hour Martenizing) as well as some 'natural' cleaners in my area. Is there a real difference? b) I know pressing is bad and creates shine - should I specify no-pressing? c) How much should I expect to pay to clean a full suit, just a jacket, and just a pair of slacks?
post #2 of 6
I'd say you can wash the first three. When in doubt, cold water-delicate can do the trick. I've washed wool and cashmere sweaters myself on that setting. Wool and cotton suits ought to be dry-cleaned. You want the cleaners to press. Alternatively, you could take the suit to a tailors who can also press using a tailor's iron.
post #3 of 6
Vman - one thing with natural/synthetic blends - you can have some funny shrinkage issues at the dry cleaner since synthetics tend to be inert. A LITTLE bit (drop) of woolite and a clean cloth dampened with distilled water makes a remarkable hand cleaning solvent. Distilled water will begin to dissolve a glass bottle over time. dampen, and gently rub and usually a spot will come out. For oily stains water will spread'm so use a 'janie stick' which i THINK is probably just talc. that will take most of the oil out. and then you can wash or have it cleaned. Garment manufacturers stick in a dryclean only tag to cover thier arse - if the drycleaner ruins it you blame the cleaners and not the manufacturer. On your suits, unless they are dirty (like you take it off and it walks to the closet and hangs itself up) you can spot-treat with a clean cloth and a little distilled water and gentle rubbing. A good brushing and (Y'all sing it with me now) a good steaming followed by hanging loosely for a day will do wonders and extend the life dramatically. Oddly, ever since I went from a weekly shower to 2 per week the need to clean my clothes has gone way down. Pressing a suit is entirely NOT needed most of the time. I never do it, i use the steamer and MAYBE will iron using a pressing cloth between trouser and iron if I want to sharpen the crease. Hope that helps.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help. With that first pair of pants mentioned, the color is very very pale blue, so I thought this could cause a problem. There was a spot on the pants, and I tried to just use a washcloth with a little detergent and some water, and it appeared to leave a 'watermark' on the pants. Unfortunately, the stains are tea, so I was hoping to be able to use my Oxy-Clean treatment, as this has worked on Tea/Coffee in the past. Carlo, The reason I wanted to clean the suits is this; They are Oxxfords, having previously belonged to my uncle, which he gave me to sell on ebay. They are not old suits - within 10 years - but they were stored in a basement or attic or something...they smell a bit musty and are slightly wrinkled. I figured dry cleaning would be the best way to help this, but maybe you have a better suggestion.
post #5 of 6
I think a little fabreze and a good steaming, then hang them loosely in the bathroom with a fan going for a few days would be my first choice, then a trip to a very good dry cleaner and a SPECIFIC request to hold them until they are running a batch of fresh solution would be what I'd do. I don't trust dry cleaners and I am a bit of a turd about it - sure most are well meaning.
post #6 of 6
i'm sure this question has been asked before - is there such a thing as in-home dry cleaning? not the bag you stick in the dryer, i haven't heard much good about those. but like a machine, or some magic chemicals, or something.
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