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Laundering vs. Dry Cleaning Work Shirts? - Page 2

post #16 of 55
With all due respect, psguy, your process sounds quite anal. That being said, however, is Spray and Wash the way to go for soiled collars? And is the brushing necessary?
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy View Post
spray the collars and arm pits with Spray and Wash. I then rub the collars with a bar of Ivory soap followed by rubbing a few times with a nail brush
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakewolf View Post
I iron the 10 shirts in around 1 hour.
Wow, 6 minutes per shirt; You could go pro.



BTW, it takes me over 20 minutes per shirt.
post #18 of 55
Just wondering what everybody's process for ironing is because 20 minutes seems like a long time for one shirt.
post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip87 View Post
Just wondering what everybody's process for ironing is because 20 minutes seems like a long time for one shirt.

I doubt this is the Kabbaz sanctioned method for ironing, but I typically go in this order:

1. Collar
2. Yoke/shoulders
3. front/left or right of the body, depending on whatever side I happen to flip to
4. back
5. each sleeve and cuff

I mean, it doesn't seem like it takes that long, but when I finish only 3 shirts while watching an entire episode of something like Top Chef or Project Runway, I realize it takes forever.

I also apply a stain gel on the collar of my shirts before sending them out to launder. Makes a world of difference in what I get back from the cleaners.
post #20 of 55
Me too. 5 minutes is enough to get a passable result. Most of the time I'm wearing a jacket anyways so why bother spending another five to get some annoying crease ironed? Once you've driven to the office you're going to have much more creases than that on your shirt.
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by teddieriley View Post
I doubt this is the Kabbaz sanctioned method for ironing, but I typically go in this order:

1. Collar
2. Yoke/shoulders
3. front/left or right of the body, depending on whatever side I happen to flip to
4. back
5. each sleeve and cuff

I mean, it doesn't seem like it takes that long, but when I finish only 3 shirts while watching an entire episode of something like Top Chef or Project Runway, I realize it takes forever.

I also apply a stain gel on the collar of my shirts before sending them out to launder. Makes a world of difference in what I get back from the cleaners.


My momma taught me to do exactly the same.
Takes me 20 minutes per shirt; I suck.
I'm still in school otherwise I don't think I could iron them myself.
My mom can do them in a few minutes each.
post #22 of 55
Using the "I'm still in school" excuse as to why you send shirts to the cleaners is bizarre to me. Although I guess if I somehow had the money to professionally launder my shirts in college...
post #23 of 55
Dry Cleaning is a waste unless you are really disgusting and greasy.

I wash my shirts on the gentle cycle with woolite inside out and then put them in the dryer for about 5 minutes then hang them up to dry. I then find ironing them very therapeutic.

Ironing used to be stressful and take me 30 mins to iron a shirt because I made everything perfect and used a tailor's ham and sleeve board, but now I just break those out when it is absolutely necessary. I can iron a shirt in 5-10 minutes now, I always thought this was a long time, but apparently not.

You could always buy one of these, which I almost did.
post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by farfisa23 View Post
The debate begins:

At 2 bucks a pop to clean a shirt, I can deal with that, but dry cleaning near me at 5 a shirt adds up.

What is some advice on cleaning your work dress shirts? Would you dry clean your Purple Label, but not your Blue Label?

I dry clean sometimes, but really, can I launder my Egyptian cotton Burberry button downs without problems?

To the floor it goes.

NEVER EVER NEVER EVER DRYCLEAN YOUR SHIRTS. This is coming from someone who has worked at a drycleaner washing/ironing (and drycleaning upon request) shirts for 8+ years.

Few top reasons:

1. Unlike water, drycleaning solvent needs to be reused. Even if distillation and recycling of the solvent goes perfectly, your solvent isn't 100% clear. This means that for bright white shirts, it can come out looking duller (in addition, many white shirts actually add a flourescent dye to make it look brighter white; this flourescent dye is very soluble in drycleaning solvent, but not as much in water)

2. Drycleaning solvent doesn't do a good job on water-based stains. Most stains are "combination," which means that there's both a oil-based component and a water-based component (e.g. food stains), and it's much easier to pre-treat oil-based stains that will go in the laundry than water-based stains that are going in the drycleaning machine.

3. Drycleaning machines need to use a super-high heat (I think ~180F ish?) to "dry" the clothes to take out all the solvent whilst in the machine. This high heat inevitably breaks down the integrity of the cotton and reduces the life of the shirt.

There's a few more minor reasons, but those are the big ones; drycleaning costs more and it's worse for your shirts. So why bother?


Maybe I've always gotten lucky with my drycleaners, but generally, I don't find that my shirts get damaged much (although I have mostly Jantzen and RLPL, if that matters) whether it's the fabric or buttons. I've had a recent thing where black extra-thick plastic buttons broke on a shirt, but I completely understand why (since I know the process and the machines involved in pressing the said shirts), and considering I pay $2 a shirt in Manhattan, I am okay replacing those buttons with something that I know won't break in the ironing process. (incidentally, I'm going to experiment with contrast "crow's feet" pattern stitching on the buttons)

I think it's great to wash/iron at home, but I think for some people, it not something that's practical; for those that can't do it at home, I think a little exploring in your local drycleaners will usually yield at least one good place that will do it at reasonable cost.
post #25 of 55
I have a great dry cleaners who is very diligent (even though laundering is done off-premises)...plus, he's open on Sundays.
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube View Post
With all due respect, psguy, your process sounds quite anal. That being said, however, is Spray and Wash the way to go for soiled collars? And is the brushing necessary?

I got tired of having nice, expensive shirts laundered and coming back with "ring around the collar" or marks on the cuffs. My process is actually easy and the results are flawless. To me it is worth it. I'm not known among friends as anal. Perhaps I'm just the kind of guy who waxes his own car, or pre-washes his own shirts because I can't find anyone who does it as good or better than I can. When I do, I'll give this up. And, yes, I've tried numerous cleaners.

I find that brushing is the way to loosen the dirt. I have excellent hygiene, but I tend to get soiled collars during warmer weather. It may also be skin chemistry, I don't know.
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthmover View Post
NEVER EVER NEVER EVER DRYCLEAN YOUR SHIRTS. This is coming from someone who has worked at a drycleaner washing/ironing (and drycleaning upon request) shirts for 8+ years.

Few top reasons:

1. Unlike water, drycleaning solvent needs to be reused. Even if distillation and recycling of the solvent goes perfectly, your solvent isn't 100% clear. This means that for bright white shirts, it can come out looking duller (in addition, many white shirts actually add a flourescent dye to make it look brighter white; this flourescent dye is very soluble in drycleaning solvent, but not as much in water)

2. Drycleaning solvent doesn't do a good job on water-based stains. Most stains are "combination," which means that there's both a oil-based component and a water-based component (e.g. food stains), and it's much easier to pre-treat oil-based stains that will go in the laundry than water-based stains that are going in the drycleaning machine.

3. Drycleaning machines need to use a super-high heat (I think ~180F ish?) to "dry" the clothes to take out all the solvent whilst in the machine. This high heat inevitably breaks down the integrity of the cotton and reduces the life of the shirt.

There's a few more minor reasons, but those are the big ones; drycleaning costs more and it's worse for your shirts. So why bother?


Maybe I've always gotten lucky with my drycleaners, but generally, I don't find that my shirts get damaged much (although I have mostly Jantzen and RLPL, if that matters) whether it's the fabric or buttons. I've had a recent thing where black extra-thick plastic buttons broke on a shirt, but I completely understand why (since I know the process and the machines involved in pressing the said shirts), and considering I pay $2 a shirt in Manhattan, I am okay replacing those buttons with something that I know won't break in the ironing process. (incidentally, I'm going to experiment with contrast "crow's feet" pattern stitching on the buttons)

I think it's great to wash/iron at home, but I think for some people, it not something that's practical; for those that can't do it at home, I think a little exploring in your local drycleaners will usually yield at least one good place that will do it at reasonable cost.
I made this mistake once and it nearly ruined my shirts. They came back with awful reddish-brown blotches. Fortunately, the blotches washed out. I learned a big lesson.
post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketsquareguy View Post
I got tired of having nice, expensive shirts laundered and coming back with "ring around the collar" or marks on the cuffs. My process is actually easy and the results are flawless. To me it is worth it. I'm not known among friends as anal. Perhaps I'm just the kind of guy who waxes his own car, or pre-washes his own shirts because I can't find anyone who does it as good or better than I can. When I do, I'll give this up. And, yes, I've tried numerous cleaners.

I find that brushing is the way to loosen the dirt. I have excellent hygiene, but I tend to get soiled collars during warmer weather. It may also be skin chemistry, I don't know.
I bought a bottle of SnW last night and will use it on my collars next time I launder my shirts. I like to think my hygiene is, like yours, excellent, but I suffer from Ring Around the Collar.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawyerdad View Post
That's pretty cheap for dry cleaning. Are you sure they're being dry-cleaned and not laundered? Most "dry cleaners" do both laundering and dry-cleaning. If you're not specifically requesting dry-cleaning, I'd imagine their default for cotton shirts would be to launder them. When I throw my shirts in the back seat of the car I tell my wife I'm taking them to the "dry cleaner", but I'm actually having them professionally laundered.
Sorry you were right. That was my mistake. I take them to get laundered and pressed at the dry cleaners. It also takes me 20-30 minutes per shirt. Every time I iron one side, the other side gets a crease. It makes no sense to me. And anyone that thinks it's therapeutic is welcome to iron my shirts - don't worry I won't charge for the therapy.
post #30 of 55
Thread Starter 
You could always buy one of these, which I almost did. [/quote] What the hell is that and where can I buy one? That is so rad, whatever it is.
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