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How do you clean your dress shirts?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have never been happy in long run with what commercial launderers do to care for my expensive shirts. I don't care what they say about special processes and their so called cold water treatments. I wash my shirts and expensive socks together in cold water on delicate cycle and hang to dry on plastic hangers. Guaranteed to increase the longevity and preserve the color and integrity of the fabric. For those who have not conquered the iron, when dry, drop them off with Mr. Dry Cleaner and with a smile say "press only, please." Should only cost a fraction of the full price. ;>
post #2 of 24
Personally, I wash mine in warm or cold water depending on the color, then half-dry in the dryer (low heat), about 15-20 minutes, take out and iron. This prevents set-in wrinkles from hanging or laying dry, or the damage that the dryer does to the fabric and the rumples it makes that never come out all the way in ironing. If I don't have time to iron immediately, I take the shirts out of the dryer and fold them, then roll them, and possibly put them in a plastic bag to keep them damp. If I were smarter I'd figure out a way of drying them without having the buttons knock against the drum in the dryer- that clicking sound that I know is MOP banging against metal tends to set my teeth on edge.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
I would suggest that you avoid drying in a dryer because whatever heat you use is not good for the fabric ( you'll lose sizing and damage fibers) and the beautiful buttons that we lust for in expensive shirts will dry and become brittle. You'll find a product in the detergent section of your market called LINIT. It's concentrated and you can mix it to your desired strength in a spray bottle. Mist your shirts as you iron and you will acheive a finish that shows no wrinkles and no starch like appeal.
post #4 of 24
Interesting, I will look for it. As it is, I use a spray bottle with water, so it wouldn't be any trouble to add something to it. Thanks. And actually, hanger drying the shirts would be less work and worry than putting them in the dryer, so maybe I'll try that. Though I do find they iron out better if they never get fully dry, no matter the method of drying.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Be careful, to much moisture in fabric is the sole cause for fabric to shine. Many times our garments are pressed with to much moisture and that causes the shine in cloth, especially seen in navy blue fabrics. Also, a hot iron can easily scorch a damp fabric. I would allow to completly air dry and use the product I mentioned, you'll be imPRESSED.
post #6 of 24
Handwash otherwise sleeves become too short.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Handwash otherwise sleeves become too short.
That explains everything. Some of you guys should lay off ernest he's no where near lazy he's just very busy hand washing his shirts. How do you expect him to hand wash shirts keep a job and look out for deals on clothes for both himself and his parents. Any person would die of exhaustion, no matter how many baguettes and bottles of wine they scarf down. Err done with the hijack.
Quote:
I would suggest that you avoid drying in a dryer because whatever heat you use is not good for the fabric ( you'll lose sizing and damage fibers) and the beautiful buttons that we lust for in expensive shirts will dry and become brittle.
What about no heat, which is what I use until damp, since I agree about the heat issue. I also have an unfounded fear of streching if hanging wet because of bad experiences with other items not shirts. Turning inside out helps with buttons hitting and is recommended if anyone is not already doing this.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Turning inside out helps with buttons hitting and is recommended if anyone is not already doing this.
I guess that would work if I left the shirts buttoned while washing/drying. Is that what you mean?
post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ernest is gett'in a beating today. I haven't had an opportunity to exchange with you but I will say a delicate cycle on a washer is just that. Maybe in France we haven't arrived? No seriously, there is no need to hand wash, let your washer do it. And in regards to wet shirts stretching on hangers, if your shirts are that wet when you remove them from the machine your spin cycle is not working correctly.
post #10 of 24
I use the plastic bag method, and I apply a little starch at this stage. Once pressed, allow the shirt to hang clear of any other item and air for 24 hours before hanging away in a wardrobe. This allows any remaining moisture to dry out and the shirt to settle in the right shape.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Ernest is gett'in a beating today. I haven't had an opportunity to exchange with you but I will say a delicate cycle on a washer is just that. Maybe in France we haven't arrived?  No seriously, there is no need to hand wash, let your washer do it. And in regards to wet shirts stretching on hangers, if your shirts are that wet when you remove them from the machine your spin cycle is not working correctly.  
I think it comes from the machine My sleeves are just so even a small shrinkage will make sleeves too short for my taste
post #12 of 24
ehh I was only being half serious with the inside out the benefit for buttons is minimal and I would hope everyone unbuttons everything when washing and drying . I think stand up shirt dryers where you can hang need to become mass market. err these do exist ? I remember seeing something about this anyone else heard of them? side note ernest do you have perfect whole inch arms or do you alter your sleeves to
Quote:
just so even
??
post #13 of 24
I've finally found two laundry shops that do a superlative job. The down-side is US$6 per shirt. $18 for a pair of trousers; $55 for a suit (once a year is all I need to have suits cleaned). Had I the time, I'd do them myself. I used to have an excellent char woman who did shirts.
post #14 of 24
I wash on delicate/cold and hang dry. Then I send the shirts with single-thickness buttons to the cleaners to be pressed, and hand press all the Borrelli's Way too much work, but the local cleaners would destroy them inside of a month...
post #15 of 24
The cause of shrinkage explained: Heat Didn't Shrink That Shirt: Fabric Expert Offers the Scoop Saturday, November 6, 2004; Page F05 One benefit of testing Whirlpool's laundry appliances was the opportunity to talk with Lucinda Ottusch, one of the company's fabric techonologists, and demystify some of the laundry process. The first myth debunked: Dryer heat does not shrink garments. After all, as Ottusch pointed out, a hot iron does not shrink clothes; in fact, the heat and pressure of the iron cause the garment to stretch out. Rather, she said, shrinkage is caused by the tumbling action as the garments hit the sides of the dryer. Shrinkage is also caused by the washing process itself. When a garment is made, Ottusch said, manufacturers often stretch a fabric to its max so that slightly less cloth is needed. (A tiny bit of fabric factored over thousands of identical garments is a significant savings.) But when the garment is washed, the cloth fibers will shrink to their natural state. The warmer the water, the greater the reversion. If you were to put on jeans when they were wet, you would find they were too small, Ottusch said. The degree of movement of the garments during the washing process also affects the fibers, she added. As a general rule, the tumbling action of a front-loader produces less movement and fiber reversion than the agitation of a top-loader. A "preshrunk" garment has already been washed, so the garment will not be as affected by the laundering process. Compared with washing, which can shrink clothes, drying them with heat has the opposite effect. As a garment loses moisture, the fibers will stretch a bit; as you wear the garment, the heat of your body will increase this stretching. But, Ottusch said, the drying process can damage fabrics made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen and wool, if too much moisture is removed. These fibers have a natural moisture content, even when they feel dry (with cotton it's 5 percent; with wool as much as 17 percent). When the fibers are over-dried, they will reabsorb moisture from the atmosphere. The occasional over-drying will usually not cause a problem, but when it happens repeatedly, the fibers will be weakened and the clothes won't last as long or wear as well, Ottusch said. A dryer can also affect the appearance of garments. Dark ones can rapidly lose their brand-new look as they hit the sides of the drum. This raises microscopically small fibers and gives the seam areas a powdery appearance, Ottusch explained. With some types of fabric, however, the raised fibers are a plus. With a towel, for example, the raised fibers make it feel softer. -- Katherine Salant Edited to include text for those not registered with Washington Post's web site.
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