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How many of you wash your own dress shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by scnupe7, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. sashae

    sashae Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    299
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    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    nyc
    I just picked up an iron a few weeks ago, and did my first batch of 13 (yikes) shirts last Sunday... slow going, but the shirts look pretty nice. Considering the local dry cleaner wants $3.75 for wash/hand press, I've almost paid for the iron already [​IMG] -s
     
  2. dah328

    dah328 Well-Known Member

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    Dec 6, 2003
    I soak my dress shirts in hot water and Oxyclean for an hour or two, give the collars and cuffs a once-over if there are any rings, then machine wash warm with powder detergent and iron them while damp. My shirts last forever this way, but I'll admit that it is rather time consuming.

    dan
     
  3. Drinkwaters

    Drinkwaters Well-Known Member

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    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    I use a product called Linit, found in the laundry section of the market. It is a concentrated starch that can be mixed to your own desires. It gives my shirts a beautiful finish and I highly recommend it.
     
  4. kabert

    kabert Well-Known Member

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    Feb 23, 2004
    I refuse to take the time to do it myself.... Especially since I have two sons under 3 yrs old in the house who want to play when I'm at home (plus irons can be dangerous) and since the cleaners I use does a good job and hasn't broken a single button (plastic or MOP) in the last 2-1/2 years. (And, the cleaners charges just $0.95 per shirt. If it was $4 per shirt, I might be reconsidering...
     
  5. redtree00

    redtree00 Well-Known Member

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    326
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    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    Yes
    I machine wash, line dry and hand iron all my better shirts.
    I send out my cheaper shirts.
    I collect about 2 or 3 weeks of shirts and wait till I am either home alone or the wife and kids are sleeping and then iron while watching a movie, baseball game or listening to music.
     
  6. Keith T

    Keith T Well-Known Member

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    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    Texas
    Spray 'N Wash on the collar, machine wash cold. Tumble dry. Stack in the closet, accumulate enough to bother ironing (about a dozen or so). Spotless spray starch (sometimes the lemon scented) and spray water bottle if needed. Takes me about an hour and a half to 2 hours at a pop.

    Wife thinks I'm crazy.
     
  7. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Well-Known Member

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    May 23, 2003
    Does putting shirts in the dryer actually shrink the shirt? If so, is it quite substantial? Does putting a shirt in the dryer harm the shirt? I have never used a dryer for shirts as drying them naturally on hanger is pretty quick... in roughly an hour, they are just slight damp, perfect for ironing.
     
  8. sashae

    sashae Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 5, 2005
    Location:
    nyc
    So who starches their shirts here? How much? What sort of starch?
     
  9. scnupe7

    scnupe7 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Do any of find that when you wash shirts yourself, the collars and cuffs are a little less stiff and crisp?
     
  10. Pink22m

    Pink22m Well-Known Member

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    772
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    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I think you mean "cool iron", as my Talbott shirts also say this on the tag.  When I iron my Talbott's I just turn the setting up on my Rowenta a bit past the minimum setting for temperature.  This is usually sufficient for removing wrinkles.  I am pretty certain that you could iron them at the warmest setting and there wouldn't be any damaging effects to the shirt.  I have not had any problems, so just turn up the setting a bit and you should be fine.

    Personally, I wash all my shirts on gentle cycle, using cold water and Woolite.  I then hang them up to dry in a spot that doesn't have direct sunlight, and adequate air circulation. I iron all my shirts using my Rowenta (hightly recommended, as I have been through 3 irons before the Rowenta).  

    [/quote]So who starches their shirts here?  How much?  What sort of starch?

    I never use starch, since it can damage the fabric over time by making the threads more brittle.  The only time I ever used starch was on my RL pinpoint oxford, but that is a much sturdier fabric than egyptian cotton, for example.  At the very most, using it on pinpoint oxford would be the only exception, otherwise stay away from starch.
     
  11. guitone

    guitone Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    79
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    Apr 12, 2005
    I have washed shirts in the machine with cold water, dried in the dryer and then ironed..why would you hang shirts to dry, is it wear and tear or are you concerned with shrinkage?

    I never use startch, hate it..and yes, the shirts are less crisp then sending them out but they look fine, I just need to get my self psyched up to start ironing again. I always use a steam iron, this helps greatly.

    If I had a cleaner than would charge $.95 a shirt I would probably use them, they are over $2 a shirt here and I thought that was too much, may more like $2.50...
     
  12. Pink22m

    Pink22m Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I hang dry items because it does cut down on the wear and tear of the garment; shrinkage concerns are also present, although to a much lesser extent.
     
  13. Patrick06790

    Patrick06790 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    112
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    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    NW Connecticut
    I wash my shirts in warm water and tumble dry on no heat for about half the cycle; then hang dry the rest of the way. Iron with a spray bottle; occasionally a little starch.

    I've gotten good with the iron.

    I find the process restful, unless I've let the pile grow for a couple of weeks. Then it's all a big pain in the butt.
     
  14. montmorency

    montmorency Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
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    Nov 26, 2004
    I did my own shirts for years, but then got real busy at work and lazy at home and sent out the shirts for a year or two. All of them shrunk to the point where in order to wear them, I had to buy a collar expander. I am now buying custom made shirts and washing them myself again. For colored shirts, I wash them in cold water on the gentle cycle with detergent and Clorox 2; hang dry them; and iron them on the steam setting with Magic Sizing starch. For white shirts, I wash them in warm water with detergent and Bluette. I also pre-treat the collars because I can't get that commercial from 30 years ago about ring around the collar out of my head.
     
  15. Phil

    Phil Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    I have gotten in the habit lately of washing my dress shirts at home, putting them in the dryer, and then ironing only the cuffs and collar. It gives them that rumpled look I enjoy.
     
  16. Mr Checks

    Mr Checks Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    224
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    Mar 17, 2005
    Thanks for the tip; I was skittish about it, given the instructions, but I just did one Talbott this morning (it took medium on my iron to get it done, but I'm going to look into the Rowenta; do you know who carries them?)
     
  17. AlanC

    AlanC Well-Known Member

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    Nov 7, 2003
    Location:
    Heart of America
    I wouldn't worry about the 'cool iron' on your Talbott. I just iron the Talbott I have on the regular cotton setting and have never had an issue. Most instructions like that are to protect themselves, not to help you. How many cleaners do you think turn down the heat setting when they press a Talbott?

    As for starch, I used to use spray starch but quit. I've not missed it. I've read a couple of places that the starch can attract varmints and can weaken the fabric over time.
     
  18. cosme62

    cosme62 Member

    Messages:
    14
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    zen and the art of ironing your shirts I do it and so should you unless you are willing to pop 8-10 dollars for a prof hand laundry which is increasingly hard to find these days, never in tumbler if you do it yourself shirts iron damp with vigor
     
  19. Pink22m

    Pink22m Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    772
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I bought my Rowenta at Target, but you could probably also get them at Walmart and maybe even Bed Bath and Beyond. If you have a Costco nearby or something equilavent, you might want to check them too.
     
  20. stripes22

    stripes22 Member

    Messages:
    22
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Upon recommendations of others on the forum, I tried Linit.  I mixed with water and sprayed it on the shirts.  I ended up with white flakes all over the shirts.  Have others found this?  Too strong?  Iron too hot?  Wrong method of employing starch?  Any hints on how to use it would be appreciated--especially since I have a half gallon of it.
     

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