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Should I dry clean or launder my shirts to keep them looking new?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jkozlow3, Nov 28, 2011.

  1. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Well-Known Member

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    I used to be in the camp of those who only wash their shirts after a few wears but recently started washing them after every wear (unless I just had it on for a couple of hours for church on Sunday or something). My reasoning for the switch was so that my shirts will hopefully wear out quicker giving me an excuse to buy more frequently.
     
  2. dah328

    dah328 Well-Known Member

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    Tumble drying and careless ironing are probably the two biggest contributors to shirt wear. Machine washing does not appreciably wear a quality cotton shirt. You should pretty much never have a cotton shirt dry cleaned. Obviously, there will be a tradeoff between maximum shirt life and convenience, but the best thing to do is to soak any shirts that require cleaning overnight in water and perhaps a detergent to soften any dirt or stains. Remove the shirts and use a nail brush to clean the collars, cuffs, and any visibly soiled areas. Put them in the washing machine on a warm cycle. Remove promptly and carefully iron. I have shirts that are going on 10 years old, are worn frequently, and continue to look nearly brand new. Laundry does take more effort than I would prefer, though.
     
  3. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    Shirts like shoes should be rotated. I have about 40 shirtrs that I use in my work rotation. Just like shoes, I never wear the same shirt more than once in a two week period.

    I spray the collars and cuffs with Shout and throw them in the machine. They are usually tumble dried though some of my nicer ones I hang dry. I then hit them with a steam Roweta iron, no starch.
     
  4. stubloom

    stubloom Well-Known Member

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    jkozlow3 asks whether he should dry clean or launder shirts to keep them looking new.

    The answer depends on a number of issues. Here are some of the issues that ought to be considered in making that decision:

    Blog post: Shirts and blouses - Dry clean or launder?

    Link: http://www.ravefabricare.com/true-q...hirts-and-blouses-to-dryclean-or-launder.aspx


    dah328 believes that cotton shirts should never be dry cleaned.

    I would argue that it all depend on the manner in which the shirt is handled within the cleaner and on the dry clean solvent used. As far as the solvent is concerned, if your'e talking about perchloroethylene aka perc (brand name Dowper) or synthetic petroleum (brand names DF2000 and EcoSolv), the dry cleaning solvent used by 97% of cleaners, I would agree. On the other hand, if your'e taking about siloxane (brand name Green Earth), then I strongly disagree.
     
  5. Aqualung

    Aqualung Well-Known Member

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    Nov 14, 2011

    If these are work shirts then consider them disposible. Buy a dozen a year, wear them out and then buy another dozen next year.
     
  6. jkozlow3

    jkozlow3 Member

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    Nov 28, 2011
    Thanks everyone. It sounds like for the most part I should machine wash my cotton shirts using the delicate cycle and hang them to dry. Most of my sport shirts are dark, so I will probably wash everything on cold.

    There are a couple of laundromats within a 2 minute walk of my apartment with plenty of front-loaders (no agitator) which I assume will be gentler on the clothes.

    What about detergent? Woolite for dark colors? Tide for coldwater?
     
  7. Patek

    Patek Well-Known Member

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    I have used Tide for years with no problem.

    Also, I know it sounds crazy, but follow what the tag says to do. All of my BB shirts say machine wash warm--so that is what I do.
     

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