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Clothing care

Alias

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Many people seem to agree that dry-cleaning really tears up your clothes, especially those really expensive ones with great fabric that you would really love to keep in pristine condition.

How would one get rid of any water-soluble spots from their clothes? How about those that are oil-based? Any other methods of cleaning besides dry-cleaning?
 

MPS

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Most stains will come out with carbonated mineral water, a sponge and a clothes brush. I avoid having my suits dry cleaned, and I spot clean them as required. If I've been smoking a couple of Monte Cristo No. 4's, then I might place my suit in a steamy room to get the odour out. In the unlikely event that I get a water insoluble stain on my suit, then I'll spot clean it using a professional cleaning product.
 

The_Foxx

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Good topic. As I finally purchased a pants press, got to thinking about the really necessary items a gentleman should own for clothing maintenance. What I've come up with so far are:

- pants press by Corby of England (got mine thru Sharper Image)

-large shouldered wooden hangers, such as those from Hold Everything (also available at Container Store and Target)

-a good shoehorn

-clothing brush

-shoe kit, with kiwi polish, one brush for brown, one for black
 

Kai

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Good topic.  As I finally purchased a pants press, got to thinking about the really necessary items a gentleman should own for clothing maintenance.  What I've come up with so far are:

- pants press by Corby of England (got mine thru Sharper Image)

-large shouldered wooden hangers, such as those from Hold Everything (also available at Container Store and Target)

-a good shoehorn

-clothing brush

-shoe kit, with kiwi polish, one brush for brown, one for black
A steamer would also be on my list of necessary items.

I have shoe brushes for tan and cordovan too, and a spray bottle of Lexol for taking care of other smooth leather items (like my briefcase, 15 years old and still going strong.) A stiff brush for nubuck also.

Not entirely necessary, but a very useful thing to have, is a front loading washing machine. These are much easier on your clothes than top loading models with an agitator, and get your clothing a lot cleaner too. I can wash delicate silk and wool clothing in my front loader that I wouldn't dare put in a top loader. Miele makes the best one, Kenmore makes the biggest one.

Regarding hangers, the best are the ones with wide shoulders for the jackets, and hanging clips for the pants, so the pants can hang unfolded.
 

Alias

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Are there any wool-safe cleaning products out there? I'm thinking something in a small bottle or stick that you can just spot-clean your suit jacket with. I'm antsy like this because I don't want to have to run my wool gabardine suit through the cleaners. The trousers went in once, and I don't want them going in again
 

FCS

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Hem, is it actually okay to handwash your wool trousers? I have always been advised to bring them to drycleaners, mainly to avoid shrinkage, but after reading all of these stuffs I am beginning to wonder. What causes the garments to shrink, btw?
 

Alias

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It has something to do with how the water mechanically interacts with the wool fibers, which clump together tighter and tighter the more you wash them. That's where the shrinking comes from.

At least, that's what I'm reading.
 

matadorpoeta

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i had a suit which lost something after i sent it to the cleaners for the first time. i can't exactly say what, it may have shrunk a little, and it may have lost some of its sheen, and perhaps the shape isn't quite what it was. all in all it seems all these little things happened to it. they did an awful job of pressing it too. i say don't take a suit to the cleaners unless you really get it soiled, and if it needs to be pressed, take it to a tailor for that.

btw, has anyone had any experience with these "environmentally friendly" cleaners that seem to be cropping up lately? they did a great job of taking out some tough stains on my clothes.
 

FCS

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Are there any other alternatives for your trousers other than giving them to dry-cleaners?
 

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