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How do you care for your shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by clarinetplayer, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. clarinetplayer

    clarinetplayer Senior member

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    Gentlemen:

    While I am very careful about hanging up suits on proper wooden hangers, using a clothes brush, using cedar shoe trees, and hanging up ties on a rack, I am feeling increasingly guilty about the way I care for my shirts. Like many, I suspect, I send them to a dry cleaner for laundering. And, I fear, by so doing, I am doing damage to my shirts.

    I'm sure that there are several members of this board who launder and iron their own shirts. I recall someone posting tips on laundering and ironing, but at the time, I was not interested and did not save the reference.

    I would appreciate any tips and suggestions as to how you care for your shirts.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    i find that most cleaners are ok, if you tell them to launder (NOT dry clean) the shirt, and NO STARCH. of course, some are better than others, but often they are all about the same in a small town or city. you might check the local paper/ magazine's list of "BEST OF" for some ideas.

    i was given the good advice on this site to ask the best clothing store in town where they recommended, which proved useful.
     
  3. davei

    davei Senior member

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    I think the thread on ironing was called "ironing tips", a search with those keywords should bring it up.

    As for laundering, my process is tedious (not for the impatient) but it works for me.  I use a bucket of cold/lukewarm water in the laundry basin, wet the entire shirt, then sprinkle detergent on the collars, cuffs, underarms (high wear/dirty areas), and scrub each separately.  Then rinse the shirt (cold water) in another bucket, then use the gentle spin cycle of the washing machine to get most of the water out.  Take shirt out, let it dry slightly (depending on your machine, it should be almost dry or just damp), then iron.  The trick with the iron is that the shirt should be damp, but not wet - i.e. don't dry the shirt with the iron. Sounds like a lot of work but it's not - I do 5-10 shirts at a time (scrub all, rinse all, etc.) and it takes 30-40 minutes once you get into a good rhythm.

    I don't use the washing machine cycle because I find it breaks up/eats collars and cuffs, no matter how gentle the cycle.  I don't like using the dryer because the excessive heat tends to shrink and ruin seams (depends on the shirt) and with any dryer, it slowly but surely turns your clothes into lint.
     
  4. incognitius

    incognitius Active Member

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    How often do you find it necessary to clean your shirts?

    I'm fearful of any type of washing, so I am very careful about the conditions in which I wear my best clothing. Since I wear an undershirt and don't live in a smoggy city, I rarely wash my shirts. (Call me a "scrub," if you'd like, but I hate to picture what any of those machines are doing to my clothes.)
     
  5. davei

    davei Senior member

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    I wouldn't be so fanatical about it. Even if you wear an undershirt, there's bound to be some dirt at the collar and cuffs, which will be tougher to remove if left for a long time. Good shirts are made to stand up to many washings - I usually wear a shirt once then wash it.

    The actual washing process is not that tough on a shirt (as long as you do it by hand, which is my fanatical bit, but the gentle cycle can be used on a machine if necessary), it's the dryer. Superheat cotton, and it can shrink, turn to lint, etc.
     
  6. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    hand wash it after every time you wear it, then leave it hanging until almost dry, and iron it. if that's too much trouble, take it to the cleaners and have them launder it, not dry clean it, unless you've stained it. it's true that high quality shirts are made to last, so don't be too protective of your shirts.
     
  7. itzamazing

    itzamazing Senior member

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    I used to dry clean or launder my shirts, but I found that I either still had to end up ironing over it again, or that the shirts would be fried or creased in certain spots for good. It is cheap, but it takes a major toll on your shirts, even at expensive well regarded cleaners.

    I agree though - your dress shirts really should not get that dirty aside from the neck, wrist and perhaps armpit area. I find the knits/delicates cycle works well for my shirts, and then I air dry them in the dryer (no heat).

    Then on a Saturday or Sunday, I power up the iron and sit for about 3 hours and iron them. Watch TV to pass the time as the results are well worth it.
     
  8. davei

    davei Senior member

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    3 hours?. How long does it take you to iron a shirt? Or maybe I should say, how many shirts do you have to iron? [​IMG]
     
  9. jussumguy

    jussumguy Well-Known Member

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    Do not dry-clean your shirts! The chemicals in dry cleaning fluid will destroy the fabric or even turn your custom shirts yellow. Instead, request that your shirts be laundered.

    would this apply to most articles of clothing then? (pants, jackets, etc.)
     
  10. stubloom

    stubloom Senior member

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    Blair lists the shirt care instructions provided to him by his shirt maker. There are so many issues on that list that ought to be addressed that I don't know where to begin. So I'd like to address just one: the use of Clorox bleach. I own a high-end dry cleaner and shirt laundry. Every year we handle over 50,000 shirts, the vast majority of which are custom made shirts. And, yes, we do use Clorox bleach. You'll find a gallon of Clorox bleach in the janitorial closet in the men's bathroom. It's used for one purpose only: to disinfect the commode. Notwithstanding the protestations of Procter & Gamble to the contrary, Clorox bleach is probably the most dangerous chemical you'll find in your home laundry room. If your'e looking to destroy the textile strength of your fine shirts or if your'e looking to yellow the collars and cuffs of your white shirts, then Clorox bleach can't be beat. Website: www.ravefabricare.com Daily blog: www.truequalitycleaning.com
     
  11. unjung

    unjung Senior member

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    1. Blair is a spammer;
    2. This is a thread from 2003.
     
  12. bleachboy

    bleachboy Senior member

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    Blair lists the shirt care instructions provided to him by his shirt maker. There are so many issues on that list that ought to be addressed that I don't know where to begin.

    So I'd like to address just one: the use of Clorox bleach.

    I own a high-end dry cleaner and shirt laundry. Every year we handle over 50,000 shirts, the vast majority of which are custom made shirts. And, yes, we do use Clorox bleach. You'll find a gallon of Clorox bleach in the janitorial closet in the men's bathroom. It's used for one purpose only: to disinfect the commode.

    Notwithstanding the protestations of Procter & Gamble to the contrary, Clorox bleach is probably the most dangerous chemical you'll find in your home laundry room.

    If your'e looking to destroy the textile strength of your fine shirts or if your'e looking to yellow the collars and cuffs of your white shirts, then Clorox bleach can't be beat.

    Website: www.ravefabricare.com

    Daily blog: www.truequalitycleaning.com


    Well, since we're on the subject... what's the One True Way to remove collar stains?
     
  13. Threadbearer

    Threadbearer Senior member

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    Well, since we're on the subject... what's the One True Way to remove collar stains?
    [​IMG]
     
  14. westinghouse

    westinghouse Senior member

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    Cold water, gentle cycle, low dryer, steam iron. If you let them hang dry they will develop a mildewy smell over time, plus more wrinkles.
     
  15. mrhills0146

    mrhills0146 Well-Known Member

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    Remove shirt.

    Take along with other shirts to my favorite cleaner.

    Pre-pay $1 per shirt to launder and press, no starch.

    Pick up clean and pressed shirts two days later.

    Hand washing dress shirts?
    Ironing them yourself at home?
    You guys have to be kidding me!

    Life is far too short (for me) to spend that much time on shirts. In 20 years I think I've had a cleaner ruin two or three shirts - I can certainly live with that.
     
  16. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    How often do you find it necessary to clean your shirts?

    I'm fearful of any type of washing, so I am very careful about the conditions in which I wear my best clothing. Since I wear an undershirt and don't live in a smoggy city, I rarely wash my shirts. (Call me a "scrub," if you'd like, but I hate to picture what any of those machines are doing to my clothes.)


    Scrubb!!! Shirts should be washed after every wear! Maybe you can't smell your must, but others can! You are sitting around in a shirt for appr 10hrs every day. Wear>wash!
     
  17. hymo

    hymo Senior member

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  18. mishon

    mishon Senior member

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    Westinghouse offers some sound advice that I follow. As far as the frequency of washing one's shirts, I usually wear mine 2-3 times before wash.
     
  19. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    2-3 times??? WTF!!
     
  20. mishon

    mishon Senior member

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    2-3 times??? WTF!!
    Unless you sweat like a pig or stain them, I don't see any real issues with wearing dress shirts more than once. Your opinion may wary.
     

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