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How to Avoid the Drycleaners and Take Care of Stuff at Home?

rockofeller

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Hey all, I'm looking for a nice alternative to taking in my shirts and sweaters to a dry cleaner. Particularly the stuff that I don't wear an undershirt under, most of the time, e.g. thinner wool sweaters, nice ocbds and linen shirts, etc.

Is an iron with a steam function going to get light sweat out? Can I hand wash some of these things in cold water with some kind of soap? I've been shying away from a lot of nicer clothes because I can't afford to take them to the dry cleaner to clean them after a full day of wear!

Thanks.
 

imatlas

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Sweaters: hand wash at home. Cold water using Woolite or other gentle soap. Do a google, there are lots of videos on this.

Most shirts can be machine washed in cold, then line dried and ironed.

I stopped sending my shirts out a few years ago. Now they look better (I do a better job on collars than anyone I've found) and I'm easily saving $50 per month.

Edit: wear an undershirt, for crying out loud!
 

cptjeff

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OCBDs should be run in this thing called a "washing machine" with this stuff called "detergent". Linen shirts should be machine washable as well.

As for sweaters, hand wash in slightly warm or cold water with gentle detergent such as woolite or even shampoo, lay flat on a sweater, and roll up. Then air dry the rest of the way. And wear a shirt under 'em in the future, and you won't need to wash every wear. They're not made to sit right against your skin. Well, cotton shirts are fine that way, but stuff that needs more careful care ain't.
 

Cuttingboard

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I buy the Brooks Brother wrinkle-free shirts when they go on sale (3 for $150). I wash them in warm water and dry them on low and touch up with an iron when they are a little damp.
 

stubloom

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I often get asked the question "Can I wash my such-and-such garment or do I have to dry clean it?

Without touching on every possible garment/fabric/dye combination, I generally answer that question by telling clients that it's not an issue of CAN, it's an issue of SHOULD. Sure you CAN wash any garment you want to. But the real question you should be asking yourself is SHOULD you be washing that garment? Sure, you can wash your fine wool trouser. But should you?

Ask that question of yourself every time your'e making a wash vs. dry clean decision, and your'e more likely to make the right decision.
 

rockofeller

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Despite the fatuitous jokes, I'm learning here.

A lot of shirts say dry clean only. As in some nice cotton OCBDs, etc. Didn't want to send them through the wash unless people knew for sure those care instructions are (overly) conservative.

How about those steam irons - what can I use them on? What should I use them?
 

Mudhiker

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When in doubt, steam iron on a low heat setting from the inside of the garment. On shirts, always iron the inside of the collar before the outside. Some wool blends especially can get shiny spots from ironing... be careful. Trousers can be pressed inside-out as well, but of course you won't have any creases that way.
 

Pantisocrat

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All natural fabric used today (silk, wool, cotton, guanaco, vicuna, cashemere, various blends...) were made centuries before dry cleaning became standardized. The only problem is that many people who buy fancy goods (in the past) can afford dry cleaning on a regular basis. I hand wash all my naturals, saved for cotton which is always machine washed cold.
 

alliswell

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Originally Posted by rockofeller
Despite the fatuitous jokes, I'm learning here.

A lot of shirts say dry clean only. As in some nice cotton OCBDs, etc. Didn't want to send them through the wash unless people knew for sure those care instructions are (overly) conservative.

How about those steam irons - what can I use them on? What should I use them?


Your 'nice cotton OCBDs' do not say dry clean only. All cotton shirts are washable unless they're heavily dyed, in which case they are not nice.

Ironing a sweaty shirt is like microwaving a sock. Bacteria love heat.

Dry cleaning is most often reserved for garments that will shrink in the wash. Cotton should not.

Originally Posted by Mudhiker
When in doubt, steam iron on a low heat setting from the inside of the garment. On shirts, always iron the inside of the collar before the outside. Some wool blends especially can get shiny spots from ironing... be careful. Trousers can be pressed inside-out as well, but of course you won't have any creases that way.

You're right about ironing wool (and linen) directly, but why are you wearing wool blends?
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Cuttingboard
I buy the Brooks Brother wrinkle-free shirts when they go on sale (3 for $150).
I recently switched to the BB non-iron slim-fit shirts and am glad I did. However, I haven't sent any of my shirts to the dry cleaners in about 3 years. As a result, all of my buttons are still secure and my collars are not stained. I hope to never send a shirt to the cleaners again.
 

Wideknot

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Anyone have an informed opinion on the Dryel, do-it-yourself-drycleaning method?
 

stubloom

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Wideknot asks about Dryel and similar dry-clean-at-home products..... Q. What do you have after tumbling your "dry clean only" garments in a dryer for 30 minutes with a scented sheet? A. A dirty garment with a fragranced smell that was slightly less wrinkled 30 minutes earlier. You can answer your own question by responding to this question: Would you tumble your used t-shirts, underwear and bed linens in a dryer with a scented sheet for 30 minutes AND CALL THEM CLEAN? For more information on this subject...... Blog post: Get $200 in free dry cleaning. 30 minute service. http://ravefabricare.com/true-qualit...e-service.aspx
 

KObalto

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If you iron wool, use a press cloth. Do not iron soiled clothing.
 

westinghouse

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First thing you need is a Jiffy J-2000 garment steamer.
 

Cuttingboard

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Originally Posted by JayJay
I recently switched to the BB non-iron slim-fit shirts and am glad I did. However, I haven't sent any of my shirts to the dry cleaners in about 3 years. As a result, all of my buttons are still secure and my collars are not stained. I hope to never send a shirt to the cleaners again.
I wear the slim fit also, love the performance of the BB non-iron shirts. I only send my wool pants and sweaters to the cleaners. I would like to clean them at home but I'm not confident enough to do this without ruining an expensive merino wool sweater. I only wear the sweaters over dress shirts so they're good for several wearings.
 

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