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How to hand-wash a shirt?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cayne-Abel, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Cayne-Abel

    Cayne-Abel Senior member

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    Surprisingly, I found no previous threads on this topic. Can anyone offer some info? How much / what type of detergent, how long to keep in water, how hot the water should be, how to dry, etc.

    EDIT: I want to whiten-up my way-too-pink dress shirt, so I'm considering hand-washing with some bleach. Can anyone suggest how much bleach to use?
     


  2. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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    I use cold or slightly warm water. For white/very light shirts, I soak them in Oxyclean for a few hours before every other wash. To hand wash a shirt is quite simple, just put the shirt in the water, put some detergent in (I use Tide, non-chlorine, no bleach) and just wash the shirt. You can lift it up and put it back in the tub, you can squeeze it or do any other movement you want. In the end, rub the collar against itself vigorously, then do the same with the armpits, since those are probably the dirtiest spots. You can also use and old toothbrush to was the collar and the cuffs. Personally, I just use the hand wash cycle in my washing machine, it's much simpler.

    As for the pink shirt, I wouldn't do that. It will probably bleach it non-uniformly and you will look like you are in the gay army wearing camouflage uniform.
     


  3. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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  4. Cayne-Abel

    Cayne-Abel Senior member

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    As for the pink shirt, I wouldn't do that. It will probably bleach it non-uniformly and you will look like you are in the gay army wearing camouflage uniform.

    What about using warmer water? Would that be more effective in lightening the shirt?

    What about drying? Just let it hang? Should I twist / wring the shirt out with my hands before hanging? And why cold / slightly warm water? Would warmer water shrink the shirt?

    Lastly, at what point do you iron? When the shirt is still damp, or fully dry?
     


  5. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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    To dry, just let it hang after you twist/wring the shirt out. It's best to iron the shirt while it's still damp, but I never do that, because I'm lazy. So I iron all my shirts before putting them on, usually takes 5 minutes at the most.

    You can use warm water too, no big difference. The shirts still shrink even in cold water, it just takes more washes.

    Seriously, what musicguy said makes sense. You really don't need to hand wash your shirts unless you just don't have a washer. However, do not dry them in the dryer. Always hang to dry.

    As far as lightening the pink shirt, I can't help you. I don't have experience like that. Maybe you should just get another shirt?
     


  6. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Goon member

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    Following just these few simple procedures will greatly extend the life of your fine cotton shirts as well as insuring cleanliness and a neat appearance. Proper technique requires a two-day cycle.

    On the first day, you'll need a bar of Octagon Bar Soap, available from your local grocer, and a fingernail brush. Wet the Collar (Step 1), Collar Band, Cuffs, and underarm area. Rub with the bar soap on the underarm area and inside Cuffs until a bit of lather develops. Rub also on the Inside Collar Band and the seam where it joins with the Collar (Step 2). Then, on the Collar Band and inside Cuffs, scrub the dirt ring gently with the fingernail brush (Step 3a) until you begin to see the ring leaving. Alternatively, you can use the collar itself as a brush by briskly rubbing (Step 3b) the collar band against itself.

    Check the remainder of the shirt for spots or soil. If any are found, rub with the brown soap as above. If any stain is found which does not remove with the Octagon Soap, see the Stain Removal Guide at the end of this page.

    Finally, roll up the wet, soapy shirt and leave overnight in a plastic bag in order that it will remain moist.

    The following day, machine wash as follows:

    Whites
    Warm Water in Summer if Very Soiled
    Cold Water the rest of the time
    Gentle Cycle

    Light Colors
    Warm Water Only if Very Soiled
    Cold water the rest of the time
    Gentle Cycle

    Dark Colors
    Cold water all of the time
    Gentle Cycle

    After testing many detergents, Tide Unscented Original Powder has been found to offer the best results for fine cotton shirts. After cycle is complete, tumble dry on 'No Heat' setting until shirts are just damp. Or, if you have the facilities, line dry outside until just damp. Hang on a white plastic hanger.

    Laundering Hints
    "¢Do not use bleach! Do not use starch! Do not use fabric softeners!
    "¢Allowing the shirt to soak overnight reduces the amount of scrubbing needed to remove soil, therefore reducing wear. The longer it is permitted to soak, the better the results
    "¢Sleeves tend to tangle in the washer, reducing the ability of the soak cycles to remove detergent. Adding a couple of white towels to small loads will help to reduce this problem. If soap remains in the shirt, it will brown when pressed. Wash again without detergent if you suspect this to be the case

    That's really all there is to it. Or, you can send them out.



    - B
     


  7. Cayne-Abel

    Cayne-Abel Senior member

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    Seriously, what musicguy said makes sense. You really don't need to hand wash your shirts unless you just don't have a washer. However, do not dry them in the dryer. Always hang to dry.
    ....
    As far as lightening the pink shirt, I can't help you. I don't have experience like that. Maybe you should just get another shirt?


    Honestly, the only reason I wanted to hand-wash is because I wanted to try to lighten the pink shirt. In hindsight, I'm not sure why I thought hand-washing would be a more appropriate method for trying to lighten the shirt.

    Would using a washing machine also have the same problems with using bleach, in terms of non-uniform lightening?

    It's a custom shirt and it looks and feels great, which is why I don't wanna give up on it just yet. It's just a *tad* too pink for an attorney to wear.
     


  8. Kurt N

    Kurt N Senior member

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    ^^ Meaning, I guess, "The Kabbaz method ain't worth the hassle."
     


  9. Cayne-Abel

    Cayne-Abel Senior member

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    By the way, here is a photo of a shirt that's similar in color to the pink I have. Is it too much for an office environment?


    [​IMG]
     


  10. fitandfunction

    fitandfunction Well-Known Member

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    That color pink is fine. The rest of your outfit should be muted to offset (e.g. no bright socks). Personally, i prefer navy over charcoal when wearing pink shirts
     


  11. ZON_JR

    ZON_JR Senior member

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    As for the pink shirt, I wouldn't do that. It will probably bleach it non-uniformly and you will look like you are in the gay army wearing camouflage uniform.

    I forgot that gay guys wear pink all the time. Style Forum is such a valuable resource.
     


  12. twosnapsandgo

    twosnapsandgo Senior member

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    Always use cold water. Whomever said slight warm water is wrong. Cold water keeps the fabric more intact and helps with lessening and bleeding of dye color. I hand wash stains with a regular soap gently. I take a bucket and put detergent swish around. Then rinse it out. Then I put softner and rinse out to smell oh so nice. I hang it up to air dry but not on a hanger. On a line with wooden clips. Yes I am old school. Last but not least I used to buy febreeze constantly but now I just make my own "febreeze spray" Makes everything smell great.
     


  13. twosnapsandgo

    twosnapsandgo Senior member

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    I forgot that gay guys wear pink all the time. Style Forum is such a valuable resource.

    You dont have to be gay to wear a pink. Pastels work great with a variety of skin tones, gay or straight doesnt matter!!!
     


  14. acecow

    acecow Senior member

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    I forgot that gay guys wear pink all the time. Style Forum is such a valuable resource.

    [​IMG]
     


  15. stylemeup

    stylemeup Senior member

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    How does Kabbaz account for MOP buttons that will become damaged in the washing machine, as they will if the method is followed as it is described in that guide?

    I read this thread after first reading threads like these ones:

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/204417/pearl-button-dry-cleaner-damage
    http://www.styleforum.net/t/254032/whats-happening-to-my-buttons

    The impression I have from those threads is that hand-washing a shirt is the only way to avoid damaging MOP buttons, aside from having the buttons removed before the shirt is washed.

    Plus, some people like myself are forced to rely on laudromats' and/or drycleaners' washing machines, which are not desirable places for good clothing to go. In addition, high-end drycleaners charge a fortune which people like myself do not have.

    I've had the MOP buttons on my best shirts damaged by one of the best and most high-end drycleaners in my city. I do not want them to do any more damage, hence I would like to hand-wash my shirts, but do not know how.

    I wish the master would show me how, but he doesn't in that guide. Has Kabbaz or anyone else written a guide that is written like the Kabbaz one discussed above, but which actually says how to hand-wash a shirt?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012


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