Laundering vs. Dry Cleaning Work Shirts?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by farfisa23, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. farfisa23

    farfisa23 Senior member

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    The debate begins:

    At 2 bucks a pop to clean a shirt, I can deal with that, but dry cleaning near me at 5 a shirt adds up.

    What is some advice on cleaning your work dress shirts? Would you dry clean your Purple Label, but not your Blue Label?

    I dry clean sometimes, but really, can I launder my Egyptian cotton Burberry button downs without problems?

    To the floor it goes.
     


  2. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    For me, cotton shirts are to be laundered.

    I do it myself. As I only wear them once, and sometimes just some hours, because I wear one to work and another at the evening to go out 3 or 4 times a week, that makes regularly around 10 shirts per week.

    I wash them on saturdays with the 40°C sport program ( 30 minutes ) and use little soap and little softener, as they are not dirty, just sweated, then hang them dry until the next day. I became a master of quick ironing on sundays while I watch the news ) , I iron the 10 shirts I wear during the week in around 1 hour.

    easy.

    Shirts are not forever, they have a limited timespan, I have many shirts ( around 60 ) so they don't get laundered that often.

    As I have so many I can wait until the end of the sales periods and get a replacement lot for cheap every year.
     


  3. JR88

    JR88 Senior member

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    I stopped having my dress shirts dry cleaned or professionally laundered a few years ago. Too many broken buttons, awful creases, shrinkage, etc. It's the cost of my dress shirts, not cleaning them, that sealed the deal.

    Plus, it's therapeutic to clean the collars with a toothbrush, drink a couple beers while waiting for the washer to finish, and iron them all myself.
     


  4. ephemeralcoherence

    ephemeralcoherence Well-Known Member

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    I only dry clean sweaters and other wools once or twice a year. My dress shirts are usually thrown in the machine, cold water, then hung to dry. I do this with my cheap $20-from-the-outlet J. Crew shirts as well as my RLPLs. Never had any problems. When running a load of laundry isn't an option, I also handwash in the tub, which I strangely find soothing.
     


  5. haganah

    haganah Senior member

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    The question is one of time for me. I have heard that it is better to wash than to dry clean but I don't have the time or even the ironing skills required after.

    In Chicago I had a great dry cleaner at $1 per shirt. In NY, I'm at $1.50 per shirt. I think you can probably find a decent place near you that doesn't charge that much. Good luck hombre!
     


  6. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    Laundering is better for getting out body oils.
     


  7. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I do my own shirts due to the problems with cleaners that have been mentioned by others. At first I thought it would be too time consuming, especially ironing. However, I've learned to iron more efficiently. The satisfaction of having stains removed, buttons in good repair, less shrinkage (I hang dry my best shirts) and ironing done to my liking, makes it all worthwhile.
     


  8. lakewolf

    lakewolf Senior member

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    as JayJay says, after a while after you learned how to iron, you can do it fast and is not that time consuming if you do it regularly and don't let the laundry to stack up.
     


  9. haganah

    haganah Senior member

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    as JayJay says, after a while after you learned how to iron, you can do it fast and is not that time consuming if you do it regularly and don't let the laundry to stack up.
    I beg to differ. I think I'm great at a lot of things. A renaissance man if you will [​IMG] Ironing I never picked up no matter how much I tried.
     


  10. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    The question is one of time for me. I have heard that it is better to wash than to dry clean but I don't have the time or even the ironing skills required after.

    In Chicago I had a great dry cleaner at $1 per shirt. In NY, I'm at $1.50 per shirt. I think you can probably find a decent place near you that doesn't charge that much. Good luck hombre!


    That's pretty cheap for dry cleaning. Are you sure they're being dry-cleaned and not laundered? Most "dry cleaners" do both laundering and dry-cleaning. If you're not specifically requesting dry-cleaning, I'd imagine their default for cotton shirts would be to launder them. When I throw my shirts in the back seat of the car I tell my wife I'm taking them to the "dry cleaner", but I'm actually having them professionally laundered.
     


  11. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have never had a cotton shirt dry cleaned that I like. The look and feel is so much better when laundered. I think laundering is the only way to truly get them clean and crisp.

    I send most of my shirts to the cleaners for laundering. Before they go, I wash them. I spray the collars and arm pits with Spray and Wash. I then rub the collars with a bar of Ivory soap followed by rubbing a few times with a nail brush (it has a few rows of clear bristles). I wash in cold water and air dry. I then take them to the cleaners where they wash and press them (never starch). They always come out looking great. They may wear a little faster due to the double wash, but the whites and colors look clean and bright, the collars and cuffs are spotless and like new, I don't get stained arm pits and my cleaner loves me. In fact she asks me for cleaning tips.

    For my Kiton shirts, I do the same as above, but iron them my self. They never go to the cleaners and never go into the dryer (dryers and steam pressing machines at the cleaners will shrink your collars and cuffs by at least 1/4"). I decided if I was going to have $500+ shirts, then I should take care of them. I find that I don't mind doing it. I have been getting into the zen of ironing. While doing it, I enjoy the nice material and details of a fine shirt.
     


  12. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    I get them laundered and pressed no starch. I don't have the time or inclination to do either. If I want to soothe and relax, I go get a massage or take a nap, not do laundry and iron. For me, it takes about 20 minutes a shirt to do a good job. If I spent six minutes on a shirt, I would have a nicely pressed collar and a sleeve or two.
     


  13. stickonatree

    stickonatree Senior member

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    I get them laundered and pressed no starch. I don't have the time or inclination to do either. If I want to soothe and relax, I go get a massage or take a nap, not do laundry and iron. For me, it takes about 20 minutes a shirt to do a good job. If I spent six minutes on a shirt, I would have a nicely pressed collar and a sleeve or two.

    same here. as a college student, i'm just straight out too lazy to iron my few shirts. however i started out washing/ironing my own shirts, just to have the experience. then after i found out that it took me forever to do just 1 shirt, i stopped washing altogether and just took them to the dry cleaner's to launder/press.
     


  14. teddieriley

    teddieriley Senior member

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    Wait, you smell that?
    ^^Assuming you also don't have a full time job, you have all the time in the world (who says you have to go to class!). Wait until you start work. The last thing I like doing in my spare time is anything laundry related.
     


  15. Coho

    Coho Senior member

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    + 6 I wash/clean all my stuff by my own two hands. At first, it does feel like a chore. However, I've learned to enjoy the routine and it really makes you appreciate the clothes that much more (I gave each one an affectionate gaze before I put them in the hot water tub).

    I stopped having my dress shirts dry cleaned or professionally laundered a few years ago. Too many broken buttons, awful creases, shrinkage, etc. It's the cost of my dress shirts, not cleaning them, that sealed the deal.

    Plus, it's therapeutic to clean the collars with a toothbrush, drink a couple beers while waiting for the washer to finish, and iron them all myself.
     


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