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Preventing discoloration

chiron7

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How do you all prevent discoloration of your dress clothes?

I wear primarily dress clothes all the time (slacks, button-ups, etc.). Tragically, these all undergo discoloration in certain areas no matter how much I care for them.

On dress shirts, it's the collar area on the back of the neck and on dress pants it's the area around the knee. I wear a lot of lighter colors since my skin is a bit darker so I deal with a lot of yellowing in those areas no matter what I do.

I don't use creams or lotions on those areas of my body so I ruled out synthetic oils. I've had to toss our perfectly fine clothing that just got discolored in those areas and I'm tired of having to do that.

Any thoughts on how to prevent this?
 

Bankers_Stripes

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By owning so many clothes and items of the same color and style that if something gets spilled on or worn out and truly ruined I can donate to charity and not miss it at all.

It’s expensive. My wallet cries all the time with all the similar or identical white dress shirts and navy suits I’ve purchased.
 

chiron7

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By owning so many clothes and items of the same color and style that if something gets spilled on or worn out and truly ruined I can donate to charity and not miss it at all.

It’s expensive. My wallet cries all the time with all the similar or identical white dress shirts and navy suits I’ve purchased.
I hear you man, it sucks. I'd like to think I'm anti-consumerism but in this case, I have no choice.

Like you, I have several pairs of each piece of clothing and it helps to rotate them so I'm not wearing out one more than the other but eventually they all succumb to the same fate.

I thought I was doing something wrong but I good to hear it happens to others too.
 

breakaway01

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For dress shirts I usually just spray the inside of the collar with Shout, rub in lightly, and send to cleaners. More stubborn stains come out with a soak in Oxy-Clean.
 

Penstubal

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How can I prevent my blue pants from discoloring? These pants are dear to me as a memory, so I want to keep them
 

chiron7

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For dress shirts I usually just spray the inside of the collar with Shout, rub in lightly, and send to cleaners. More stubborn stains come out with a soak in Oxy-Clean.
And you're doing this for all colors of shirts?
 

breakaway01

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yes. although I don't have any very dark colored dress shirts. The darkest would be a mid-blue chambray.
 

grippybananas

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I think it's inevitable but I try my best anyway by

  • Washing clothes inside out
  • Only use cold water
  • No softeners
  • No dryers
  • Most gentle cycle that's available with washing machine
 

maxalex

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There’s a difference between wear and stains. All fabric wears out. Trousers will wear and fade around the knees first; shirts around the collar and cuffs, sweaters and jackets at the elbows. It just happens, and then you throw the garment away. (Yes, you can patch sweater and tweed jacket elbows, but having it done right is expensive.)

Time was when suits came with two pair of trousers because they always wear out first. Today some retailers let you buy two, and of course bespoke tailors can make them. The price increase is arguably justified by lengthening the life of the suit—especially if the jacket would look like an orphan without matching trousers.

A fabric brush, used regularly, will remove dirt and help clothes last longer. Likewise a lint roller. An electric sweater shaver removes pilling and makes them look like new. But they will eventually wear out.

Stains are a different matter. For collar and armpit yellowing, there is nothing like elbow grease. Buy a bar of strong hand laundry soap and scrub hard with a brush, like Grandma used to do, then soak overnight with an oxy type product.

After soaking, I wash white shirts on hot and dark shirts on warm—I have never found cold water gets out perspiration odors, despite what soap makers claim. If you iron your own shirts you can prove this by smelling the pits when they are hot; if you smell b.o. then b.o. remains. And it keeps building up, which besides being gross degrades the fabric.

I never put shirts in a dryer (most people don’t have them in Europe), as they contribute to early wear as well as shrinkage.
 

chiron7

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There’s a difference between wear and stains. All fabric wears out. Trousers will wear and fade around the knees first; shirts around the collar and cuffs, sweaters and jackets at the elbows. It just happens, and then you throw the garment away. (Yes, you can patch sweater and tweed jacket elbows, but having it done right is expensive.)

Time was when suits came with two pair of trousers because they always wear out first. Today some retailers let you buy two, and of course bespoke tailors can make them. The price increase is arguably justified by lengthening the life of the suit—especially if the jacket would look like an orphan without matching trousers.

A fabric brush, used regularly, will remove dirt and help clothes last longer. Likewise a lint roller. An electric sweater shaver removes pilling and makes them look like new. But they will eventually wear out.

Stains are a different matter. For collar and armpit yellowing, there is nothing like elbow grease. Buy a bar of strong hand laundry soap and scrub hard with a brush, like Grandma used to do, then soak overnight with an oxy type product.

After soaking, I wash white shirts on hot and dark shirts on warm—I have never found cold water gets out perspiration odors, despite what soap makers claim. If you iron your own shirts you can prove this by smelling the pits when they are hot; if you smell b.o. then b.o. remains. And it keeps building up, which besides being gross degrades the fabric.

I never put shirts in a dryer (most people don’t have them in Europe), as they contribute to early wear as well as shrinkage.
Thank you for the detailed reply, sir!

From what you described, I'm dealing with both wear/fade as well as stains.

How do you try your shirts if not in a dryer?
 

maxalex

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Gotcha. So I'm going to go with a hot wash for my white and light colored shirts, and warm for my darks and will hang all of them to dry.
Many readers will push back on water temp but I don’t think warm/hot water hurts shirts. Doesn’t seem logical to me, other than the possibility of hot water fading colors—which is why I use only warm on colored fabrics.

What’s damaging is tumbling around a hot dryer, and the primary cause of shrinkage. I suppose one can make an argument for saving energy with cold water, but I imagine line drying saves far more energy (and money).
 

chiron7

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Many readers will push back on water temp but I don’t think warm/hot water hurts shirts. Doesn’t seem logical to me, other than the possibility of hot water fading colors—which is why I use only warm on colored fabrics.

What’s damaging is tumbling around a hot dryer, and the primary cause of shrinkage. I suppose one can make an argument for saving energy with cold water, but I imagine line drying saves far more energy (and money).
I can imagine it is a hot (pun intended) topic for sure. I'm not too worried about colors fading using hot water since we're talking mostly white shirts, light blue, and a mix of white/blue/grey so it's all very light-colored fabrics for the hot water.
 

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