Expert dry cleaners know how to keep your clothes looking sharp! But did you know there are things you can be doing at home too? Read on for tips from the pros.
If you’re given a year’s worth of dry cleaning services, would you reject it? Of course not. Who would say no to having their favorite clothes taken care of by expert dry cleaners?
But sometimes, things happen. You get busy or when you drop off your clothes at your trusted dry cleaner, they’re not open. So what do you do?
Lucky for you, we’re sharing our expert advice on how to keep your clothes clean. This is for when you can’t go to a dry cleaner or when you simply want to learn how to keep your best garments in tip-top condition.
Get to Know Fibers
Polyester and nylon are machine-washable. Spandex is too. Be careful not to wash with chlorine bleach as this will easily damage all materials. Whenever possible, always air dry instead of machine dry.
With cotton and linen – fibers that are prone to shrinking and fading, you want to wash these in cold water. As with polyester, nylon, and spandex, you want to air dry cotton and linen.
The trickiest fibers to wash are wool, silk, and rayon. Wool can shrink, while silk and rayon have a tendency to bleed color.
The best way to wash wool is handwashing, and sometimes by gentle machine wash. Silk clothing should also be hand washed and never machine-dried.
Learn to Hand Wash
Expert dry cleaners will tell you that even if washing machines have a hand-wash setting, there’s no substitute for good old hand washing. You want to hand wash delicates, silk blouses, and wool sweaters. These items retain their color and shape better when hand washed (versus machine washed).
Of course, you should always check the garment’s care label. “Dry-clean only” means exactly that and you should never wash it at home. However, if the label says “dry-clean,” it just means it’s the recommended method but hand washing is (usually) perfectly fine (test a small area with water first).
To wash clothing by hand, you need to choose the right detergent. If you’re not sure which one to use, always go for a mild one. Next, fill the sink or a small tub with water.
Add detergent. But don’t use too much. Soak the garment in the soapy water.
Use gentle movements and avoid scrubbing actions. The last step is to drain the sink or tub, refill it with clean, cool water, and rinse the garment. You may need to repeat this step until all of the soap is removed.
Practice General Care Tips
You may know how often to take clothes to the dry cleaner. But do you know how to take care of your best duds in between cleanings?
For example, do you know that you should air out suits, coats, and shoes for at least half an hour before storing them in your closet? Or that you shouldn’t throw these items over a chair to avoid wrinkles?
If you do, great. Here are other care tips to remember:
- Avoid leaving clothes near the window. Colors on your clothes can fade when exposed to prolonged sunlight or even closet light.
- Lotions, sunscreens, and perfumes can fade or stain clothes. Use these carefully, especially during summer.
- Never store stained or dirty clothes.
- Avoid mildew by never hanging wet clothes in your closet.
- Always use breathable cotton bags or even sheets instead of plastic bags to store your clothes.
- Inform your dry cleaner about salt residues (e.g. winter street salt) on your clothes. Salt can ruin your garments during cleaning.
Machine Wash Like a Pro
At this point, you might think we just don’t like washing machines. After all, we’ve been talking at length about the importance of hand washing certain clothing types.
Here’s the thing. Us expert dry cleaners know how convenient washing machines are. But we also know how easy it is to ruin a nice sweater in the dryer or how fast machine washing can ruin a pair of dry-clean-only trousers.
It’s easy to mess up. So if you have to use a machine washing, make sure you know what you’re really doing. Learn all you can about washing machine cycles, water temperature, and the different types of detergent.
If you want to risk washing dry clean only clothes in a machine, put it on its slowest speed setting. And again, don’t use the dryer. Always air dry to avoid exposing the garment to heat or friction.
Treat Stains the Right Way
You know that you should remove stains right away if you don’t want your garment to be permanently damaged. But what if you can’t get to a dry cleaner right away? Do you just leave that spot alone or do you try to fix it yourself?
Expert dry cleaners will tell you to blot it off as best as you can. And if you want to attempt stain removal, make sure you choose the right type of stain remover. When in doubt, always test a small area of the fabric first so as not to make stain bigger or worse.
If you’ve done the best you can with stain removal and it’s still there, get it to a dry cleaner as soon as possible. Also, don’t forget to tell your dry cleaner what type of stain it is. If it’s from juice or wine or jam, leftover sugar crystals will caramelize and further destroy your garment. To reiterate, the best thing you can do is blot off (never rub) the excess and wait for the professionals to remove the stain.
Learning how to take care of your favorite clothes is a must if you want to make them last longer. If you can’t take them to a dry cleaner, your best option is to know how to wash different types of fabrics and learning how to hand wash.
You should also practice general care tips such as knowing how to properly store your garments. And if you have to use a washing machine, make sure you don’t damage your dry-clean-only clothes by using too much detergent or getting the settings wrong.
For stains, you should try to blot them off as best as you can. And use the right kind of stain remover. Of course, you should bring your stained clothes to a dry cleaner as soon as you can.
Looking for Expert Dry Cleaners?
You’ve come to the right place. We’ve been in business since 1938, taking care of people’s clothes from the finest designer and couture garments to professional and casual pieces.
We also do wedding gown preservation, cleaning, pressing, and restoration. If you’re looking for Detroit’s best dry cleaner, look no further than Janet Davis Cleaners.
Questions? Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 248-543-0340.