Everybody has a story about how their clothing got ruined when they accidentally put them in the washer. And taking garments to a Dry cleaner can be a hassle. Not to mention, it’s time consuming and very expensive, especially when you have a lot of “dry clean only” items. But with a little help and effort, you can wash most of your “dry clean only” clothing at home. You can take proper care of your clothing, by washing them at home, by yourself, using the products that you like, you just need to know how to do so.
Even if the tags on the clothing say dry clean only, they can be washed at home. Manufacturers put those tag because they think only dry cleaning can make ‘new looking’ for the longer time. But there’s a right way to wash them with which you can save a lot of time and money.
The key steps to wash “dry clean only” clothes at home are:
- Test the cleaning product or detergent you are using, on a hidden part of the fabric first.
- Wash delicates or embroidered clothes in a mesh bag or a pillowcase
- Use cool water – warm water is more likely to damage material.
First, take a look at the care tag and understand what the symbol says. Know about the fiber that garment is made of and then decide the method you want to use for washing.
If the clothing is made of Cotton, linen or polyester, they can be washed in a washing machine. These are all durable fabrics. Ensure the wash cycle is gentle, use mild detergent and cold water. Hang the clothing dry afterwards. Do not put them in the dryer. And the garments will be damage free.
Wool and silk fabrics are of delicate nature. These can be washed in a washing machine. Use a mild detergent and tepid water. Do not overstretch the material. Make sure to dry clean them afterwards by rolling the garment between a pair of towels and then lay them flat on a third dry towel after that.
To quote Janakis, “Clothes today are being made cheaper compared to those from older times. A lot more synthetics are being used and garment manufacturers are not doing the necessary testing like they used to ensure they are free from color-run and bleeding during the cleaning process,” – Mamamia.
So, you need to check for colorfastness before washing the clothes. Silk fabrics often lose color during the washing process. To ensure that it doesn’t, check it by taking the inside of seam and dot on a bit of water using a white washcloth or a Q-tip. Rub very gently. If the dye comes off, don’t continue the wash process. If there’s no dye coming off, you can move on with the wash.
Delicate garments which have embellishments, like beading or lace, are more likely to fall off or get damaged in the machine. In that case, you can prevent the problem by washing the item inside a mesh bag or a pillowcase.
Some clothing materials like suede and velvet, on the other hand, should be dry-cleaned no matter what. It can cause irreparable damage, if you wash them yourself. If the tag says ‘Dry Clean Only’, take this to a specialist rather than cleaning that garment at home.
Wash By Hand:
Hand washing does not have to be stressful. With a few right steps, it can be a very simple and quick process.
Whether you are washing delicates, wool, silk or just your usual load, with these steps you get the best results and can avoid some of the common laundry mishaps.
Most of the clothing items can be washed in the washing machine, using the “Hand Wash” cycle, but some clothes still come with the “hand wash” or “dry cleaning only” labels. Delicate items of clothing or certain fabric materials need some extra care when it comes to washing. Always check the tags on your garments before putting the clothes in the washing machine and ensure none of your favorite clothes are ruined.
Step-by-step guide to wash clothes by hand:
- Sort the clothing items by colors. Separate the dark colored and light colored clothes in two batches.
- Fill the bucket with water. You can also use the washing basin.
- Rub liquid detergent or stain remover on any tough stains – Surf excel is ideal for this as it’s designed to work as a pre-treatment. According to the dosing instructions on the label, dip a finger into a capful, dab it on, and drop the rest it in the bucket.
- Soak the clothes in the water for several minutes to ensure they fully absorb the detergent.
- Do a thorough wash by kneading and twisting the clothes.
- Rinse with clean water to get the detergent out.
- Leave the clothes to dry.
Use the correct temperature of water. Some material needs to be washed with cold and other needs to be washed with warm water.
Take extra care of delicate items. Swirl them in the bucket, gently.
If you’re hand washing woolen items, reshape them after the wash while they are still wet and left them to dry flat.
How to remove stains from delicate clothing items:
As long as the material is suitable, you can remove the stain at home, by yourself. Test the detergent you are going to use, on the hidden part of the garment first.
- Wet the stain with cold water.
- Apply good quality laundry soap directly on the stain.
- Gently dap. Do not rub it.
- Rinse the item with cold water.
If there’s a turmeric stain on the clothing item, and the pre-treatment with the surf-excel bar does not work, then try white vinegar.
Soak a paper towel in ¼ a spoon of white vinegar and blot at the stain, carefully, to remove it.
Carefully place the item in direct sunlight and wait for a few hours, afterwards. Although this might not help in getting rid of the stain completely, it will oxidize the stain.
Do not use hot water to soak the garment.