Along with quality construction and fabrics, how you care for your clothing determines how long they will last. We all know that the more you dry clean, the faster items wear out, and it's not the most environmentally friendly way to care for your clothing. You can save money and help save the environment with some simple tips.
Steaming dry-clean only dresses and jackets after wear helps release any oils and dirt. Wool is naturally odor resistant due to its unique properties. You can read more about it on the Woolmark site, but here are some of our tips to reduce the amount of dry cleaning needed.
Let them air out by hanging in the bathroom or open before you put back into your closet.
You can also use a deodorant removing sponge and a little bit of water to remove excess deodorant after wear to prevent a build up. We also like to combine a little bit of the Laundress Stain Solution with water to clean the underarms for a little refresh when needed.
The Laundress Fabric Refresh which has antibacterial properties and removes any odors. See below for more home care ideas.
Hand washing silk
- We use the Laundress Stain Solution to pre-treat the underarms to prevent yellowing from deodorant on items like the Marilyn I.
- If you are going to hand wash a colored item you will want to first soak the item in very cold water and 1.5+ cups of white vinegar depending on how many items you are washing. The vinegar helps set the dye to prevent fading. Don't be afraid to be generous with the vinegar — it won't hurt the garment and can be used in place of detergent.
- We soak the top in VERY COLD WATER ONLY with a tiny bit of the Laundress Delicate Wash and white tops with a little bit of Laundress Stain Solution for white items (or your favorite delicate wash, we've tested with The Laundress products).
- Swish the items with your hands and let soak for a few minutes. Leaving the vinegar in the water helps deodorize and sets the dye for black items.
- **Museum conservation tip: you can take a cheesecloth to put on top of the garment while it soaks, so whatever dirt floats up off the garment is captured by the cheesecloth instead of back onto the garment.
- Empty the bin and rinse the garment until the water runs clear (we fill a small tub, swish the garment around, empty the tub until the water is clear.)
- Then add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar (or more - again it won't hurt the garment) to the tub and let the garment soak with the water and vinegar. Vinegar removes any residue from the detergent to restore the silk's natural luster.
- Rinse the garment with cold water until it is clear in the sink or tub (we do at least couple rinses to ensure all the soap has been removed.)
- Lay the tee on a towel and roll up to sop up the excess water. NEVER WRING OUT WET SILK AS IT WILL STRETCH.
- Lay flat to dry.
- Once dry, use the silk setting on your iron and for additional protection place a cloth in between the iron and the garment like a pillowcase. This will prevent the iron from burning the fabric.
Washing on the Delicate Cycle - Micromodal
A few extra steps when washing the Pat, Claire and our other micromodal items will help keep them looking like new.
- Always remember COLD WATER ONLY and DELICATE CYCLE and try to use a detergent formulated for delicate clothing. For fabrics prone to pilling like jerseys a gentle enzyme detergent like Dirty Labs is a good option.
- Turning the items inside out the way you turn your jeans inside out to preserve the color and putting the items in a mesh bag like this set will all help keep the item from pilling over time.
- Use a small amount of detergent and we like to add 1/2 - 1 cup of vinegar when washing.
- Once the item is done we air dry on low for 20-40 minutes minutes and then lay flat to dry.
- Smooth out the wrinkles while the item is still damp so you don't have to iron.
- Use a padded hanger to keep from wrinkling and to reduce tension. We like to use thickly padded trouser hangers like this to store this collection.
Additional Tips and Resources:
Remember that different types of stains require different treatments depending on the fabric. Protein-based stains may get set permanently if you use the wrong method on the wrong fabric. Always remember silks are more delicate and the wrong detergent/treatment can damage the hand of the fabric, we always recommend the gentlest solution.
Vinegar is one of the best most all purpose natural cleaners and deodorizers for your home and wash. You can use a smaller amount of detergent and a cup of vinegar in your wash. It's a great way to remove residue from detergents or fabric softener build up from your towels and athletic wear.
Lemon Juice + sunshine is a powerful combination for stubborn stains.
Eucalyptus Oil is an excellent grease stain remover that won't damage most fabrics.
Borax, our grandmothers loved it. You can add a dash to your laundry for extra santizing.
Tea Tree Oil for times when you want to disinfect the laundry and cannot use hot hot water, tea tree oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, germicidal, and fungicidal properties.
Sunshine instead of bleach if you have the time to lay your whites in the sun to let them bleach naturally, you can take them outside while they are still soapy and hang them where they will receive at least five hours of direct sunlight. It's also a great way to remove odors naturally.
If you don't have Febreeze or other odor removing sprays on hand, straight vodka (not flavored) is a great odor remover. Plain Vodka is a natural disinfectant due to its high alcohol content. Just don't dilute it with water.