Alright, Droppers, buckle up! We’ve got an exciting How-To today that we hope will make taking care of some of your more delicate items a breeze. Lots of folks have been steering away from sending clothes to the dry cleaners recently, whether it be for financial reasons, environmental reasons, or just because of restrictions during the COVID19 pandemic. Most dry cleaners use perchloroethylene and other chemicals (which can linger in our waterways). Additionally, there are always those pesky plastic bags your items get returned in! As a community focused on sustainable practices, we are more than happy to offer extra help with laundering these items.
Before you take the plunge to wash your “dry clean only” item, see if you can get away with a simple spot clean! A paste of baking soda and water is a great way to pre-treat stains on clothes before you wash it off. A spot clean is also a great way to test the fabric safely. Drip a small amount of water (and perhaps the detergent you plan to use) onto a small, unseen portion of your garment, then rub a cotton swab across the area. If the fabric's dye stains the cotton swab, it does indeed need to be dry-cleaned.
Throw your items into a mesh bag, like our Large Mesh Washing Bag! Patrick Richardson, laundry evangelist, says that “The trick to washing things that you think are dry clean-only, like sweaters, is putting them in a mesh bag” because they reduce abrasion.
To machine wash, select the cold cycle and add a mild detergent like our Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent Pods. Select the gentlest cycle available on your machine. Don’t wander too far off after starting the load, because you’ll want to grab those items from the machine as soon as the cycle ends, and lay them out flat to dry!
To hand wash, toss into a clean sink or basin. Fill the tub with cold water and add a small amount of a mild detergent, mixing until suds appear. Gently dip your items in and out of the water, and rub any soiled areas softly with your fingers. Once it’s clean, empty and refill the basil with fresh water and rinse.
To dry, lay the garment on a towel and slowly roll it to squeeze out excess water. Unroll the towel and move the garment to a drier area of the towel. Repeat this process until the fabric is no longer dripping, which will probably be 3 to 5 times. When you’re finished, lay the item out to air dry. Never use the dryer for these items, or you’ll end up with a sad semblance of the garment you once knew and loved!
And there you have it! No need to spend the time and money on trips to the dry cleaners-- you can be your own laundering super hero right at home. We hope this tutorial helps you feel a bit less nervous around your more delicate clothes and helps you wear and enjoy them for years to come.