Brace up… get a coffee, glass of wine, a snack, or whatever you need to help stay focussed because this is my longest post to date, but an extremely important one. I have teamed up with my beautiful and very smart friend, Lindsay, from River Heights Drycleaners to teach you everything you need to know about garment care.
I often talk about investing money in clothes that will last, BUT in order for those ‘investments’ to last you need to take care of them. Lindsay has helped me put together the do’s and don’ts of garment care… follow along and take notes!
Always read the label! Here is a pretty good break down of what all the little symbols in your clothing’s care label, and what they mean. It’s very important to read, understand and follow them if you are brave and want to clean all of your clothes at home!
Watch for ‘dry clean only, exclusive of trim’ that usually means that the garment itself is able to be cleaned, but they have no idea how the embellishments will fare during the process. Anything with sequins, pleather or leatherette, or silk screening is usually a gamble to clean. If you are investing, look for pieces with hand sewn glass or metal embellishments, or rivets (not just pieces that are glued on to the fabric). They are less likely to shrivel up and loose color. Try to buy garments with real leather trim as opposed to a PUV (polyurethane vinyl), leather can be cleaned but the lifespan of PUV is quite small, so keep that in mind when you’re spending the big money.
The most important and overlooked symbol, is the little iron. It’s VERY easy to damage your clothing with a conventional at home iron, so in my opinion it’s best to leave tight creases, and pleating up to professionals whenever possible. On delicate fabrics, such as silks or synthetic fibres (anything that is not cotton or wool) make sure you turn the garment inside out and use a press cloth. Direct heat can damage fabric and leave you with a dreaded ‘iron mark’. Always leave your iron on the lowest setting possible to avoid burning your fabric, and never leave the iron sitting on a garment for any length of time, the damage and discolouration can never be reversed… 🙁
When washing your dark clothes, denim especially, keep the water as cool as possible and invest in a good laundry soap (there are a million to choose from, but stick to something HE, and made for dissolving in cold water.) Turn your jeans inside out, and wash them all together, smaller loads and less washes will keep them colored the way they were when you bought them much, much longer. My favourite pair of jeans are about to turn 10 years old, and since I purchased them distressed, you would never know! (Well done, Lindsay… I am impressed!)
Hang your clothes whenever possible, the dryer will suck the life out of your garments much faster than the washer will, and it’s much harder on fabrics that contain spandex. If your clothes feel a little crisp or have a bit of a wrinkle to them, put them in the dryer AFTER they are dry and tumble them for a few minutes to loosen them up.
Almost all fabrics are washable, but not all fabrics are ‘dryable’. If you accidentally wash a dry clean only garment (such as a silk, rayon or linen blouse, or wool pants) do NOT dry them, simply hang them to dry and take them to your nearest pro. Explain what happened and there is a high likelihood we will be able to make things right again for you!
The best way to keep your whites white is to clean them every time you wear them. I’ve never met anyone neat and tidy enough to get two wears out of white. It’s fine, you’re human, drinking coffee and walking is hard for everyone. Additionally, our skins natural oils and our sweat will naturally yellow or discolour fabrics over their lifetime, and to avoid that it’s best to keep them clean and hanging in your closet.
A few myths to clear up:
There is no such thing as washable wool, or silk. Granted you can wash it but it will never feel the same as when you bought it, and likely will never look the same again either.
That thing you saw on Pinterest that gets out the wine/pen/pizza sauce/ bad decisions you made last night – just don’t. More often than not, your success rate will be quite low, and ours will be higher if you haven’t used three Tide To Go pens, soda water, white wine and salt all while saying a prayer to try and fix what you just did. Sometimes (most times) you can make it worse, much worse.
There is no such thing as a BLEACH STAIN. Bleach removes color from fabric. Face wash, tooth paste, and alcohol can too! Once you have taken color out of a garment, it is impossible to put it back in. The answer to everyone’s next question is also, no. You cannot even out bleach with more bleach, don’t even try. Make peace with it, and toss that shirt into the donation bag. Additionally, be careful when washing your face and wearing your favourite pieces, things like proactive which has salic acid in it are notorious for stealing color.
There is no such thing as an iron stain, that’s a burn, and another donation item. (Sarry ????)
Red wine cannot be removed with white wine, all that gives you are two glasses of wine that you were unable to drink because you chose to wear them instead.
Baby wipes and hairspray will not take ink out. They will however leave you with a giant mess and a really embarrassing story to tell your cleaner when you finally take your clothing in for us to fix.
You are not a seamstress (there are very rare occasions where this is not true) using staples, pins, scotch tape, duct tape or simple tying straps in a knot is not the way to do it. Get good with a tailor and leave grade 10 home ec, in 2003. If you don’t wear the god awful sweatshirt you made, don’t try to alter your own clothes.
Things we can fix however are:
The wine you wore
The pizza you wore
The pants you accidentally washed
The sweater you maybe shrunk a little
The dress you lent to your friend that she ‘has no idea what happened to it’
More often than not, we can fix whatever mess you’ve made, and can extend the length of your favourite pieces life. We make fabric miracles happen every day… you’re welcome!
A HUGE thank you to Lindsay from River Heights Drycleaners. I simply asked for some tips and she replied with this amazing list of do’s and don’t to share with you!! This girl is seriously the best. If you live in Regina or surrounding area River Heights Drycleaners, located at 2750 Montague St, is the place to go!
Has Lindsay answered all of your questions? If not, ask below and she’d love to answer!