With the eminent return home from vacation and contemplating the Piles and Piles of laundry awaiting from a few weeks away, I thought this would be a darned timely and useful blog…so off to Google and Pinterest I went, and found that many others also are looking for some good laundry tips. So, before I have to tackle that mountain of dirty clothes in the laundry room, I’d like to share what “Laundry Experts” Lindsey and Gwen of The Laundress share on how to deal with common laundry issues.
Dry Clean Only
It seems like every item I own is dry-clean only. Is it possible to freshen them up between cleanings? Is it necessary to take every item to the dry cleaners?
No, in fact almost all items can be laundered at home with the right products and procedures. For those items that absolutely must be dry cleaned, you can freshen between cleanings with fabric fresh sprays. When my white cotton t-shirts get stretched, I spray Febreeze or a lilac laundry spray on them, and pop them in the dryer for 10 mins…and their shape is back!
How To Hand Wash Delicate’s
What’s the proper way to hand-wash a garment?
This depends on the fabric but typically it is in cold or tepid water, soaking for 30 minutes, then lay flat to dry.
Hand Washing Recipe
- To wash – submerge item(s) in a cool water bath with 2 cupfuls of a delicate wash or Woolite.
- Use your hands to agitate the water and detergent.
- Soak for ½ hour (do not soak silk for longer).
- DO NOT PANIC if you see color in the water. This is normal and it is simply the yarn dye releasing color. You will not notice any loss of color at the end.
- Rinse well, running room temperature water until soapy water is gone.
- Do not wring; press the water out of the item instead.
How to Air Dry
How can I air-dry my clothes without stretching them out? Do I need a drying rack or a clothesline?
This depends on the fabric – all woolens/knits should always lay flat in a natural shape to dry. Silks/delicates can hang to dry. Here in the city, we typically use a drying rack, however outdoor clothes lines are great for that “fresh air” experience. I put a clothes rack in my laundry room, and hang what I need on the racks, but lay the sweaters and knits on one of the counters on top of a towel.
I wore my white silk button-down with my dark skinny jeans and was dismayed to see that some of the denim dye transferred onto the bottom of the blouse. How can I remove the stain without ruining it? This has happened to me when I wore a white summer cotton shirt with a red tank top. Bad idea!
We recommend a Stain Solution or Shout for dye transfer. We see this a lot in our washing service.
Stain Removal Recipe
The Laundress Stain Solution is formulated specifically to target and break down stubborn stains such as red wine, sauce, chocolate, grass, coffee/tea, grease, blood, pit stains and more.
- Apply Stain Solution to the stain.
- Work the Solution into the stained area with our Stain Brush.
- Pour hot water from a height to be more effective and soak.*
- If stain has faded, but isn’t completely gone, repeat the process until satisfied.
- Launder as normal.
- We recommended this process on durable fibers such as cotton, linen and some synthetic materials.
- For stain removal on delicate fabrics such as silk and cashmere, use tepid water. Do not soak silk longer than 30 minutes at a time.
- When treating stain from blood, always use cold water.
Keep Whites Bright
I own a zillion white shirts – from gauzy silk to paper-thin cotton. How do I prevent them from getting dingy?
This depends on the fabric. White cotton/linen should be soaked in a hot water bath with our All Purpose Bleach Alternative, soak well. Silk items can be pre-treated with stain solution and soak in a cool water bath with delicate wash for 30 minutes.
With a few simple items that you likely already have in your home, you can boost laundry items to help keep them looking new (and prevent fading too). Here are a few quick tips from Tip Nut.
To Prevent Fading or Keep Colors Bright:
Brighten Laundry With These Quick Tips
- Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a load of laundry during the wash cycle.
- Color Protector: Soak new items in a straight solution of vinegar to protect dyes from running. You can also try soaking them in lightly salted water.
- Soak new garments and items in a mixture of 1 tsp Epsom salts mixed with one gallon of water. Will help prevent fading and dyes running.
- One-half cup of household ammonia added to rinse water will help brighten colored clothes. Do not use ammonia if bleach has been used.
- Turn clothes inside out before washing to help prevent fading (especially helpful for black garments).
- If line drying outdoors, colored items should be dried in the shade to prevent fading.
- Pour two cups of strong tea in the rinse cycle to restore dark colors.
Tips For Whiter Whites:
- Mild bleach: Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup baking soda to load along with your regular detergent and launder as usual.
- Add 1 1/2 cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle to whiten clothes.
- Restore Whites: Fill a large stock pot half full with water and 1 cup of vinegar, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add garments and let soak overnight. Launder as usual.
- Add 1/2 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent to the washing machine, allow machine to fill with water to dissolve the powder. Add clothes when water level is about half-way and once the water has stopped filling, open the machine to stop it from running. Let clothes soak for 30 minutes before turning machine back on.
- Dry on the line outdoors when the sun is hot and bright, the sun is nature’s bleach. You’ll also have fresh smelling laundry without any added chemicals!
- To whiten laces, wash them in sour milk.
- To brighten yellowed linens, try adding 2 teaspoons cream of tartar to a pail of water and soak items for a few hours before laundering as usual.
- Soak clothes overnight in a mixture of 1/2 cup ReaLemon juice (or a sliced lemon) per 1 gallon of hot water. This is a great method for bringing dingy socks back to life.
- Soak whites overnight in 1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide per quart of cold water. You can also add 3/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a load of laundry (dissolve in soapy water first before adding clothes) or try adding 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle.
- Wash clothes with 1/2 cup Borax along with your favorite laundry detergent and then add 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.
REMOVE STAINS UNDER ARMS –
I also own a zillion white shirts, as do my children, and under the arms one can get a “yellow” stain, that is hard to remove.
I found this on Pinterest…use equal amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide, Dawn Dish Soap and Baking Soda…rub it into the yellow spot, let sit for 1-2 hours, launder as usual. Voila! No more stain!! Meredith actually told me I need to put this in here, because it “saved so many of her shirts”. You are quite welcome, Mer Mer!!
How To Pack
After unpacking at my hotel on my last business trip, I discovered many of my blouses were horribly wrinkled. What’s the best way to eliminate wrinkles in delicate clothes? Can I prevent this from happening in the future?
We recommend our a crease release or Woolite Wrinkle Remover to remove wrinkles after unpacking. I recommend the travel size, or buy the regular size or the jumbo size at Costco, and transfer it into a small travel bottle, and use a label maker to identify it. To reduce creasing in delicate fabrics we always recommend steaming vs. ironing. To prevent wrinkles while traveling, always fold delicate items neatly and wrap with tissue paper, this will help to reduce movement and creasing. Also, as discussed in my previous blogs of how I am not a savvy packer, it’s also recommended to roll your clothes in your suitcase. You can pack more and it helps alleviate wrinkles.
Eliminate the Smell of Smoke
I wore my favorite silk crepe cocktail dress to a party and someone there was smoking. How can I get the smoke smell out?
For odor removal we recommend soaking for 30 minutes in a cool water bath with 1 cup of Vinegar.
Prevent Shrinking & Fading
I’ve heard that washing your clothes in cold water will help them stay bright and prevent them from shrinking. Is that true?
Yes, when washing delicate fabrics always launder in cold water to prevent shrinking and keep colors bright. However, fabrics such as cotton and linen can and should be laundered in hot water to clean effectively. Most fading and shrinking occurs in the dryer – to avoid this, we recommend line drying.
What are the basics everyone needs in their laundry room?
A good drying rack, mesh washing bag, Stain Solution, Delicate Wash for “delicates”, Detergent and Bleach Alternative.
This blog, styleexpert.com has their own products marketed as “The Laundress”. I’ve never tried them, but they look and are packaged quite lovely!
(Source: http://styleexpert.wordpress.com )
And for those who start to read my blog, see how long it can be and then just look at the pictures , here’s something you can copy and print!
And since this is a “Style” blog…well, actually I believe I’ve settled on “Lifestyle” blog, I thought I would post some pictures of very pretty laundry rooms. I mean, if you are going to spend more than an hour or two in a room, why not make it as lovely as possible?
And yes, in the above picture, that does indeed appear to be a Champagne Bar in the Laundry room…I like where this is going…I change my previous statement…to making a room as lovely as possibly, and perhaps providing a tasty libation!
And speaking of lovely…Mer Mer took this picture in Carlsbad of the beach, and did the “1970’s” app from Instagram. I’m framing this and putting it in her bathroom!
And don’t let your pile of laundry, deter you from having the best summer of your life! 🙂
- Fab Site: TheLaundress.com (fabsugar.com)