Those who know me know I am a clothes horse. I love clothes. Not just any clothes, nice clothes. (This picture is from an 80s party but clearly, even for themed events, I take dressing serioulsy). I like cashmere sweaters, dry clean only pants, and designer synthetics. (I buy mostly second hand clothes but that is for another post). I like to dress like I can afford to take things to a dry cleaner.
Truth is I hate dry cleaners. The chemicals they use are horrid and I think it’s expensive for what it is. Something with a huge stain will go to the dry cleaners (ie a whole cup of coffee spilling on my down comforter), otherwise I do things myself. I hand wash a good portion of my clothes, not just my dry clean only ones.
Here’s an article about how to hand wash clothes. Some additional recommendations: I use Woolite which I find works well. Also, unless something is fairly rugged, I place my hand washed things to dry on towels. (Racks have a way of distorting the shapes of more delicate fabrics.) If I just want something to smell nice and feel a little too lazy to hand wash, I use Dryell and put several like-colored items in the bag with one Dryell cloth. It ends up costing about 25 cents a garment rather than the $7-10 the cleaners would charge.
I also almost never put anything in the dryer. I think I was trained to do this in college when the industrial dryers in my dorm ruined a few of my favorite clothes but the practice serves me well now. To get out the wrinkles after something that has dried on the rack, I just "fluff" it in the dryer for five minutes.
My boyfriend made the comment the other day that my clothes don’t seem to wear out as quickly as his do. I think this is another added benefit of giving my higher maintenance clothes a little t.l.c: I don’t have to replace them as often.
Because looking like a million bucks shouldn’t have to cost nearly that. Happy laundering!