Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dry Clean Only?

Although I have a fantastic dry cleaner who got chocolate out of ivory silk and blueberry out of a silk/wool throw, unless I have a major stain on one of my 'dry clean only' wool and cashmere sweaters, and silk tops, I hand wash them at home in my large ss kitchen sink (that I give a good scrubbing beforehand).

I was going to make an instructional video but the brilliant ladies at The Laundress already have a great one on their YouTube channel. The Laundress has a number of wonderful cleaning products, but I use Ecover Delicate Wash. I soak two or three pieces at a time for about 10 minutes in cool water. Gently place the piece flat in the water and slowly push it down into the water without agitating or shaking it. I use their towel rolling technique for water removal instead of ringing for cashmere and wools, then air dry.

Do you hand wash your 'dry clean only' pieces?


Anonymous said...

I am a thrifter, and I prefer old used cashmere to new anything, and I have been washing cashmere with hair shampoo for years

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do. Smaller pieces at least.
I sometimes feel as if (some) manufacturers simply say 'dry clean only' to get rid of whatever-kind of responsibility or guarantee.

laura said...

i've heard the shampoo trick works as long as it's a gentle shampoo.

Lindsey @ pickyeatings said...

For a long time I was spending a lot on drycleaning, as I was wearing wool pants to work a lot. But then I started buying pants that I can just throw in the wash (and that wouldn't shrink so much that I would never wear them again).

Recently I have been starting to actually hand wash my bras, which I never used to do, and I'm definitely seeing how they will last longer because of it.

AilanthusAltissima said...

Yes. Most (but not quite all) items have come out just fine. I hand wash items on a fairly regular basis and I have a dedicated plastic tub for handwashing/soaking items and a drying rack. I have had so many items messed up at various dry cleaners that I won't use their services anymore.

Marie Lee Carter said...

I hand wash cashmere and some lightweight wool items. Living in a tiny space in NYC, I can only wash 1 or 2 at a time.

For silk items (which I only have a few of because of the maintenance required) I use the dry cleaners.

laura said...

most people are afraid to hand wash their silks and i was one of them until a fashion designer who works mainly in silks told me she hand washes her things.


Anonymous said...

Just gotta be careful what kind of detergent you use.. I'm very much into soap nuts.

Anonymous said...

I wash everything in my Miele washing machine, even pullovers, shirts and scarfs made out of cashmere or lambswool. I chose the special hand washing programme. No spinning of course. Otherwise it will loose its softness. I think that dry cleaning is good for suits and dresses but clothes I wear near to my skin shall be cleaned in water with a mild liquid wool detergent. It's important to keep the lanolin in.