Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taken to the Cleaners

As of late I have been going out a lot, meeting people for fun, work and pretty much using all the nice dry clean only clothes in my closet in the process. While I love wearing them, I hate having to go to the cleaners. Not only is outrageously expensive, but who knows what they are using to "clean" your clothes. Before you say it, yes I know there are green dry cleaners and I have used them in the past, but go to the first part of the last sentence.

To try and keep my wallet in check I have taken to the Internet to find safe, at home alternatives to the dry cleaners. There are a lot of sites out there offering information on how to do this all of them varying slightly from one to the next, but nothing really detailed enough for me to feel comfortable putting my precious pieces to water, until I found this site. Hand washing 101 comes complete with suggested proper tools, individual steps and best of all instructions for each type of fabric. For beginners or those of us that love our clothes so much that the thought of ruining makes them slightly ill, the more information the better.  Plus the fact that this site has different directions for each fabric, which makes complete sense when you think about it, makes it stand out from the rest since most other sites have an overview they suggest using for all fabrics. Plus I like her disclaimer and tool kit suggestions.

To be on the safe side I started with two items that I like, but wouldn't be completely crushed if they were ruined. I used a silk blouse and wool cardigan and followed the directions exactly. I must say that it really did not take that long to do and it was so easy. Between the cost savings and the fact that the clothes smell way better than they do after being at the dry cleaners I will be doing this from now on. Except for suits, I will follow the sites advice and let the cleaners take care of those.

I used ivory soap that I grated and placed into a jar for future use.
I suggest buying vinegar by the gallon. Vinegar has a gazillion uses.
for around the house. Really it does. Look it up.

First goes the silk!

Then you roll it up.

Next up wool, while the silk is chilling out.

I ended up going through three towels on the wool
before it was dry enough to iron.

I skipped documenting the ironing part because it so boring, but as you can see
they turned out fantastic. You would never know they were done at home, well
except they smell 10 times better than the dry cleaners.

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