Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Cleaning Q & A

I enjoy questions and comments from readers so much. Obviously you do too because those are always very popular posts. Here is a new suggestion for a topic from Peggy.

Good morning, Susan:

I read your blog daily and greatly admire all that you do.  A suggestion for a future topic would be caring for of all the wonderful clothing you wear so well.  For example, laundering washable pieces and undergarments ... how and how often.  Dry cleaning other pieces ... how and how often. 

Keep up the fabulous work, you are a beacon of positive vibrations! 
Thank you!

I can tell you from experience that washing rayon and some other man-made fabrics won't always turn out well. I liked the tunic above a lot until I washed it and accidentally put it in the dryer. Now it is a small shirt in the to go bag in the attic. Always read the care labels for appropriate cleaning tips. 

Use the proper setting on your machine for the load. For example, my machine has a hand wash feature that I use to wash delicate items such as bras and underwear. I always hang those items to dry in front of a small fan on a rolling rack overnight.

From the Container Store

My rolling rack is used for many different tasks such as sorting items and putting together looks when I am packing for a trip. I use it to keep up with the items I need to do a review on. It is my hanging bar as I take items out of the dryer and then transports the items from the laundry room to my walk in closet as well as holding items to air dry. I found mine at Home Depot, but you can also get them at The Container Store and lots more big box stores.

Fine knit fabrics such as MicroModal tops from Covered Perfectly and Ponte knits should always be washed inside out on the gentle cycle and then hung to dry. This prevents the items from pilling and or shrinking.

I love to wear white jackets and lightweight pale cardigans. I get them professionally dry cleaned about every third wear. I leave these items on that famous rolling rack for a couple of days to air out before I put them back into their place in the closet. I always check pieces in natural light for stains or needed repairs before I put them away.

I always use a lint brush on the shoulders of every garment before I wear it. Isn't it amazing how much dust can find it's way into a tiny room?

Items that have trim such as feathers, velvet, faux or real leather or fur, suede or reptile trim should be professionally cleaned as needed. 

Tip: Remove ornate buttons such as the one on the tuxedo jacket above before taking the item to the cleaner. Fancy buttons do not like to go to the cleaners! I sew them back on after I pick up the garment.

Jackets in dark colors can be worn a few times without dry cleaning, but at least once every season is a good idea. When an item is stained, I take it directly to the Dry Cleaner with an explanation of the origin of the stain so that they can appropriately clean and have the best chance of removing it.

Garments that rarely touch your skin such as coats and ruanas can be cleaned once a year. My personal rule: If it is worn against my skin such as pants, first layer tops, and underwear, it gets washed each time it is worn.

I turn jeans and other pants inside out and wash in cold water. Then turn right side out and tumble dry for just a few minutes, if at all. I then hang them up to finish drying.

I clean shoes, wallets and bags at least once every season with black or neutral shoe polish which cleans and protects the items.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through midlife and beyond. The second fifty years are truly the best!

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

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Judy said...

Hi Susan, I love all your outfit inspirations and advice on care of your clothing. I have lost about 25 pounds this past year and feel wonderful! I have had to purchase a new wardrobe but I'm not complaining!

My best friend reminds me of you in her style of dressing, thus she and I dress a lot alike which mirrors your style of dressing.

One of the things she has always done is take her (and her husbands) jeans to have them starched at the dry cleaners. They look so good with that crisp starched crease. Have you ever done that? I also like my white button down shirts to be nicely starched and pressed.

Keep up the good work...you are an inspiration to many!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Susan, that is exactly what I had in mind., and thanks for being so interactive and responsive to your readers!

Joanne said...

What a great idea for a post. I get top score for already doing most of these. I don't wash my jeans every time I wear them though. A great pair of jeans that fit well can be hard to find, so I don't want them wearing out too fast or fading. Does the shoe polish not rub off on your clothes?

Susan said...

Hi Joanne, No the shoe polish is applied, let dry and then buffed a lot with a clean dry cloth. There is nothing left to get on your clothes. Thanks for the comment.

No Fear of Fashion said...

Great tips and I love the black jacket with white brims (actually love the whole outfit). And the one underneath it too.