Don’t let hair spray or perfume touch your garment. Alcohol can leave a faded, “raindrop” effect on many fabrics.
Don’t over-dry your clothes. It causes fabrics to wear thinner and shrink more, and helps elastic deteriorate.
When removing stains from corduroy, blot with a wet cloth and avoid harsh brushing. When caring for your corduroy garments, first check the garment for stains, as removal can be difficult, especially on darker colors. Blot stains with a wet cloth, avoiding hard brushing on the “pile side” of the corduroy for best results.
Be careful with deodorant applications. Chemicals in the product may cause a discoloration in garments.
Never try to rub a stain out of silk. Even gently rubbing can cause breakage of silk fibers. Use tie spray. Expensive silk ties are almost impossible to clean without spotting, unless they have been sprayed with a food and drink repellent. A spray-protected tie will wipe clean, eliminating the need for dry cleaning or replacing it.
Velvet requires delicate care and should be finished very carefully and gently to preserve fabric. While some velvets are denser and more luxurious than others, all velvet is delicate when it comes to wear and care. Velvets usually require dry cleaning. Because of the deep colors, all matching items should be brought in at the same time. Store velvet on hangers rather than folded, with space around the garment to protect the “pile”.
When choosing a new winter coat, look for quality, especially if you expect more than one season of wear. As you purchase your new coat, check for durability, warmth, construction and comfort. Remember to check the lining and be sure it hangs evenly all around. Look to purchase tighter weave garments, as softer weaves are more prone to problems. Hang coats in a well-ventilated closet on padded hangers.
Dry cleaning silk garments is still the safest method to prevent color loss, textural changes and fabric damage. Be extremely careful if attempting any home stain removal of silk garments. Never rub silk while wet. Gently blot the affected area and take the garment to your dry cleaner for further remedy. To help extend your garments life, use dress shields whenever possible and avoid contact with sprays and solutions containing alcohol when dressing.
Don’t let perspiration stains sit. Perspiration stains usually do not appear right away. As the damp area dries, it leaves an invisible stain which will darken and harden with time, weakening a garment’s fabric. Wash in hot water with sufficient detergent. To remove buildup, scrub the area with a solution of concentrated detergent and warm water.
Do not place white fabrics in the sun to dry. Today’s modern fabrics contain fluorescent brighteners which may yellow when exposed to sunlight.
Avoid high drying temperatures when caring for sports uniforms. Spring invites the opportunity for sports uniforms to gain a lot of wear and tear. Special attention should be paid to their care as they are usually made from synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester and spandex. Prior to cleaning, test the garment for colorfastness to avoid color pickup on other articles. Wash in a low temperature to reduce the chance of bleeding colors. Mud stains may require extra treatments before washing. High temperatures may cause excessive shrinkage and permanent wrinkles.
Before washing or dry cleaning your sleeping bags, be sure to read labels. Most sleeping bags can be either dry cleaned or laundered successfully. Before washing, check the bag for heavy stains, rips and tears. Pretreat any stains and repair damages before treatments.
Be sure to read labels carefully when caring for delicate knits such as cotton, rayon and linen. These delicate summer fabrics require close attention to care label instructions. Many knits require hand washing, some can be processed in a machine with a gentle or knit cycle and others may require dry cleaning only. Although linen is washable, it can shrink considerably unless it is preshrunk in manufacture. Unless the label says “preshrunk”, wash the garment in warm water on a short cycle and hang to dry. Some knits can be air-dried on a towel or tumble dried. Follow you garment’s specific care label instructions. In addition, it is important to check knitted garment for unraveling and fraying which may occur if the edges of the fabric have not been properly bound. Secure any loose fibers so that the fabric can withstand normal use and care procedures. Once significant unraveling has occurred, there is no remedy.
Never press a dirty garment. The heat from the iron may set a stain.
Store winter clothes in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area. Do not store clothes in a hot attic or damp basement. Hang garments on padded hangers to prevent creasing or stretching. Pad garments with tissue paper to avoid excess creasing where folded. And remember, do not store garments in plastic bags. Garments need to breath and plastic bags can trap moisture.
Check for quality when you buy a suit, take care of your purchase and be creative to get many seasons of wear from each one. Both men’s and women’s suits may occasionally need minor alteration. The pants or lapels of a man’s suit can be narrowed to give a new updated look. For a women’s suit, consider shortening the skirt or jacket.
Resist the urge to try home remedies. Unless you know exactly what you are doing, you could irreparably damage a dry-clean-only garment.