Tips to save your summer clothes

Gentle laundering will keep summer clothes looking fresh  and vibrantWarm weather clothes will look better and last longer if you launder them at home rather than subject them to harsh dry cleaning or commercial laundries. And if ironing scares you, relax. Newer blends and weaves of natural fabrics need little or no ironing, if you tumble them dry and hang them promptly.
 
Also, when you hand-wash, never ring out your clothes; it breaks the delicate fibers and sets in wrinkles. Press out the moisture. If the garments are small and light, you can spin them in a salad spinner and then hang them to dry, or place them on a clean dry towel.
 
If you want to preserve your pricy workout wear, consider a specialty detergent. Roux Maison Sport is designed to launder sports gear. It eliminates dirt, odor, and bacteria while preserving the elasticity of Lycra and spandex, as well as hi-tech and performance fabrics.
 
A concentrated bottle that is good for 40 washes or 80 hand washes, according to the website, costs $16.99. I always use a little more than recommended.
 
Never wash workout wear, swimwear, or lingerie in hot water, or expose it to dryer heat. High heat will destroy the fabric and the ruin the fit. Perspiration and direct sunlight also degrade elastic fibers.
 
Dryel-On-the-Go stain remover penis designed to remove stains from dry clean-only clothes, but I use it on washables, too. It works better than any other product I have tried at any price. I have used it on designer silk ties, suits, and silk chiffon dresses. It works like a dream. 
 
At home rinse stains with plenty of cold water, plain running water can loosen many stains. Then treat with a pre-wash stain remover and launder. Never place a stained garment in the dryer without first making sure the stain is completely gone. The heat from the dryer will set in stains, making them very hard to remove.
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Keep your wardrobe looking fabulous!

The woolie seasonAs we head into the “woolie-season,” dry-cleaning charges rise. But by taking a few precautions and doing a little work at home, you can slash those costs and save your fine and costly garments.

 
I know. I have always washed my husband’s cashmere sweaters and my silk ones successfully. I even use a sweater bag and pop them in the washer on delicate with special detergent. I dry them flat and press lightly. They look perfect and smell fabulous. Recently, a dear friend and DolceDolce reader tried it. She was thrilled. Her cashmere sweater washed perfectly — and she saved $13!
 
To get the real lowdown on wardrobe preservation and saving some money, we went to Heidi Fuentes, a fabric care scientist at Reckitt Benckiser, the makers of Woolite products. Here’s a reprise of that interview with new tips:
 
DD: Cashmere is fabulous, but the cost per wear can be high, if dry cleaning is used every one or two outings. Is it better to dry-clean or wash cashmere sweaters?
HF:  If the garment label strictly says “Dry Clean Only,” I advise to follow the label. There are various reasons why the garment may be considered “Dry Clean Only” such as colorfastness or the potential to shrink.  Washable cashmere can be laundered in Woolite For All Fabrics, a detergent that won’t cause shape loss and keeps fibers strong.
 
DD: Silk jerseys are so popular now. Many designers use them in dresses that are worn frequently to work and elsewhere. What is the best way to care for them?
HF: Items like silk jerseys are so popular because they are so versatile. Of course that means more wear and more washes. Take a look at the care label first. Washable fabrics can be laundered using Woolite For All Fabrics. Wash the item in the coldest temperature and on a gentle cycle. You may also want to wash the garment separately from items with hooks and zippers to prevent possible snags. 
 
DD: What is the best way to clean the inside of a good handbag that is lined with fabric, felt, or leather?
HF: Removable lining, like fabric and leather, can generally be washed in Woolite For All Fabrics. You should be a little more careful with washing felt as its quality may vary and shrinking may occur.
 
DolceDolce Tip: I clean my non-removable hand-bag linings each week with a gentle diaper wipe or damp wash cloth and gentle bath soap to remove grime and small stains. It keeps my expensive bags pristine. I also wipe down the outside of the bag and then polish with a clean dry cloth.
 
DD: How can your keep pricey cotton t-shirts looking perfect?
HF:  Cotton t-shirts are such a staple item, I’m so happy you asked this question. Keeping those colors vivid is the most important part of keeping high-end t-shirts looking their best. Wash on a cold temperature using Woolies for All Colors.
 
DD: Sweaters and T-shirts have a brand-new pressed look when they come from the dry cleaners. Can that be duplicated at home, and if so how? 
HF: People often forget about timing after they throw their clothes into the dryer. Try to grab the items just as the cycle is ending so they are still quite warm. Wrinkles form when the clothes cool down in their crumpled state. Hanging your t-shirts immediately after the cycle ends will create that crisp look. The same goes for sweaters, but make sure they are 100 percent dry before hanging. Hanging while still damp will stretch the fabric. Of course, you can always pick up a hand-held steamer with a press attachment. This little tip is mentioned a few times in the virtual look book on www.findthelookkeepthelook.com .
 
DD: Is there a secret to keeping designer jeans looking as fabulous as their price tag? 
HF: Ingredients like bleach, phosphates, and enzymes can be harsh on your jeans, causing them to fade over time. Turn your jeans inside out to help protect against fading.  Always wash in cold water and with a color-safe detergent likeWoolite For All Darks, which does not contain any of the previously mentioned harsh ingredients.
 
DD: Is there safe way to machine-wash good lingerie? 
HF: To save your bras and money, they should be washed in specifically designed Woolite bra bags. Wash other nice lingerie on the gentle cycle, in cold water, with Woolite For All Delicates.
 
DolceDolce Tip: I swear by lingerie bags for all delicate laundering. You can wash hose, sweaters, bathing suits, and all types of delicates this way. Love this idea!
 
DD: Almost everything you buy, except for most underwear, says “Dry-Clean Only”. How can you tell what is safe to wash? 
HF: As I mentioned earlier, garments that are labeled as “Dry Clean Only” are usually marked that way for a reason. That being said, they could potentially be washed using Woolite For All Fabrics, but test an inconspicuous area of the garment first for colorfastness. Woolite also makes Woolite Dry Cleaner’s Secret Dry Cleaning Cloths that can be used for “Dry-Clean Only” clothes that need a quick refresher.
 
DD: What can you do about rings on the collar on white cotton, or underarm staining? 
HF: Pre-treating is a simple step that so few remember to take.  Underarm staining is difficult to remove because the stain is caused by a chemical reaction. Washing as soon as possible gives your shirts a fighting chance of staying stain-free. The longer you wait to wash the garment, the more time the stain has to set into the fabric.
 
DD: Is there a secret to making a cotton dress or blouse really crisp?
HF:  A quick mist of spray starch can help achieve that crisp look.
 
DD: Many vintage clothes from the 60 are -80;’s are synthetic and can have slight odor when you buy them or pick up odors when wear them. What is the best way to clean them?
HF: Avoid over-washing because that can weaken the fabric of vintage clothes.  When you do launder these garments, make sure you use a detergent that is formulated to care for all types of fabrics, such as Woolite For All Fabrics. If your clothes are practically odor-catchers, store them with potpourri packets to give them a light, sweet scent.
 
DolceDolce Tip: Spray sheets of stationary or used dryer sheets with your favourite scent and use them instead of potpourri to scent drawers and clothes. Lingerie drawers are the place to store your scented soap.
 
Updated  DolceDolce Tips:
 
·        Remove salt stains from sturdy woolens with diluted white vinegar and soft clean cloth. Do not rub too hard.
·        Use undiluted white vinegar to remove salt stains from leather boots and bags – be sure to rinse it off.
·        Purchase special soft sponges from your cobbler to remove marks from your suede clothes, bags and shoes. Use separate sponges for light and dark colours, as the dye does transfer.
·        Cut down on dry cleaning by wearing soft light garment under your suit or even your delicate dry-clean only silk blouse. You can buy one from www.autrepeau.com. They have camis and other items you can rinse out in your sink. They dry overnight, and you’ll save on dry cleaning and wear in your good suits and fragile silks – especially if perspiration is a problem. They are super-soft too!
 
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Recessionista chic

One of the easiest ways to look chic on any budget is to be impeccable — and darlings, that includes your wardrobe too. Luckily many summer clothes are washable.

You should wash all your fine washables to cut down on dry cleaning bills, but also because it helps your clothes last longer and smell fresher. Hand-wash items as you wear them, if you don’t have a laundry ensuite. Then you can avoid a depressing build-up to be dragged down to apartment building basements. It’s easy to keep on top of washing if you toss your delicates in sink while you shower or get ready for bed!
 
If have a laundry ensuite use the delicate cycle and a lingerie bag to wash lingerie, good t-shits and washable silks. Hang up wet garments or lay flat to dry as soon as they finish spinning. Many items require no ironing if handled properly after washing.
 
For stains and to get things nice and white, try new Spray n’ Wash Bright and White with Resolve Power. I did not much like the original Spray n’ Wash, but this is fabulous. It keeps my whites snowy and brilliant. I live in white T-shirts and skirts in the summer. I wash them constantly, so yellowing can be an issue. It has removed some nasty household stains on other items too. There are no messy, clothes-destroying accidents with this product, unlike with my formerly beloved bleach. It’s not expensive and your clothes look fabulous with little effort. How fabulous is that? 
 
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