When it comes to all things laundry, it’s hard to think of anyone with more experience or expertise than professional dry cleaners. From safely removing stains to cleaning even the most delicate fabrics, dry cleaning professionals certainly know their stuff.
While I have a few of my own tried-and-true tips that I’ve shared here on my blog, I’m always on the lookout for new tips, especially ones that come from the pros themselves! So I’ve been scouring the web for dry cleaners’ best laundry tips, and here are 7 of their best kept secrets.
7 Brilliant Laundry Tips From Professional Dry Cleaners
1. The Magic Number For Formal Wear
Ever wondered how often you should wash your formal attire or have it cleaned? It turns out that 3 is a magic number!
Cleaning your suits, dresses, and other formalwear every 3 wearings will keep them looking and feeling clean without overworking the material. A big stain would be an obvious exception to this rule, but generally speaking, you should be able to wear those special outfits on at least 3 occasions before you have to worry about cleaning them.
2. Don’t Go Overboard On Detergent
Not only do professionals prefer to go easy on detergent, but many admit to using less detergent than the smallest load size as indicated by the measuring cup! Because most newer high efficiency machines don’t require very much detergent to clean clothes properly, and going overboard can leave behind a residue that ends up attracting more dirt in the long run.
And if you’re dealing with stains, pre-treat them with a stain remover instead of adding more detergent to the load. Learn more about avoiding a detergent “overdose” here.
3. Zip Your Zippers
Before you wash anything that has a zipper on it, make sure the zipper is closed. Zippers are responsible for a surprising amount of laundry-related destruction, and keeping them closed is an easy way to ensure they don’t tug, snag, or tear other items in the load.
The same goes for velcro—prevent velcro straps from snagging other items by making sure it’s closed before washing. You might even want to wash items with velcro separately for added insurance.
4. Blot, Don’t Rub
When you’re treating a stain, it’s important to blot by pressing down and pulling up, rather than scrub in circular motions. Scrubbing at a stain can work the stain further into the fabric instead of lifting it out.
Instead, gently blot the soiled area with a stain remover, and work from the outside of the stain towards the center to avoid spreading the mess. Learn about other stain removal sins (and how to avoid them) here.
5. Think Before You Spritz
Many of us get dressed and then proceed directly to other steps like doing our hair or putting on perfume. But we may not be doing our clothes any favors, because hair products and perfumes contain alcohol and other ingredients that can fade, discolor, or even stains certain fabrics.
One way to avoid doing damage to your clothes is to simply apply perfume, hair products, and other sprays before you get dressed. Another option is to use a towel or salon cape to protect your clothes when you use sprays. Either one will help prevent damage to your clothes!
6. Don’t Keep The Bag On
When you pick up garments from the dry cleaner, they’re usually covered in a plastic bag to keep them protected from the elements until you get home. Dry cleaners want you to know that those bags aren’t meant for long term storage!
When you put away your freshly dry cleaned items, hang them uncovered in your closet or transfer them to fabric garment bags so they can breathe.
7. Wash Clothes Inside Out
The best way to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on your clothes during the wash cycle is to turn each item inside out before loading them into your washer. That way, the inside of your clothing is what’s rubbing against the drum and your other clothes, meaning the decorative side is more protected. This simple step can help you avoid losing embellishments like buttons and sequins, keep printed graphics intact, and more.
Do you have any laundry tips that you use all the time?
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