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Clothing Care 101

Caring for clothing is an essential task of maintaining an excellent wardrobe. Over the years, I’ve tried a few tricks to erase stains, flatten wrinkles, and remove pesky pills.

Here are some of my best clothing care secrets:

1) Stain Removal

Stains are a nightmare, especially tough ones like grease, wine, or dye. Try these products before you throw away your favorite shirt.

Fabric: Cotton, blends, and other sturdy fabric

Product: Dawn Foaming dish soap How to: Rub a little of this soap directly on the stain. Then rub the fabric against itself until a foam is created. If the stain is set in, let the garment sit for a few minutes. Otherwise, throw into the wash. You can test whether it’s working by adding some water to see if the stain has been removed. Repeat if necessary.

Fabric: Silk, lace, and other sensitive materials

Product: Forever New Delicate Fabric Wash How to: Use this similarly to the Dawn above. I’ve also managed to get dried red wine out of a light colored rug with this product. Never underestimate the power of a high quality ingredients.

Tip: Never combine dark and light fabrics in the same wash cycle as dyes tend to bleed. It’s worth it in the long run to just add another load to the mix.

2) Say “Goodbye” to Your Dry Cleaner!

Beautiful flowy material takes on wrinkles fast enough to necessitate weekly trips to the dry cleaner. Eliminate this by purchasing a steamer.

Product: Jiffy Steamer How to: Ensure your steamer has enough time to warm up. Scalding hot water will emit until it’s ready and can leave nasty spots on silk.

For synthetics and sturdier fabric simply hold one end of the garment while you draw the steamer down against the fabric. For silks and sensitive materials, hold the steamer just away from the garment and wave the steamer in downward motions. Experiment a bit here to achieve maximum results.

Product: Shark Press and Refresh Steamer

How to: This product is smaller than the steamer above and has a low price. (I have both, as this one is easy to take on photo shoots and to client’s homes.) It’s a bit heavy, but comes with a vertical press board that fits on any door, allowing you to clip garments onto the board for easier steaming. As with above, ensure the steamer is warmed up before use. Select the appropriate frame for your fabric and steam away.

3) Deodorant Marks and Other Dry Stains

Product: Gal Pal Deodorant Removers (Get this genius kit while you’re at it!) How to: Simply rub the sponge against the mark until it’s gone. These sponges also work on dry, crust like stains.

Tip: Remove makeup and and armpit area smells with makeup removing wipes. Test a small area of the garment first to ensure further staining won’t occur.

4) Those Dreaded Pills

Product: Sweater Stone How to: This product can be used on a variety of fabrics from wool to synthetics, many of which pill sometimes after just a few washes. As instructed, swipe the stone against the pills. A grainy, sand-like residue will remain, but simply wipe it off.

I was able to completely refresh a pair of synthetic trousers from Lane Bryant today while at Dress for Success. I couldn’t be happier with this product.

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