Tips and Tricks For Cleaning Your Delicates (Without Dry Cleaning!)

If your laundry days end with it looking like a dryer projectile vomited clothes all over your living room, you’re not alone. Laundry involving kids’ everyday clothing doesn’t tend to be the kind of set-up you’d think to mix and mingle your precious designer and sentimental pieces with. Or that precious Bonpoint dress your daughter just had to have for her birthday party. But we’re here to save you time and money. You actually can mingle your favorite delicates with your family’s everyday basics on laundry day. Read on for indispensable laundry tips:

Don’t always believe clothing labels. 

“Woolens – wool, cashmere, merino, angora and other knits- silk, lace and delicate synthetics can all be washed at home, even if the care label says ‘dry clean only,'” says Lindsey Boyd, co-founder of The Laundress. “The trick is to use the right fabric-specific detergent, a cool water temperature and air dry.”

Hand-washing can actually be as good as dry cleaning. 

The biggest issue most people have with hand washing is that the garments don’t aways feel fresh. If that’s your pet peeve, it might be because you’re not going about it in the best way. “Fill a sink, tub or basin with cool water and add a squirt of Wool & Cashmere Shampoo for woolens or Delicate Wash for silk, lace or synthetics,” says Boyd. Products like Signature Detergent or Baby Detergent can be used for everyday favorites that you’re being extra careful with and you can add All-Purpose Bleach Alternative to boost colors, brighten whites, and supercharge cleaning and stain removal. “Then, add the item and agitate the water to disperse the soap. Allow to soak for up to 30 minutes before removing the item, draining the soapy water, then refilling with fresh, clean water to rinse and remove soap from the garment.” She goes on to underline that it’s important not to wring the item as it can compromise the integrity of the fabric. Instead, press out excess water with your hands or against the side of sink/basin. Air dry or hang to dry.

How to machine wash a delicate garment. 

Many delicates can also be machine washed simply by inserting them into a Mesh Washing Bag to avoid snagging in the machine. “Select a delicate cycle, low spin and cool water and then add the appropriate amount of detergent and the items,” says Boyd. “Be sure to wash with like colors and fabrics only. Remove promptly from machine after cycle is complete and air dry or hang to dry.” Crease Release is great alternative to ironing your delicates – just spritz and steam.

If your little one had say, a diaper blowout in his fancy pants, or spilled some juice all over the designer one-piece you splurged on, don’t forget to pretreat stains and odors before washing. “Apply a stain treatment to the affected areas and work in with a stain brush,” says Boyd. “For tough stains, place item in a sink, tub or basin, and pour hot water from a height to drive the stain treatment deeper into the fabric. Allow it to soak in warm to hot water for up to 30 minutes. For extra stain removing power and to brighten and lift dinginess, add a capful of All-Purpose Bleach Alternative to the soak water. Or, for odors, add a capful or two of Scented Vinegar. This will help to absorb any unwanted smells. After 30 minutes, wash as normal.”

Lastly, while all of the aforementioned products are family-safe, if your little one has extra sensitive skin always try to opt for fragrance-free options for delicate children’s wear to avoid rashes.

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